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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 11/28/12
Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were:  Pam Goff, Chairman, Sandy Broyard, Vice Chairman, Donald Poole, Wesley Cottle, Joan Malkin and Chuck Hodgkinson.  George Sourati, Reid Silva, Natalie Conroy, Tom Dellarocco, Tom Tate, Jonathan Mayhew, Derek Loughman and Remy Tumin 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 November 27.  


  • SE 12 – 536; TOM DELLAROCCO FOR LARRY ROCKEFELLER;          16 Greenhouse Lane; AP 33-31.  Mr. Dellarocco showed photos of how the soft bank stabilization system of coir logs, jute netting and planted beach grass was washed away in Hurricane Sandy.  He said the bank lost between 8 and 20 feet of ground due to the storm.  He proposed a temporary plan to restore the soft solution in a manner as previously approved under the Order of Conditions.  There are five stages involving the use of coir logs; added jute netting and sediment that matches the approved mixture of 2:1 sand to clay (as outlined in the 8/30/11 narrative); added coir logs to support the center of the bank; plant beach grass through the jute netting and re-vegetating the top of the bank.  He added the dwelling is about 25 feet from the edge of the bank and the owners may come back to the Commission with an alternative, longer term solution.  A motion was made to accept the maintenance plan as presented.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with five in favor.
  • EMERGENCY CERTIFICATION DISCUSSION GEORGE SOURATI FOR SWB LIMITED PARTNERSHIP; 8 Greenhouse Lane; AP 33-30:      Mr. Sourati proposed a beach nourishment plan that would add cobble stones “river rock” that would match the shape and size of the existing rocks at the foot of the coastal bank.  He proposed adding enough rocks that would build up the base by adding 3.5 feet in height and proceed approximately six feet away from the bank and toward the ocean.  It will cover 140 feet of beach and the stones will not be placed below the mean high water mark.  He added the proposal was discussed with Jim Mahala at the DEP who thought it would be acceptable because the nourishment is matching the existing beach stones in this section of beach.  Mr. Sourati commented he has no plans to return asking for a revetment.  
The Commission commented that the plan might perform much like a revetment because it goes 3.5 feet up the bank and could have a detrimental impact on the neighbor’s property.  It asked how this will not erode at the ends of the added rocks in the down drift and up drift sections.

After much discussion Mr. Sourati offered to withdraw this formal request for an Emergency Certification to provide time for the Commission to meet with Greg Berman; Coastal Processes Specialist with the Woods Hole Sea Grant who will be on island tomorrow – November 29.  The Commission agreed to meet with Mr. Berman ASAP and to schedule a special meeting for Wednesday, December 5th @ 12:30 PM to review Mr. Berman’s site visit comments and make a final decision.

  • SE 12 – 640; NATALIE CONROY; 22 Greenhouse Lane; AP 33-33:           Ms. Conroy asked to make a general statement about how Chilmark should manage its residential properties to protect its tax base.  Mr. Poole left the meeting.  Ms. Conroy then explained that her Order of Conditions requires the presentation of a plan for the structures and septic tank within 30 days once the coastal bank erodes to seven feet from the support structures.  A letter dated November 27, 2012 from Coastal Engineering Co. was distributed.  It said the bank is five feet from the guesthouse supports; eight feet from the house supports and stated the septic tank has been pumped and recommended leaving it in place near the edge of the bank.  Removing it would cause additional de-stabilizing damage to the bank.  It further claimed the supports should be sound even through an additional storm event.
Ms. Conroy said she is evaluating many options and asked for a sixty day extension to the Order of Conditions requirement for a specific plan.  A motion was made to grant a 60-day extension to January 28, 2013 for the filing of a Notice of Intent that outlines a specific proposal for the property.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved with four in favor.

  • EMERGENCY CERTIFICATION REQUEST; DEREK LOUGHMAN FOR 21 East Lane; AP 32-67:  Mr. Loughman explained he is the caretaker for the property that has been repossessed by the bank.  It is now held in a bankruptcy trust.  He asked permission to relocate the existing shed and porch that is now at the edge of the coastal bank to a location that is within the 100-foot buffer zone of the coastal bank.  An excavator would be used and a footprint of vegetation would need to be cleared at the proposed location.  He added that if the Commission was not inclined to approve the relocation he has permission to demolish the structure.
After much discussion the Commission concluded that relocating the structure would cause more harm and further destabilize the bank.  There are several alternative locations that are outside the 100-foot buffer zone of this dynamic coastal bank.  Mr. Loughman said he would dismantle the structure by hand and remove the debris from the site.  The Commission agreed this is a better solution and added all support structures such as the sono tubes should be removed and the footprint covered with hay and seed to help contain further erosion.  Mr. Loughman agreed and thanked the Commission for its time.

DISCUSSION SE 12 – 661; TOM TATE AND REID SILVA FOR BLUE SKY MV, LTD. (BLUE HERON FARM) 41 Cobbs Hill Rd.; AP 11-23.3:   Mr. Silva explained that Mr. Tate has taken over the construction of the previously approved built-in swimming pool and pool house that will replace the existing pool.  He added the owner would like to add a canopy in front of the pool house.  The support posts for the canopy would be in the buffer zone of the coastal bank.  To keep the canopy out of the buffer zone the owner would like to move the pool and pool house 16 feet further away from the resource area.  The Commission commented that it would prefer this solution.  Mr. Silva added this must also be approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) who has concerns with moving the pool even further away from the main house which might compromise sight lines from the main house.  The Commission understood the ZBA’s safety concerns.  A motion was made to accept the proposed change as inconsequential to the approved plan.  The motion was seconded.  In discussion the Commission further agreed that if the ZBA did not approve the proposed new location, it would allow the canopy to be added to the existing pool house location as originally approved.  An additional condition was added to the motion that requires an amendment be filed with the deed to the property that states the pool house canopy will never be converted to habitable space in the future – if the pool house location remains as originally approved in the Order of Conditions.  The motion with the condition was seconded and passed unanimously with four in favor.

The review of the FY 2014 budget and November 14 meeting minutes were deferred to the December 5th meeting.

With no further business to conduct the meeting adjourned at 2:17 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.

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