When a Negative is a Positive

The removal of trees within the buffer zone of a river way can be tricky, but as Mattapoisett Conservation Commission Chairman Mike King explained on July 23, it can be done.

The commission approved Frank Linhares’ Request for Determination of Applicability to remove some dead trees from an area of his property at 16 Holly Hollow within the wetlands buffer zone and within 60 feet of a river bank, but as he explained, there is a protocol.

“The removal of the dead trees is not a problem, but we do need the stumps to stay,” said King.

That was just fine for Linhares, who commented, “I’m more worried about the trees falling on the house right now.”

Keeping the stumps in place keeps the soil in tact, King said, and the goal in a situation such as this is to keep as much of the natural vegetation in place as possible to prevent erosion of the riverfront.

Linhares received a Negative 2 determination allowing him to move forward with the work, and as the commission paused a moment to give a few minutes for the next applicant to arrive, a resident asked King to explain what a “negative determination” means.

King was quick to oblige, explaining that a Negative 2 simply means that there are no applicable regulations or special circumstances in order to perform the work within the buffer zone, adding that, in his opinion, a Negative 2 is the most common of the determinations.

“It’s the one case where negative is good,” said King. “A ‘positive’ means there were issues with the area or regulations,” explained King, issues that would need further study and possibly a wetlands specialists.

And as for a Negative 3, King explained, it simply means that the commission would have to add conditions to the project, such as informing the conservation office before work begins, and orders for how excess materials would be moved offsite.

In other matters, engineer Carmelo Nicolosi gave a brief introduction to the Notice of Intent filed by Ann and Ratcliffe Williams for the demolition of the existing garage and building of a new expanded garage at 31 Shore Drive. The hearing was continued, however, pending the issuance of a Mass Department of Environmental Protection file number for the project.

The commission granted a three-year extension of a permit issued to Jay Duker and Julie Starr-Duker to construct a 4-foot long by 164-foot wide long pile supported pier.

The NOI hearing for Millicent and Donald Carlstrom of 6 Ripple Street was continued until the next meeting, as no one on behalf of the applicant was present. The NOI is to demolish and rebuild a single-family house.

The public hearing for the RDA filed by Mattapoisett land Trust for Hammond Quarry was not discussed and continued again at the applicant’s request, along with the NOI hearing for John and Roger Gibbons for the paving of Foster Street.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for August 13 at 6:30 pm at the Mattapoisett Town Hall.

Mattapoisett Conservation Commission

By Jean Perry

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