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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 03/06/13
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.  Reid Silva, Chris Alley, Kristen Reimann, Robbi Hutchinson, George Crawford, Eddie Bendavid, Cathy Thompson and Andy Goldman also attended.    

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

NOI SE 12 - 683; REID SILVA FOR BENJAMIN AND LOIS WOLKOWITZ;         6 Nickerson Farm Lane; AP 21-48.3:  Ms. Goff opened the public hearing at 12:31 PM.  Mr. Silva summarized the site visit observations on the plan to construct and maintain a raised walkway over a perennial stream and Bordering Vegetated Wetland.  A walking path is also proposed through the buffer zone.  A specific re-vegetation and management plan is also proposed for two meadows.  One is within the 100-foot wetland buffer zone east of Nickerson Farm Lane and a portion of the other meadow is within a 100-foot wetland buffer zone on the west side of the roadway.  Seven trees will be removed in the west meadow – two cherry and five locust trees.  A pavilion will be built outside the buffer zone at the end of the walking path in the larger, east meadow.

All the work to build the elevated walkway will be done by hand.  The walkway will be a fiberglass grating to allow light penetration to the stream bed below.  

Ms. Hutchinson explained how both meadows will be created.  The invasive vines and shrubs will be removed with a hand-held power trimmer.  The brush will be removed from the site.  Approximately 100 native shrubs as outlined on the site plan dated    January 4, 2012 Job # 567-12 will b planted.  No herbicides or fertilizers will be used.  The meadow will be restored with blue stem and switch grass.  The meadow grasses will be mowed twice each year.

The Commission commented that the stream and adjacent wetland resource areas must be protected and the native plants that will be preserved need to be flagged.  The pruning should not take place during the bird nesting season of April 1 – Labor Day.   

Abutter Cathy Thompson agreed and added her family owned the property and confirmed the stream is perennial.

With no further comment from the public 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 with the following special conditions:

  • All preserved native species shall be flagged and reviewed with the Conservation Agent before work begins.  The native species that will be removed -- such as poison ivy -- shall be reviewed with the Conservation Agent before work begins.
  • There will be no grading of the land to protect the existing contours and existing stream and wetland water flows.
  • There shall be a 10-foot no cut zone along both sides and banks of the stream and wetland edge.  This no cut zone shall be flagged and reviewed with the Conservation Agent before work begins.
  • The blackberry and other invasive vines may be cut outside the no cut zone.  A hand cutting device shall be used in water- sensitive areas.  A hand-held power trimmer is allowed in the drier sections of the buffer zone.  These areas shall be reviewed with the Conservation Agent before work begins.  No other power equipment may be used.
  • There shall be no pruning performed between the dates of April 1 – Labor Day to respect the bird nesting seasons.
  • The degree and method for future, successive maintenance pruning of invasive species shall be reviewed on site with the Conservation Agent before work begins.
  • All cut vegetation shall be removed from the site.
  • No herbicides or fertilizers shall be used.
  • There shall be no construction access through the wetland or across the stream when the pavilion is built.
The motion was seconded.  In discussion Mr. Murphy said he does not support the plan because of the resource sensitivity of the stream and wetland.  The motion came to a vote and passed with five in favor and one opposed (Mr. Murphy).

PUBLIC HEARING NOI SE 12 - 682; CHRIS ALLEY FOR LUCY BEACH, LLC; 11 Azalea Lane; AP 29-7:  Ms. Goff opened the public hearing at 1:10 PM.  Mr. Alley explained this is in response to a Positive Determination of Applicability.  He reviewed a revised site plan dated 2/13/13 to reconfigure the outside decking; relocate the spa and change the garden and slate patio for the single-family residence.  All of the work is in the 100-foot buffer zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland.  The closest activity is 13 feet from the wetland edge.

The Commission pointed out that on the site visit it observed several features that exist on the property that were not permitted in previous Orders of Conditions and are therefore violations that must be corrected.  They are:

  • The row of planters along the east side of the house that is 12 feet from the wetland edge.
  • The concrete and stone walkway to the pond which is partially in the wetland.
  • The A/C condensers and propane tank which are located in the wetland adjacent to the parking area.
  • The wood storage shed that is located in the wetland.
Mr. Crawford added the planters are planned for removal and presented a revised decking detail plan dated 2/13/13.  It included a lower wooden walkway that would be placed where the current planters are located.  It would connect the two primary decks.  He also pointed out the Jacuzzi will be located on the southeast side of the house which is 40 feet from the wetland edge—farther away than the existing Jacuzzi.  The power line to the Jacuzzi will be placed in a hand-dug trench.  The proposed squared-off decking that will replace the existing decking was reviewed.  It adds a total of +150 sq. ft. of decking versus the existing decks and will be supported with hand-dug, concrete sono-tubes.

The Commission commented that this entire site is already over-developed with regard to the activity’s close proximity to the wetlands.  It added that all of the drainage around the house goes into wetland resources.  

The Commission asked for more time to evaluate the entire site and suggested continuing the hearing to March 20, 2013 @ 12:45 PM when the other violations can be addressed.  The applicant agreed. A subsequent motion was made to continue the hearing as suggested.  The motion was seconded and with no further discussion passed unanimously with six in favor.

Ms. Goff left the meeting at 1:30 PM and Ms. Broyard assumed the Chair.

DISCUSSION CHRIS ALLEY FOR I FOUND MY THRILL (Inn at Blueberry Hill); SE 12 – 674; 74 North Rd.; AP 3-2:  Mr. Alley reviewed the approved site plan and proposed a change to the driveway and parking area design as shown on a revised site plan dated 2/19/13.  The driveway and parking area are in the wetland buffer zone.  He pointed out the proposed new parking area is ten feet further away from the wetland edge than the previously approved design.  A revised floor plan dated 2/12/13 was also shown with the relocated screened porch as required in the Order of Conditions.  After brief discussion a motion was made to declare the changes as inconsequential – therefore not requiring the hearing to be re-opened.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with five in favor.  A subsequent motion was made to approve the changes as shown on the site plan dated 2/19/13 and floor plan dated 2/12/13.  The motion was seconded and with no discussion passed unanimously with five in favor.    


The February 6 and February 20, 2013 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as presented by consensus.

The following document was signed:

        Order of Conditions Wolkowitz; SE 12 - 683; AP 21-48.3.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 20 @ 12:30 PM.

With no further business to conduct the meeting adjourned at 1:50 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.

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