Tree Removal Plan Upsets Abutter

“Every tree cut down is detrimental to my house,” said Kenneth Yokel, 94 Fairhaven Road, during the January 23 meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission.

Inspired to speak by a filing from the condominium association at 103 Fairhaven Road abutting his property, Yokel spoke against the association’s plan to remove 41 trees.

Association member David Dubois explained to the commission that it was necessary to remove the trees as they were dead or dying and posed a threat to property and residents. But Yokel pressed on, saying that since the development had been permitted, stormwater runoff had become a problem on his property.

Yokel asserted that by removing additional trees, the problem would only get worse.

“Every tree you cut down impacts water that surges onto my property,” Yokel said.

Conservation Commission Chairman Bob Rogers explained the commission’s role in the matter, saying, “Our focus is to permit it in a way that does impact the wetlands.”

Rogers said that all the trees in question were on the applicant’s property and thus a permit was in order.

Dubois said that trees would be removed over time as funds became available to do so. He was told that his application would be good for three years. The Request for Determination of applicability received a Negative 3 determination.

Richard Charon of Charon & Associates represented Donna McCaffery in a Notice of Intent filing for the construction of a 2,000 square-foot home on an undeveloped barrier beach lot.

The lot, located at 16 Cove Street, Charon explained, had not been acceptable for building prior to the installation of public sewer service. Now, with that in place, McCaffery wished to build.

Rogers questioned Charon about a concrete pad planned for under an elevated home, noting that it did not meet new FEMA regulations. Charon said that could be changed.

Rogers said that beach sand had to be allowed to migrate from the cove side to the marsh side, as noted by FEMA.

The hearing was continued until February 13.

Another project that was continued was the NOI filing from Julie Cabucio, 3 Oyster Lane, for the construction of a garage in a FEMA flood zone.

Represented by Jon Connell of Field Engineering, Cabucio’s property is within a storm velocity zone. Rogers asked that the plans be updated to include elevations to ensure everything met coastal building requirements. The hearing will resume on February 13.

A NOI filing by Weston Van Cantor, 29 Main Street, was approved and conditioned, clearing the way for the next phase of a planned building project.

The property is within the flood zone, explained Richard Ricci of Field Engineering, representing the applicant.

He also said the existing home would be razed and replaced with a new single-family dwelling, but that Zoning Board of Appeals approval would also be required.

Ricci said that a substantial amount of fill will be brought into the site, given the topography of the lot. Next step is a hearing with the ZBA.

Susan Nilson, CLE Engineering, once again met to conclude a NOI hearing for Samuel Waterston, 13 Shipyard Lane, for repairs and additions to a stone groin.

Nilson had previously explained that the multi-tiered process she had been pursuing included a Chapter 90 waterways permit and approval by Massachusetts Marine Fisheries, Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

On-site meetings with all parties, including Mattapoisett’s Conservation Agent Elizabeth Leidhold, had taken place, Nilson said.

During a previous meeting, Nilson had described an elastic rope system that is planned for a seasonal floating dock that will be attached at the end of the groin. This system is intended to minimize negative impact on existing eelgrass beds.

After convincing the commission that eelgrass surrounding the groin will not be heavily affected and that oversight and approval from the other agencies seemed likely, the project received conditions that include the three-year monitoring of eelgrass beds, removal of the float after November 15 annually, and no use of motorized vessels near the float and groin.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for February 13 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


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