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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 02/06/13
FINAL
Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were:  Pam Goff, Chairman, Sandy Broyard, Vice Chairman, Wesley Cottle, Joan Malkin, Chris Murphy and Chuck Hodgkinson.  Candy Shweder was absent.  George Sourati, Jonathan Mayhew, Tim Carroll, Edwin Greenbaum, Joan Caulton, Jane Slater, Deborah Hancock, Barbara Fenner, Catherine Thompson, Martha Flanders, Rick Hylton-USCG, Tom Reed-TranSystems, Mike Hommer-Mortenson Construction, Jason Olsen-USCG, Joseph Klinker-USCG, Bill Grace-TranSystems, Lou Vincigueriza, Jim Feiner, Janet Weidner, Frank Fenner, Isaiah Scheffer, Bill Rossi, Dennis Jason and Remy Tumin also attended.     

The meeting came to order at 12:30 PM.  Ms. Goff welcomed Mr. Murphy to the Commission and appointed him as a voting member for the day’s agenda.  The site visits were made on February 5.   

NOI SE 12 – 676; U.S.C.G. BOATHOUSE; 20 Edy’s Island Way; AP 27.1-91:      Ms. Goff opened the public hearing at 12:35 PM.  Mr. Klinker thanked the Commission and explained the Coast Guard would like to work with the Town as much as possible with this project.  Mr. Hommer reviewed the plans to build a new, 5,000 gross sq. ft. boathouse plus a boat ramp in Menemsha Basin to replace the boathouse destroyed by fire in July 2010.  Approximately 6,271 sq. ft. of Land Under Ocean and Land Containing Shellfish and 3,525 sq. ft. of Coastal Beaches will be impacted by the project.

Mr. Hommer explained the support piles and structure will be made of pre-cast concrete with structural steel framing.  The exterior will be pre-finished and have red asphalt roof shingles.  Mr. Grace reviewed the resource area impacts.  The entire work area is within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth’s Wetland Protection Act and the Town’s Wetland Protection Bylaws.  Mr. Reed explained the footprint of the original boathouse and railway slips was 62 ft. X 46 ft. which is the same footprint area of the proposed plan.  He added the last 2-3 sections of the new boat ramp will be in the water.  The original structure and dock had a total of 135 wooden creosote-covered spiles.  The new proposal will only have 39 concrete piles and 7 new timber piles plus a vinyl sheet pile.

One concrete test pile will be driven into the bottom in one day and left in place to test the load factors for one month.  If the test meets specifications the remainder of the piles will be installed.  The following is the working timeline for the various project phases.  During construction approximately 4-5 supply barges will bring materials to the site for off-loading onto the construction barge.  He added the debris will be stored on the construction barge and have a dumpster on the south side of the property.  A specific debris and material handling plan will be provided before work begins.
  • In-water test pile installation and monitoring—approximately 1 month.
  • In-water installation of the 39 concrete piles and 7 wooden piles and boat ramp—approximately 3 months.
  • Steel framing and roof trusses installation—approximately 3 months.
  • Exterior and interior building construction—approximately 5 months.
  • Post construction site preparation.
The fuel tanks will be above ground and located in the same vicinity of the previous fuel tanks.  They will have primary and secondary leak and fire protection systems.  The Commission asked how the system will perform in a storm event.  Mr. Olsen said the location was above high water during Hurricane Sandy and said his staff has specific spill protocols in place.

The septic will be a 1,500 gallon tight tank that will include composting for the solid waste.

Ms. Goff read letters from the Division of Fisheries and the Town’s Shellfish Constable for the record.  The Commission asked for detail on the water depth a low tide and the draft of the barges and tug boats.  The mean low water depth at the end of the boat ramp is 9 feet.  The barge water depth ranges from 3-4 feet toward shore to 7-8 feet at the deep-water end.  The construction barge may hit bottom at low tide depending upon the weight of the crane and materials.  The tug boats will draw between 6-7 feet of water.  The applicant agreed they could move the crane to the deep water end of the barge when work stops each day and will change to a lighter crane when appropriate.  

Mr. Scheffer the Town’s Shellfish Constable, commented the construction barge will be over eel grass beds and in an area that has quahogs.  The constant shading caused by the barge will most likely damage the eel grass beds.  The Commission pointed out the winter flounder spawning season of January 15 – May 31 as outlined by the Division of Fisheries and added there is an experimental winter flounder hatchery in Menemsha Pond.  The applicant said they will re-seed any damaged areas and will repair Boathouse Road if it is damaged by the construction or construction vehicles.

Ms. Goff then read several letters from concerned abutters.  One form letter had 75 signatures.  The primary concern of all the abutters was how the work will disrupt the businesses and tourist season from Memorial Day – Labor Day.  The ideal start time would be just after Labor Day with all in-water, barge work completed by Memorial Day.  This provides a nine month window for the planned seven months of heavy construction.  The remaining five months of work is for exterior and interior finish.  There will be approximately 5 workers during the pile-driving phases.  The peak crew size will be      10-15 workers.  These workers will park their cars at the Coast Guard Station.

Ms. Hancock asked if the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) is required to review the application.  Menemsha is not a District of Critical Planning Concern (DCPC) but, the project can be referred to the MVC by a Town Board.  Mt. Hylton explained the Coast Guard prefers to work with local and state agencies and would need to check with legal counsel to see if it is exempt from local permitting.  He added the Cost Guard does not have sovereign exemption from Federal regulations such as the Clean Water Act.

With no further comment from the public a motion was made to close the hearing at     1:45 PM.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  A subsequent motion was made to approve the plans as presented with the following special conditions:
  • No in-water work that may cause bottom disturbance or generate silt shall be done between the dates of January 15 – May 31 to protect the winter flounder spawning season.
  • Construction debris shall be contained on the construction barge and covered to prevent it from being blown into the water.  Any debris that falls into the water shall immediately be gathered and stored properly.
  • A survey of the eel grass beds on the west side of the pier shall be conducted with the Chilmark Shellfish Constable before the barges arrive and before any work begins.  A report of this inspection shall be given to the Conservation Agent—see conditions 6, 7 for eel grass protection measures.
  • A post-construction survey of the eel grass beds on the west side of the pier shall be conducted with the Chilmark Shellfish Constable after all work is finished and the barges have been removed.  A report of this inspection shall be given to the Conservation Agent.
  • If it is determined that any eel grass beds have been damaged, an eel grass restoration plan with timing shall be prepared for approval by the Chilmark Shellfish Constable and Conservation Agent.
  • A minimum of two feet of water separation between the barge and bottom of the Basin is recommended to help protect the eel grass and shellfish habitats.  The crane on the construction barge shall be moved to the deep-water end of the barge each evening as practicable to help prevent the barge from sitting on the bottom at low tide.  If possible, a lighter crane will replace the heavy-capacity crane when practicable to reduce weight and increase the clearance between the barge and the bottom of the Basin—particularly at low tide.  
  • To help prevent excessive sunlight shading over the eel grass beds and promote continued eel grass growth the construction barge shall be periodically shifted and secured at different locations as practicable up or down the pier during construction.  
  • The arrival of all supply barges (approximately 4-5 deliveries) shall be coordinated with the Conservation Agent and Harbormaster.  At least one-week’s advance notice shall be given to provide time to organize transient and commercial boat traffic and dockage space and allow the Conservation Agent to observe the unloading between the supply and construction barges.
  • All standard safe fuel handling and fuel spill procedures shall be followed at all times.
  • An on-site conference shall take place among the Conservation Agent and all contractor(s) to review this Order before each key phase of construction.  A photographic progress record shall be maintained of the key construction phases.  The ideal start date would be mid-September – after Labor Day.
  • In-water test pile installation and monitoring—approximately 1 month.
  • In-water installation of the 39 concrete piles and 7 wooden piles and boat ramp—approximately 3 months.
  • Steel framing and roof trusses installation—approximately 3 months.
  • Exterior and interior building construction—approximately 5 months.
  • Post construction site preparation.
The motion was seconded and with no further discussion passed unanimously with five in favor.

NOI SE 12 – 677; TOWN OF CHILMARK; Dredging in Menemsha Basin off Boathouse Rd.; AP 27.1-90:  Mr. Murphy recused himself because he has a boat slip in the proposed dredging area and sat in the audience.  Ms. Goff opened the public hearing at 1:55 PM.  Mr. Carroll summarized the plan to renew an expired Menemsha Basin dredging permit for the west shoreline in front of the fishing shacks along Boathouse Road.  The old permit and license expired in November 2007.  Ms. Goff read the letter from the Division of Fisheries for the record and asked where the dredge spoils will be placed.  Mr. Carroll mentioned smaller dredge amounts will be placed on the Town’s adjacent lots.  The excess quantities will be placed in the currently approved location behind the swordfish statue opposite the gas station.  With no comment from the public a motion was made to close the hearing at 2:10 PM.  The motion was seconded and with no discussion passed unanimously.  A subsequent motion was made to approve the dredging plan with the following special conditions:

  • No in-water work that may cause bottom disturbance or generate silt shall be done between the dates of January 15 – May 31 to protect the winter flounder spawning season.
  • As practicable, dredge spoils shall be placed on adjacent Town-owned lots above mean high water level to replace wind-blown and eroded material.
  • Any excess dredge spoils shall be placed on the Town’s approved dredge spoils location behind the swordfish statue east of the Menemsha Texaco.
  • The Conservation Agent shall be notified of the dredge plan before any work begins.
The motion was seconded and with no discussion passed unanimously with four in favor.

RFD JONATHAN MAYHEW; 11 Clam Point Cove Rd.; AP 33-96:  Mr. Mayhew reviewed the plan to relocate the existing stone wall that runs behind the house to the top of the bank of Nashaquitsa Pond to a new location along the northeast lot line.  The relocated stone wall will also run to the top of the bank of Nashaquitsa Pond.  A portion of the work is within the 100-foot buffer zone from the top of the bank.  He added a small bobcat will be used to dig a small trench for the wall and move the stones.  With no comment from the public a motion was made for a negative determination with the following conditions:

  • Hay bales and silt fencing shall be installed between the new wall location and the top of the coastal bank before work begins.  
  • The hay bales and silt fencing shall be perpendicular to the stone wall and left in place until the newly seeded grass is established.
The motion was seconded and with no discussion passed unanimously with five in favor.

REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY CERTIFICATION; GEORGE SOURATI FOR NATALIE CONROY; 22 Greenhouse Lane; AP 33-33:  Mr. Sourati explained this section of coastal bank has experienced severe erosion and reviewed a plan to nourish the beach with river rock of the same shape and size as exists.  A front end loader will be used to access to the bank be driven down the beach from the work being done at 8 and 16 Greenhouse Lane.  The front end loader will cross the Walters’ beach property at Map 33 Lot 32.  He added the plans to install coir logs with ten foot anchors into the bank with added sand sediment and beach grass planting is being removed from the scope of work.  This Certification is only for the river rock.  The Commission discussed the volatility of this area and said the beach cobble changes almost daily.  It expressed its concerns that the added river rock may only be placed on top of existing cobble and could act as a coastal engineering structure.  In addition, the added rock should not change the natural slope of the beach.

After much discussion a motion was made to grant the Emergency Certification with the following conditions:

1.  A revised site plan must be provided showing the accurate slope of the coastal bank and beach before work begins.
2.  An on-site conference shall take place among the Conservation Agent and all      contractor(s) before work begins.  
3.   310 CMR 10.30(3) of the Wetlands Regulations, promulgated under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 131, Section 40, and Section 2.05 (4C) of the Chilmark Conservation Commission Rules & Regulations, promulgated under the Chilmark Wetlands Protection Bylaws, requires that no coastal engineering structure, such as a bulkhead, revetment, or seawall shall be permitted on a bank, or on an eroding bank, at any time in the future to protect the project allowed by this Certification.  
4.  Written permission to drive the front end loader and any other equipment across the property shall be provided from the owner of Map 33 Lot 32 before work begins.
5.  The added river rock shall match the size and shape of the exsiting cobble and only be placed on top of the existing beach cobble.
6.  All attempts shall be made to have the added river rock match the slope of the natural contour of the beach.
7.  There will be no coir logs, sand sediment or beach grass planting allowed under this Certification.
  • The Commission reserves the right to make periodic follow up site visits at its discretion to observe how the river rock and beach nourishment is performing.  If it is determined by the Commission that the work is not performing as planned (i.e. as beach nourishment without adverse impacts to the resource) and is performing more as a coastal engineering structure thus adversely affecting the resource area and its environs, the Commission may require the Owner to remove the work and restore the area to its condition prior to the work or implement any other exit strategy as may be deemed necessary.  
  • If it is determined the work is not performing as planned, a restoration and exit plan shall be determined among the Commission and Owner within 30 days.
  • A follow up Notice of Intent shall be filed within two weeks.
The motion was seconded and with no further discussion passed unanimously with four in favor and one abstention (Mr. Murphy).


ADMINISTRATION:  

The January 16, 2013 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as amended by consensus.  

The following documents were signed:

        Order of Conditions USCG; SE 12 – 676; AP 27.1-91.
Order of Conditions Town of Chilmark SE 12 – 677; AP 27.1-90.
        Determination of Applicability Mayhew; AP 33-96.
        
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 12:30 PM.

With no further business to conduct the meeting adjourned at 3:15 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.


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Chilmark Town Offices: Chilmark Town Offices: 401 Middle Road, P.O. Box 119 02535-0119
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