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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 02/20/13
FINAL
Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were:  Pam Goff, Chairman, Sandy Broyard, Vice Chairman, Wesley Cottle, Joan Malkin, Candy Shweder, Chris Murphy and Chuck Hodgkinson.  George Sourati, Natalie Conroy, David Michniewicz and Lars Jensen of Coastal Engineering, John Kachmar of The Nature Conservancy, Isaiah Scheffer and Remy Tumin also attended.     

The meeting came to order at 12:34 PM.  Ms. Goff appointed Mr. Murphy as a voting member for the day’s agenda.  The site visits were made on February 19.   

NOI SE 12 - 681; KAREN LOMBARD (OF THE NATURE CONSERVANCY) AND ISAIAH SCHEFFER FOR THE TOWN OF CHILMARK; Tisbury Great Pond:  Ms. Goff opened the public hearing at 12:35 PM.  Mr. Scheffer reviewed the plan to create a 0.99-acre site on land under the Tisbury Great Pond for a native oyster restoration bed.  The pond is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The proposed bed straddles the Chilmark and West Tisbury Town lines.  The plan calls for the clam shell deployment and oyster seeding to take place in summer 2013 with the monitoring completed by October 2014.

Approximately 60 yards for clam shells will be stored at Sipiessa Point shoreline in West Tisbury.  They will be put in totes and onto an 8’ X 20’ aluminum barge that will be towed to the site.

Mr. Kachmar added the goal is to create a spawning ground or “nursery” for propagating a durmo-resistant stock of wild oysters.  The area will not be open to harvest.  The site is off shore in approximately nine feet of water when the pond is closed to the Atlantic and outside the commercial fishing area where the bottom is more firm.

The Commission noticed the site location is just outside the area in Town Cove that is closed to shell fishing because of poor water quality.  Mr. Scheffer added the site has the best bottom conditions in the area that is outside the commercial harvest zone.

With no further public comment a motion was made to close the hearing at 1:05 PM.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  A subsequent motion was made to approve the plan as presented.  The motion was seconded.  In discussion the Commission asked for copies of the progress reports as each phase of the program is completed.  The motion came to a vote and passed unanimously with six in favor.

NOI SE 12 – 678; GEORGE SOURATI FOR SWB LTD. PARTNERSHIP;               8 Greenhouse Lane; AP 33-30:  Ms. Goff opened the public hearing at 1:08 PM.        Mr. Sourati explained this is a follow up Notice of Intent for an Emergency Certification that was issued for the work on 12/7/12.  The applicant would like to maintain and add beach nourishment of matching river rock sediment at the base of the coastal bank to stabilize the erosion and protect the house that is 10 feet from the edge of the bank at the deck’s closest point.  Approximately 3.5 feet of additional river rock was added and proceeds approximately six feet away from the bank and toward the ocean.  It slopes down to sand over an additional 7 feet of beach and rock.  The added rock will be 140 long and the end of the stones will be approximately 40 feet from the observed mean high tide mark.  The eastern end of the additional rocks ends about 12 feet from the east lot line and continues to the western lot line.  Mr. Sourati said he is withdrawing the section of the Notice of Intent asking for the addition of coir logs with ten-foot long anchors into the bank, sand sediment and beach grass planting.  He is asking to maintain and add to the river rock sediment as needed for three years.  

The Commission discussed how the work was approved as a one time Emergency Certification for erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy.  The south shore and coastal bank is dynamic and changes daily.  The three-year maintenance program was not a part of the approval.  It is the Commission’s understanding that the access way for the heavy equipment through the bank’s vegetation will be restored and re-planted for stability.  If maintenance or the addition of river rock is allowed the bank may never heal properly.  Also, this is a new treatment for this section of the beach and bank.  The Emergency Certification conditioned the approval with follow up monitoring to make sure the river rock is performing as sediment—and not as a coastal engineering structure.

With no comment from the public a motion was made to close the hearing at 1:32 PM.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  A subsequent motion was made to grant the Oder of Conditions for this work as amended with the following special conditions:

  • This Order is for the work permitted under an Emergency Certification issued on 12/7/12 for erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy.
  • The amended site plan dated 2/20/13 is approved without the coir logs, sediment and beach grass planting.
  • The applicant shall return to the Commission with a recommended landscape plan to restore the section of the coastal bank that was used for machinery beach access to install the river rock.  This plan shall be submitted by April 3, 2013.
  • No on-going maintenance of the beach nourishment or river rock is permitted as proposed in the Notice of Intent under this Order of Conditions.
  • If at a future date the Owner wants to perform maintenance or add beach nourishment an application for an Amended Order of Conditions for SE 12 – 678 shall be submitted with the required abutter notification and advertising for a public hearing to review the existing site conditions and proposed work.
  • The Commission reserves the right to inspect the coastal bank and beach to assess how the beach nourishment and river rock 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 of this decision.
  • 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 Order of Conditions.
The motion was seconded and with no further discussion passed unanimously with six in favor.

NOI SE 12 - 680; DAVID MICHNIEWICZ OF COASTAL ENGINEERING FOR NATALIE CONROY;  22 Greenhouse Lane; AP 33-33:  Ms. Goff opened the public hearing at 1:37 PM.  Mr. Michniewicz reviewed the previous Order of Conditions issued to relocate the two structures to their current positions in November 2011 (SE 12 – 640).  This was needed because of erosion caused by Hurricane Irene.  After this move the structures were 26 feet from the top of the bank.  They are now about eight feet from the bank’s edge because of erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy.  This application seeks to relocate the existing single-family dwelling and guesthouse structures farther north and away from the top of the coastal bank and install a new buried, sealed septic tank.  The existing septic tank, old water well pipe and associated materials are exposed.  All of the work is within the 100-foot buffer zones of the coastal bank to the south and a Bordering Vegetated Wetland to the north.  The main residence will be relocated over the existing roadway.  The closest piles will be seven feet from the wetland edge.  The house will overhang the piles and block access on the roadway.  The main house will only be moved approximately 8 feet north of its current location because of the close proximity of the wetland resource.

Mr. Jensen added their calculations indicate the house supports will be structurally sound until the front row (southern-most row) of the piles is exposed to weather.  Approximately 18 feet of coastal bank was lost in Hurricane Sandy.  Ms. Conroy added the house will not be moved until a new roadway easement can be agreed and a new access road created for the owners of Map 33 Lot 37.  A letter dated 2/18/13 from         Mr. Langmuir was read for the record.  It explained that his family is not ready to close the road leading to their property west of Ms. Conroy’s because they are working on similar plans to re-build on their land to the north and may need road access for this work.

The Commission said the time required for Mr. Langmuir to make alternative access arrangements and create a new road to the north may delay the work and thus not be completed before the next severe weather event.  It also pointed out the Special Conditions for SE 12 – 640 required the all cinder blocks, old foundation supports and any of the abandoned water well apparatus to be removed from the site.  These items and the front edge of the septic tank are now exposed or on the beach because of the new erosion.  Furthermore, it expressed concern that the original pile system was allowed because it was not supposed to destabilize the bank – versus excavated concrete sono-tubes.  It now has concerns about how the removal of piles will weaken the bank.  Additionally, the proposed new location for the structures will put undue pressure and disturbance caused by increased activity on the wetland to the north.  This is evidenced by the kayaks and beach chair that are currently stored in the wetland as observed at the site visit.  Section 3.02 of the Town’s Wetland Regulations was read for the record.

Mr. Jensen said if the road was closed there would be less vehicular pressure on the wetland edge.  The Commission responded by saying the cars would most likely park on the roadway.

The Commission asked if a fiberglass, above-ground sealed septic tank could be placed under the current structures – versus burying a new concrete tank as proposed.             Mr. Michniewicz said this is possible.  

With no further comment from the public a motion was made to close the hearing at    2:35 PM.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  A motion was made to deny the Order of Conditions for the plan as proposed.  The motion was seconded.  In discussion the following specific reasons were cited for the denial:

1.  The Order of Conditions is denied for the activity outlined in the Notice of Intent to relocate the two structures and install a new buried sealed septic tank for the following reasons:
  • The applicant failed to show a clear and convincing set of conditions under which the Bordering Vegetated Wetland to the north or the eroding coastal bank to the south will not be adversely affected from the proposed activities.
  • As outlined in Section 3.02 (4) of the Chilmark Conservation Commission Rules & Regulations, promulgated under the Chilmark Wetlands Protection Bylaws, there are no conditions under which a variance may be granted that would prevent the activity from impairing in any way the Bordering Vegetated Wetland’s ability to perform any of the functions set forth in Section 3.02 (2).
2.   The installation of an above-ground tight septic tank located underneath the current structure is allowed provided the Chilmark Board of Health approves the system.
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 structures or activity allowed by this Order of Conditions.
4.  Within 30 days the Owner shall provide a specific plan to remove the abandoned materials on the beach and coastal bank along with a plan and recommended timing to remove all structures, related infrastructure with a ground stabilization plan.

The motion came to a vote and passed unanimously with six in favor.

PUBLIC HEARING NOI SE 12 – 679; GEORGE SOURATI FOR WHALE     HILL, INC.; 16 Greenhouse Lane; AP 33-31:  Ms. Goff opened the public hearing at 2:56 PM.  As with SE 12 – 678 for AP 33-30 this is a follow up Notice of Intent for an Emergency Certification that was issued on 1/23/13 for the work on this property which abuts AP 33-30 to the west.  Mr. Sourati explained the Owner would like to maintain and add beach nourishment of matching river rock sediment at the base of the coastal bank to stabilize the erosion and protect the house that is 45 feet from the edge of the bank.  Approximately 3.5 feet of additional river rock was installed.  The sediment stops approximately ten feet from the western lot line.  The river rock gradually slopes down to the existing level at a 1:4 ratio.  This downward slope to the beach therefore starts approximately 25 feet from the western lot line and concludes ten feet from the lot line.  Mr. Sourati said he would like to withdraw the work outlined in the Notice of Intent for installing coir logs with ten-foot long anchors in the face of the bank; added sand and loam sediment and jute netting for planting beach grass plugs.  The applicant is asking to maintain and add to the rock sediment as needed for three years.  

The Commission pointed out this is essentially the same proposal as SE 12 – 678 with the exception of creating a temporary beach access way down the bank for the heavy equipment.  It further asked if the agreements reached for the previous application        (SE 12 – 678) would suffice for this proposal.  Mr. Sourati agreed.  With no comment from the public and no further questions from the Commission a motion was made to close the hearing at 3:15 PM.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  A subsequent motion was made to approve the plan as amended with the following special conditions:

  • This Order is for the work permitted under an Emergency Certification issued on 1/23/13 for erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy.
  • The amended site plan dated 2/20/13 is approved without the coir logs and beach grass planting.
  • No on-going maintenance of the beach nourishment or river rock is permitted as proposed in the Notice of Intent under this Order of Conditions.
  • If at a future date the Owner wants to perform maintenance or additional beach nourishment an application for an Amended Order of Conditions for SE 12 – 679 shall be submitted with the required abutter notification and advertising for a public hearing to review the existing site conditions and proposed work.
  • The Commission reserves the right to inspect the coastal bank and beach to assess how the beach nourishment and river rock 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 of this decision.
  • 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 Order of Conditions.
The motion was seconded and with no discussion passed unanimously with six in favor.

NOI SE 12 - 682; CHRIS ALLEY FOR LUCY BEACH, LLC; 11 Azalea Lane;     AP 29-7:  Chuck H. explained Mr. Alley asked if this hearing could be postponed to the March 6th meeting.  The architect is making some last-minute changes to the plan.  A motion was made to accept the request.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with six in favor.

ADMINISTRATION:  

Review of the February 6, 2013 meeting minutes was postponed to the next meeting.

The following documents were signed:

        Order of Conditions Town of Chilmark; SE 12 - 681; Tisbury Great Pond.
                Order of Conditions SWB Ltd. Partnership SE 12 – 678; AP 33-30.
                Order of Conditions Whale Hill, Inc.; SE 12 -679; AP 33-31.
                Order of Conditions Conroy; SE 12 - 680; AP 33-33.
        
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 6 @ 12:30 PM.

With no further business to conduct the meeting adjourned at 3:30 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.


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