Wetland Activities Bring Complaints

            Marion Conservation Agent Doug Guey-Lee received two, unrelated complaint calls on separate properties last month, both involving clearing activities in wetland areas.

            He addressed the Marion Conservation Commission during its March 13 public meeting to discuss a strategy on addressing the complaints, describing one of the properties as a vacant, rear lot.

            “You can see there’s quite a bit of wetlands there,” said Guey-Lee, locating it on the western side of Point Road near a basketball court.

            Guey-Lee said that some time ago David Pina met with him and Building Commissioner Bob Grillo with an eye on making a plan to either sell the lot or develop it.

            “It kind of fell off the radar … it’s not clear if they sold it. He’s not obligated to tell us,” said Guey-Lee, noting that an anonymous complaint call about land clearing came in during a time in February when he was out of the office with illness. “It’s not even clear who I would contact.”

            Member Shaun Walsh, an attorney, offered to help Guey-Lee with the process.

            “If the complaints that the office has received (are considered credible), I would reach out to Mr. Pina … and find out if he still owns the property,” suggested Walsh, recommending reaching out to the Plymouth County of Deeds.

            Guey-Lee says he has walked the property at least once but, without regular contact, the next step is complex.

            Another complaint also came in February, this one from the state Department of Environmental Protection regarding a property owner that had been clearing into a wetland area.

            Guey-Lee said that the driveway is the lowest point of that property, which made it difficult for him to get a vantage point to inspect the property. A neighbor told him no one had been at the property since November.

            “I would suggest just drilling down and reaching out to the owner, like the other property,” suggested Guey-Lee.

            Carlos and Jennifer Varnum were voted an Order of Conditions for the construction of an attached garage and living-room additions with a crushed-stone driveway extension (to the existing crushed-stone driveway) and associated grading and utilities.

            Nathan Chofay of Principe Engineering based in Tiverton, Rhode Island, presented on the applicants’ behalf, noting that portions of the work will be done in the 100-foot buffer zone to the bordering, vegetated wetland. There will be less than 1 acre of disturbance, and no variances are being requested. Chofay also noted that neither house addition nor the garage will be built in the flood zone or velocity zone.

            Vice Chairman Emil Assing, running the meeting in the absence of Chairman Jeff Doubrava, asked if the water-side addition to the house will include a foundation. Chofay said he believes the plan calls for the addition to lay on a slab.

            Walsh asked about roof runoff and discharge. Chofay said it would include downspouts. “I’m good, pretty straightforward project,” said Walsh.

            In response to comments requested by the Planning Board regarding the application of Johnson Family Investments LLC (Fieldstone Market) for an expansion project, Assing said that there is a small corner of wetland in the back corner, and Matt Schultz said there is work planned inside the 100-foot buffer zone.

            Assing said the case should file a Request for Determination of Applicability with the commission but nothing extensive.

            Carol Carson spoke to the commissioners about her work with the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance and the importance of restoring the proper elevation for the nesting of turtles in the marsh (coastal dune). The commissioners said they would be happy to arrange site visits to areas of concern and discuss the interests of the NECWA.

            Sippican Holdings LLC, scheduled for a public hearing for its NOI for the redevelopment of an existing building and parking lot at 13 Barnabus Road into a self-storage facility requested a continuance, which was granted to the commission’s next meeting on March 27.

            The Marion Conservation Commission was scheduled to meet on Wednesday, and its next meeting is slated for Wednesday, April 10, at 7:00 pm at the Police Station on Route 6.

Marion Conservation Commission

By Mick Colageo

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