Wellspring Farm Compliance Moves Forward

            As 2017 moves towards its conclusion, so too do the variety of regulatory compliance issues faced by Wellspring Farm, located at 42 Hiller Road.

Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon detailed for the Rochester Conservation Commissioners on November 7 the remaining to-do list before the experiential health care business will be in full compliance with both the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission.

Saying, due to the “number of eyes on the application,” Farinon assured those in attendance, “A lot goes on behind the scene” before a public hearing and then proceeded to explain.

The Wellspring Farm Notice of Intent filing for upgrades to an existing driveway and maintenance activities prompted questions from Farinon to applicant representatives Environmental Engineer Brad Holmes and Greg Hebert of Webby Engineering. Farinon sought clarification on anticipated stormwater recharge into abutting wetlands and adherence with regulations governing stormwater.

Holmes and Hebert confirmed that due to the inclusion of a 40-foot wide impervious apron mandated by the Planning Board, additional stormwater calculations found it difficult to be in full regulatory compliance. However, Hebert said that the statute did allow for adherence within practicable parameters for existing driveways.

Holmes said upgrades to the driveway, which was originally permitted by the Town in 1983 and subsequently received a Certificate of Compliance, would include grassy drainage swales and check dams that would allow the water to be sufficiently processed before reaching wetlands.

The engineering team presented the commission that night with reports relating to the drainage calculations, and the late entry made it necessary to continue the hearing to give the commission and Farinon adequate time to review the documents.

Also discussed was the remediation of areas that required extensive clean up of a manure pile that were described by Hebert as “…now working well as a bordering vegetated area with a wetlands meadow.” The hearing was continued until November 21.

Earlier in the evening, Warren Benner of 20 Benner Lane received a Negative Determination for a Request for Determination of Applicability for the installation of a gas line within a 100-foot buffer zone.

Also receiving a Negative Determination for a RDA filing were Rochester Firefighters Association for improvements to the Firefighters’ Memorial located at 0 Hartley Road and Massachusetts Department of Transportation District 5 for tree trimming along Interstate 495.

A request for a three-year permit extension for Timothy Higgins of Edgewood Development for property located on High Street and Ryder Road for a 115-lot subdivision was granted. Higgins said that presently there are 58 occupied homes in the development with another nine lots under agreement. Farinon commented that the developer had made “great strides on the replication area,” and that the area was well stabilized.

A NOI filing by Decas Cranberry Inc. for property located on Walnut Plain Road for the construction of a single-family home was continued until November 21 pending a response from the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program.

A Certificate of Compliance was issued to Colonial Gas Company for a 1998 filing for the installation of a gas line along the shoulder of Route 58 at the Route 28 intersection.

The next meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission is scheduled for November 21 at 7:00 pm in the Rochester Town Hall conference room.

Rochester Conservation Commission

By Marilou Newell


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