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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 08/01/12
Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were:  Pam Goff, Chairman, Sandy Broyard, Vice Chairman, Donald Poole, Wesley Cottle, Joan Malkin and Diana DeBlase for Chuck Hodgkinson.  Reid Silva, Jamie Atkins, Tom Langman and John Abrams also attended.  Caitlin Jones was absent.  

The meeting came to order at 12:30 PM.  The site visits for the day’s agenda were made on July 31.  

NOI SE 12 – 662 GEORGE SOURATI FOR ROBERT LABAREE; Menemsha Inn Rd.; AP 21 – 38.2.  Mr. Sourati was not present for the site visit or hearing.  The Commission unanimously agreed to postpone the hearing to August 15, 2012                  @ 12:50 PM.

NOI SE 12 – 663 REID SILVA FOR JOHN AND JAMIE ATKINS; 80 State Road;      AP 30-6:    Ms. Goff opened the public hearing at 12:40 PM.  Mr. Silva summarized the updated plan dated 7/19/12 to expand the existing single-family dwelling and add living space; raise the existing dwelling, support it with cribbing and excavate for a full-basement foundation.  The expanded living space will be below the existing second story deck.  The existing dwelling and all of the proposed work is in the 100-foot buffer zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland.  The closest activity is 36 feet from the wetland edge.

The Commission asked how deep the excavation will be for the basement, how long will it take and how will the house be raised.  Mr. Silva explained approximately four feet of excavation is needed on the uphill side and five feet for the downhill side of the house.  The excavation should take about two days and the house will be raised on steel beams with hydraulic jacks and supported with wood cribbing.  The Commission inquired about water runoff and drainage and its concerns for protecting the wetland.  Mr. Silva said the current structure has no roof water controls and said it would be reasonable to add a complete roof gutter system feeding into a sub-surface drainage system.  

There was much discussion about adding living space below the deck because the entire structure is in a wetland buffer zone.  Related to this concern, the Commission asked if the basement will also have habitable space.  Mr. Silva offered the expansion could have a slab-on-grade foundation leaving the basement foundation for the existing structure and footprint.  He added while the addition is in the buffer zone, it is on higher, dry ground.  The remainder of the house is between the proposed addition and the wetland edge.  The Commission commented it did not want to see additional clearing beyond the existing edge of the current cleared area and thought the cleared area to the north and west of the house and behind the siltation barrier should be re-vegetated.  It has the closest proximity to the wetland.

With no comments from the public a motion was made to close the hearing at 1:01 PM.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  A subsequent motion was made to approve the plan as presented with the following special conditions—that include the standard conditions with excavation spoils handling methods:

  • The addition under the raised deck is allowed.  It shall have a slab-on-grade foundation.
  • Roof gutters connected to a sub-surface drainage system for water runoff shall be installed on the entire structure.  The design of this system shall be approved by the Commission before work begins.
  • No further clearing is allowed.  The area to the north and west of the house and behind the siltation barrier as shown on the site plan shall be re-vegetated.
  • The excavation spoils for the foundation and septic system shall be removed from the site daily.  The location for storing the foundation back fill shall be approved by the Conservation Agent before work begins.  The back fill shall be surrounded by hay bales and silt fencing, installed and approved by the Conservation Agent before work begins.
  • The basement will be used for mechanical equipment and storage.  It might be used as habitable space in the future.  The applicant will need to obtain the relevant Town permits if this is done.
  • The total site hay bales and silt fencing shall be installed and approved by the Conservation Agent before work begins.
  • A copy of this Order shall be available on site at all times.
  • A conference among the contractor(s) and Conservation Agent shall take place on site to review this Order before work begins.
The motion was seconded.  In discussion the Commission reviewed its general policy of not allowing the addition of living space to pre-existing structures that are in a buffer zone.  The extraordinarily unique features of this property, its contours, the house site and proximity of the addition to the wetland were reiterated.  After review of the bylaw the motion came to a vote and passed with three in favor and two opposed (Mr. Poole and Ms. Malkin).  
RFD REID SILVA FOR 3 SDS, LLC; 11 Round Pond Road; AP 35-1.4:  Mr. Silva reviewed the proposal to excavate and construct a temporary 12-foot wide construction access road to be used during the development of a vacant lot.  Trenching and the installation of permanent foundation drains that will drain into daylight are also proposed.  The access road and drainage are located within the 100-foot buffer zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland.  The road is approximately 85 feet and the daylight drain is approximately 80 feet from the wetland edge.

The Commission asked how long will the road be needed.  Mr. Silva said until the house is weather tight.  After discussion a motion was made for a negative determination with the following special conditions:  1.  The gravel on the temporary road shall be removed, topsoil added and the area re-vegetated as soon as the project is completed.  2.  Hay bales and silt fencing shall be installed between the temporary road and the wetland and approved by the Conservation Agent before the gravel is installed.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved with five in favor.

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE BARBARA DAY ET AL; SE 12 – 632; State Rd.; AP 33-66:  The Order of Conditions was to reconstruct an existing timber walkway over a salt marsh and build a seasonal dock extension into Quitsa Pond.  The Commonwealth has issued a Chapter 91 License for the project.  After reviewing the photos of the finished walkway a motion was made to issue the Certificate of Compliance with the following ongoing conditions:  1. The walkway and dock may be maintained provided the maintenance plans are reviewed with the Conservation Agent before work begins.  2.  The 16-foot seasonal extension to the dock may only be in place between May 1 and Columbus Day.  The motion was seconded and with no discussion passed unanimously with five in favor.

FOLLOW UP SE 12 – 661; JOHN ABRAMS FOR BLUE SKY MV, LTD (BLUE HERON FARM); AP 11-23.3:  Mr. Abrams presented a revised site plan for a relocated pool fence as required in the Order of Conditions.  Mr. Abrams said the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the pool and location because the new pool will be brought up to current pool specifications.  If the application was denied by the ZBA, the current pool would remain in place as is—with no improvements or additional safety features.  

The Commission did not like the proposed location for the pool fence as it is still on the coastal bank.  After much back and forth discussion and no agreement the Commission decided to postpone the decision to the August 15 meeting and make another site visit before then.


The July 18, 2012 Meeting Minutes were reviewed.  Ms. Goff declared them acceptable as amended by consensus.  

The following documents were signed:
Order of Conditions Atkins; SE 12 – 663; AP 30-6.
Determination of Applicability 3 SDS, LLC; AP 35-1.4.
Certificate of Compliance Day; SE 12 – 632; AP 33-66.

With no further business to conduct the meeting adjourned at 1:45 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S. for Diana BeBlase.

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