Although the Town of Marion amended a bylaw in 2020 to require all new construction septic upgrades to exceed Title 5 compliance and include approved denitrification technology, a tie-in to town sewer, when possible, is much preferred, according to Conservation Commission Chairman Shaun Walsh.
In its April 14 meeting, the commission heard a continued case involving a Notice of Intent filed by J. Thomas Bowler Jr. and Ellen Bowler to demolish a single-family house built in 1986 and replace it with a new house at 17 Moorings Road.
“We would much prefer a sewer line even to a denitrification system,” Walsh told project representative Dave Davignon, who had submitted a second revision on April 7.
Davignon explained that the Board of Health would not grant the project a variance on its requirement that a denitrification feature be included in the planned septic system upgrade. The Bowlers’ intention has been to hook up to town sewer and, only if that cannot be accomplished, use a septic system instead. Davignon said the potential installation of a 2,000-gallon denitrification system will not result in any additional land disturbance.
Walsh said it is highly unlikely the denitrification system will be needed, as he expects the Bowlers will be able to connect to town sewer.
With that, the commission voted to issue the Bowlers an Order of Conditions including storm damage and flood control stipulations for land subject to coastal storm flowage at 15,000 square feet.
Two other continued public hearings were revisited with positive outcomes.
ConCom voted to issue John and Judith Wyman an Order of Conditions for their Notice of Intent to construct a 160-square-foot addition to their garage and a 296-square-foot carport requiring that several large trees be removed, a 120-square-foot expansion of their driveway that will be paved over 2,400 square feet at 12 Bell Guzzle Lane.
Representing the Wymans, Rick Charron reiterated their need to shelter their vehicles in the winter and pave their driveway so they can spend more time at what had been a seasonal residence. He described the land as a heavily wooded site, so the project would remain low impact despite the removal of several trees.
Representing Christopher Klapinsky in a continued NOI filing, Chris Gilbert detailed his revised plan, addressing some of ConCom’s March 24 comments regarding Klapinsky’s application to construct a patio, retaining wall, planting bed, and reconstruct a deck at 41 East Avenue.
After Gilbert provided a detail of the retaining wall, including elevations at the top and bottom, and explained that the homeowner hopes to add a stone swale there to help drain the area to the east, the hearing was closed, and ConCom voted to issue an Order of Conditions including stipulations for storm damage prevention and flood control.
Four new Requests for Determination of Applicability and two new NOI filings were heard for the first time and, per town rule during remote access public hearings, were continued to Wednesday, April 28, at 7:00 pm.
William Jr. and Elizabeth Weber filed an NOI to replace an existing float and its bottom-anchored chain system with a pile-held, two-float system at 21 East Avenue. Davignon presented on behalf of the Webers. Walsh questioned the design and asked Davignon if he considered copying a float to the east considering the water was less than 2 feet deep.
“There really isn’t all that much water as you go that far out at low tide so … we didn’t see a whole lot of benefit in terms of how we could use the structure…. The goal here is the existing float that we have is so small that it’s really just not usable for any purpose whatsoever. We’re just trying to grab some square footage,” said applicant William Weber Jr. “We would like at some point maybe in the future to build something more, but that’s a lot more investment. Since we just built the house, we weren’t prepared to start planning something of that size, so this is what we were looking to do in the interim.”
Davignon said the applicant would have to build out another 30 to 40 more feet in order to gain 3 or 4 more inches of depth.
ConCom member Jeff Doubrava then questioned extending a 20-foot float to 48 feet to achieve a 1-foot, 7-inch depth. Doubrava said his concern is the egress.
“The ramp right now takes up maybe 8 feet of the existing float. We can’t put more than one lounge chair out there just to sit on a sunny day, so we were looking to pick up square footage to actually use it,” explained Weber Jr. “We do have a young family, so at high tide we like to jump off and swim. Paddleboards, kayaks we can leave out there, things of that nature. Things that we just can’t currently do right now.”
Anne Bramhall filed a, NOI to remove non-invasive vegetation and trees within the buffer zone to bordering vegetated wetlands at 260 Converse Road. Her representative, Brad Holmes, described a “number of hazard trees and overhanging vines,” saying that the work would take place on the western portion of the property, staying between the 25 and 100-foot buffer zone.
Several ConCom members walked the site on April 10. “It’s a thicket back there,” acknowledged Walsh. “It looks like it could really use some management.”
Sippican Lands Trust filed three RDAs, one for the placement of boards atop existing rocks allowing passage over a stream for visitors to White Eagle Parcel at Old Indian Trail Road, one to reroute the Osprey Marsh Trail to avoid encroachment of private property at 354 Point Road, and another to repair a stone wall and remove and cutback invasive vegetation across from 173 Front Street.
The encroachment case met with the most substantial discussion because it is not clear whether or not the Osprey Marsh Trail crosses over the property line onto the lot at 354 Point Road.
“Before the SLT goes forward – it’s absolutely wetlands in this area where the trail would go – so before we act on this RDA, it would be a good idea to definitively determine where this trail is. Once markers are placed … if it is on the adjacent property, we’ll know exactly where we need to cut off that trail and reroute it,” suggested Walsh. Another ConCom member said it would be very difficult to reroute the trail through that area, being the most wet.
In the case of 173 Front Street, Walsh said, “I appreciate the Sippican Lands Trust managing overgrown areas without the use of chemicals. I commend your efforts, and it is a lot of effort to manage invasives in this way.”
Represented by Davignon, Todd Zell filed an RDA for a two-lot subdivision including construction of a roadway, underground utilities, and a stormwater management system adjacent to 525 County Road.
Marion is interested in pursuing grants for coastal resiliency projects (aka hazard mitigation plan), and Walsh told ConCom members that Town Planner Gil Hilario has asked for their participation in a hazard mitigation plan development committee. It is expected that Walsh and one other commission member will join the committee.
Under action items, ConCom voted to issue Jonathan Tracy a full Certificate of Compliance at 14 Ridgewood Lane. ConCom considered a request for comments from the Zoning Board of Appeals regarding an application for special permit or variance at 8 Kabeyun Road to be outside of the commission’s jurisdiction.
The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, at 7:00 pm.
Marion Conservation Commission
By Mick Colageo