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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 01/16/13
Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were:  Pam Goff, Chairman, Sandy Broyard, Vice Chairman, Wesley Cottle, Joan Malkin, Candy Shweder and Chuck Hodgkinson.  Chris Alley, George Sourati, George Crawford, Eddie Bendavid, Charlie Parker, Wendy Weldon, Seth Wilkinson, Tim Simmons, Frank Dunkl, Chris Murphy, Kristen Fauteux, Isaiah Scheffer, Kristen Reimann, Carol Magee, Rob Woodard, Caitlin Jones, Leanne Cowley, Michelle Lasser, Megan Sargent, Sarah Thulin and Liz Gude also attended.   

The meeting came to order at 12:30 PM.  Ms. Goff appointed Associate Commissioner Candy Shweder as a voting member for the day’s agenda.  Mr. Parker agreed to have his public hearing (SE 12 – 675) opened after the Commission reviews the other applications on the agenda.  The site visits were made on January 15.   

RFD CHRIS ALLEY FOR I FOUND MY THRILL; 74 North Rd.; AP 3-2:            Mr. Alley reviewed the plans to demolish and remove an existing building and foundation located in the 100-foot buffer zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland.  The closest activity will be 58 feet from the wetland edge.  Mr. Alley confirmed the area is not within the NHESP’s jurisdiction.  He added the site will be accessed through the stone wall between the holly trees.  No trees will be removed but, a few of the holly trees will need to be pruned.  After brief discussion a motion was made for a negative determination with the following special conditions:  1. No trees will be removed for the work.  A few holly trees may need some trimming.  2.  The foundation will also be removed from the site.  3.  All debris shall be removed from the buffer zone on a daily basis.  4.  The area shall be re-vegetated when the work is completed. The motion was seconded and with no discussion passed unanimously with five in favor.    

RFD CHRIS ALLEY FOR LUCY BEACH, LLC; 11 Azalea Lane; AP 29-7:         Mr. Alley summarized the plan to reconfigure and expand the outside decking and bluestone terrace; relocate the spa and add a stone retaining wall while expanding the landscaping and planting beds.  All of the activity is in the 100-foot buffer zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland.  The closest activity will be 12 feet from the wetland edge.  Ms. Goff read the Site Review Committee report for the record.  Mr. Alley added new supports and footings will be needed for the new deck and will be two feet closer to the wetland than the existing supports.  The area of the slate patio will be increased from    631 sq. ft. to 729 sq. ft.  The deck will increase + 460 sq. ft.  The Commission asked if the wetland drains to the brook and eventually into the pond.  Mr. Alley could not confirm this but said it is possible.  The Commission commented that this property has already been extensively developed in the buffer zone.  A motion was made for a positive determination (reason # 4 and # 5).  The motion was seconded and with no discussion passed unanimously with five in favor.     
REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY CERTIFICATION; GEORGE SOURATI FOR WHALE HILL, INC. (ROCKEFELLER); 16 Greenhouse Lane; AP 33-31:            Mr. Sourati reviewed the site plan and proposal to add nourishment of river rock to the base of the coastal bank for this property that abuts 8 Greenhouse Lane; Map 33 Lot 30 to the west.  The abutting property has an approved Emergency Certification for a similar plan and Mr. Sourati proposed doing the work of extending the river rock to the west for this property at the same time.  The house for this proposal is 45 feet from the top of the coastal bank.  Mr. Sourati said he would file a follow up Notice of Intent within two weeks.  

The Commission discussed how the existing river rock on the beach slopes down and ends just past the western lot line of this property and was concerned the added river rock will artificially fortify the beach and perform as a revetment.  Mr. Sourati said the added rock will raise the height of the existing rock + 3.5 feet as with the previously approved proposal.  In discussion Mr. Sourati offered to have the additional river rock sediment stop ten feet from the western lot line.  The river rock will gradually slope down to the existing level at a 1:4 ratio.  This downward slope to the beach will therefore start approximately 25 feet from the western lot line and conclude ten feet from the lot line.  He added this proposal only includes the additional river rock.  No sand sediment fill or planting is being proposed at this time.  

After much discussion a motion was made to grant the Emergency Certification with the following special conditions:  1. The river rock beach nourishment will end 10 feet before the west lot line.  The rock will gradually slope down the existing grade level at a 1 ft. to 4 ft. slope.  2.  The Conservation Agent shall be contacted before work begins for an on-site pre-construction conference among all contractors.  The access to the beach will be on the same access path for the same work to be done on Map 33 Lot 30.  3.  The Commission reserves the right for periodic follow up site visits to see how the bank stabilization is performing and to ensure it is not performing as a revetment with side erosion up and down drift.  If it is determined the solution is not performing as planned the Commission will mitigate and appropriate exit plan to correct the performance flaws or any excessive erosion up and down drift.  4.  A Notice of Intent shall be filed no later than January 30, 2013.  The motion was seconded and with no discussion passed unanimously with five in favor.     

PUBLIC HEARING; NOI SE 12 – 675; CHARLIE PARKER;                
Squibnocket Pond; AP 35-1.28, 21, 27, 32, 38, 39:  Ms. Goff thanked Mr. Parker for agreeing to open the public hearing after the previous work was finished.  The hearing was opened at 1:15 PM.    Mr. Parker outlined how he submitted a plan on behalf of six property owners on Squibnocket Pond.  They would like to remove and maintain the removal of the invasive species Common Reed, Phragmites from approximately 1.2-acres along the eastern end of Squibnocket Pond shore line.  The eradication program will take three years to complete with maintenance following in subsequent years as needed.  The first three years year will include a combination of cutting the reeds and the application of the herbicide Glyphosate (Rodeo) that will be applied with a mechanical weed wiper or by the hand wipe and drip method.  He added the details of the proposal will be reviewed by Seth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Ecological Design.  He added that Tim Simmons of the NHESP is in attendance to answer any questions.

Mr. Simmons opened the discussion with his history of treating Phragmites since 1985.  He has tried many different methods without the use of Glyphosate and all have failed.  He added that he created the approved practice of the cut and drip application of Rodeo.  He continued by saying without treatment Phragmites will alter the hydrology and nutrient habitat for wildlife and other native plant species.  He said from 2010 – 2012 147 applications to manage Phragmites have been reviewed by the NHESP and 139 of the plans included the use of Rodeo with licensed applicators.  Greater than 50 percent of the applications were in NHESP priority habitat and allowed because this is the only effective method for recovering this habitat and restoring the ecosystem.  

Mr. Simmons explained that Rodeo prevents the Phragmites from metabolizing and growing.  He added tests have shown that Rodeo does not migrate in sandy soil and dissipates rapidly in water.

Mr. Wilkinson reviewed a PowerPoint presentation detailing the methods for treating Phragmites with several before and after case studies on the Vineyard.  There are three methods of application:  1. Cut, bundle and hand treat method for sensitive areas.            2.  Ultra-low volume back pack wiping or spraying (wet glove method) for areas with mixed native vegetation.  3.  Foliar spraying for larger, dense monocultures of Phragmites.  He also reviewed the different types of surfactants that may be used and said this project will use Cide Kick which is a refined pine oil derivative that is commonly used in wetlands.  He estimated just over two quarts of Rodeo will be needed for the initial treatment.  Lesser amounts will be used for the subsequent applications over the three-year plan.

Mr. Dunkl commented that he is against the use of herbicides but, in this case is not knowledgeable enough about the procedures to comment.  Carol Magee of the Vineyard Open Land Foundation supports the program and added the Foundation’s land abutting the pond has certain covenants that must be researched before it can be included in the work.  

The Commission read letters from the Board of Health and the Division of Fisheries NHESP for the record.  Mr. Murphy objected to the plan and said Phragmites is a part of the natural evolution of the pond and ecosystem.  He is opposed to the use of chemicals in the pond.  Ms. Weldon asked how the Commission will consider the Town’s Zoning Bylaws (Article 12) that prohibit the use of herbicides in the Squibnocket Pond District.  The Commission said the opinion from Town Counsel is not yet available but thought this is a matter for the ZBA.  The Commission acts on the Commonwealth’s and Town’s Wetland Protection Laws and Regulations.

After much discussion of the details of each parcel of land for treatment and with no further comment from the public a motion was made to close the hearing at 3:15 PM.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  A motion was made to approve the plan as proposed with conditions.  The motion was seconded.  The list of many special conditions was discussed and outlined as follows:

Special Conditions

  • The Glyphosate application shall be done in compliance with the terms and provisions of the three-phase proposal submitted by Wilkinson Ecological Design and Charles F. Parker dated November 2012.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant, owner and / or successor (s) to ensure that all conditions of this Order are complied with.  A copy of this Order including the special conditions, the project plan and description shall be included in all contracts and specifications and shall be available on-site upon commencement and during the performance of any and all activities regulated by this Order.  The licensed herbicide applicator shall review and adhere to these conditions of approval in performing the approved activities.
  • An on-site conference shall take place among the Conservation Agent and all contractors to review the specific plan and each Phase of the three-year program before any work begins.
  • No work may be done on the Town’s leased lot.  The lot lines for the Town-leased lot behind the Squibnocket Beach Parking lot (Treatment Area # 5) shall be clearly marked before any work begins.
  • No spraying is allowed in the summer months before Labor Day.  No spraying is allowed on days when the wind is measured or predicted to be over 5 MPH and/or the air temperature is over 80 degrees.  If conditions are too windy, spraying shall be stopped and resumed when these conditions can be met.  All spraying shall be conducted using the current best management practices for application and use of Glyphosate.
  • The Commission will be notified and temporary signage shall be installed one week before the application of Glyphosate to announce the start and stop dates for Glyphosate application.  The Commission recognizes that this may change on short notice based on weather conditions.  The notice of herbicide application shall be placed at each treatment location along the upland boundary of the project site to inform the public of herbicide use.
  • Salt Pond Pennywort that may be growing among the Phragmites areas to be treated shall be handled as set forth in the NHESP letter.  Any other native species found in the vicinity of or interspersed within the stand of Phragmites shall be protected from any trampling and by using the hand application method for Glyphosate application within one meter of any native plants found in the treatment areas.
  • At each stage of the project, before and after pictures shall be submitted as part of the reporting process.
  • Access for equipment shall be through existing paths or mown fields.  No new paths shall be created and no additional vegetation shall be removed beyond what is necessary to maintain the previously approved paths in the project site.

  • Fueling of motors shall be done outside of all resource areas.
  • A site visit shall be scheduled with the Commission immediately after the completion of each Phase of work during the three-year treatment program.
  • Once cutting has been completed, a report shall be submitted stating the date cutting took place, how and when the cuttings will be disposed and reporting any damage of salt marsh.
  • Once Glyphosate application has been completed, a report shall e submitted detailing the total amount of herbicide used.
  • Any damage to resource areas during project actions will result in an immediate cease and desist of the project.
  • All of the above conditions shall apply during years 2 and 3 of the project.
  • Once the three-year program is completed that areas shall be monitored annually.  If needed new sprouts of Phragmites will be maintained through hand pulling and spot herbicide treatment may be used provided a detailed plan is provided to the Commission before work begins and all other conditions of this Order are met as deemed appropriate for the specific work to be done.
  • The Commission reserves the right to impose additional conditions on portions of this project or this site to mitigate any actual or potential impacts resulting from the work herein permitted.
  • A licensed applicator will be hired to do this work and shall use Glyphosate under the manufacturer’s label guidelines for use in resource areas.  Prior to the start of the work a copy of the applicators license shall b submitted to the Commission.
  • All spraying shall be conducted using the current best management practices for application and use for Rodeo.
  • In low density Phragmites areas more sensitive application methods shall be used, such as the cut and drip or glove method.
  • The applicator shall submit in writing to the Commission the estimated amount of Rodeo that will be required in years 2 and 3.
The motion came to a vote and passed with three votes in favor and two opposed (Commissioners Broyard and Shweder).


The December 19, 2012 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as presented by consensus.  The 2012 Annual Report was reviewed and approved by consensus with the addition of the site visits to the text.

The following documents were signed:

        Order of Conditions Parker; SE 12 – 675; AP 35-1.28, 21, 27, 32, 38, 39.
        Determination of Applicability I Found My Thrill, LLC; AP 3-2.
        Determination of Applicability Lucy Beach, LLC; AP 29-7.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 @ 12:30 PM.

With no further business to conduct the meeting adjourned at 3:35 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.

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