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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 02/04/15

Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were:  Sandy Broyard, Chairman, Joan Malkin, Bob Hungerford, Maureen Eisner, Chris Murphy and Chuck Hodgkinson.  Chris Alley, Kris Horiuchi, Matt Coffee, Steve Merkel and Eddie Stahl also attended.  Wesley Cottle, Pam Goff and Candy Shweder were absent.        

The meeting came to order at 12:31 PM.  Ms. Broyard appointed Alternate Commissioner Eisner as a voting member for the day’s agenda.

CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING NOI SE 12 – 720; CHRIS ALLEY FOR STEPHEN MERKEL; off Howell Lane; AP 27-1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2 and 3:  Ms. Broyard confirmed that all five of the Commissioners are eligible voters from the November 19, 2014 hearing and opened the continued hearing at 12:32 PM.  Mr. Alley summarized this is in response to an Enforcement Order that was issued for significant clearing that was done in resource areas on five separate parcels of land without a permit.  The Commission asked the applicant to survey the specific areas that were cleared and return with a detailed restoration plan.  Approximately 720 sq. ft. of Bordering Vegetated Wetland plus a significant area of buffer zone were clear cut.

Mr. Alley explained that Doug Cooper flagged all of the affected wetlands and his two-page report regarding the delineation was read for the record.  The Commission accepted the delineations.  Mr. Alley then reviewed a site plan dated 1/23/15 with a scale of 1” = 40’.  He also said there is a second plan prepared by Kris Horiuchi labeled Landscape Restoration Plan L1.0 dated 2/3/15 with the same scale.

Ms. Horiuchi reviewed each planting area in great detail.  The replacement trees are not as large as the ones that were cut because the planting of the smaller new trees will have less disturbance of the resource area than larger ones and have a better chance of survival.  In the plan 5-6 ft. Holly trees; 2 ½ - 3 inch diameter Tupelo trees; 7-8 ft. Cedar trees, 200 native shrubs and a meadow seed mix will be planted.  All stock will be native field stock – not nursery stock.  Approximately 3,450 sq. ft. of New England Wetland seed mix and 8,000 sq. ft. of upland seed mix for the buffer zones will be used.

Mr. Alley read Doug Cooper’s assessment that the proposed plan will provide adequate replacement of the cut material.  The Commission thanked Mr. Merkel for taking this so seriously and complimented the plan.  The discussion continued about the details for the installations, temporary irrigation and the proposed equipment.  Ms. Horiuchi said a mini-bobcat will be used for the tree planting.

After further discussion and with no comment from the public a motion was made to close the hearing at 1:02 PM.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  A subsequent motion was made to approve the plans as presented with the following special conditions:

  • A mini-bobcat will be used to remove debris and for transporting new planting stock.  The debris shall be raked into piles and hauled by a mini-bobcat.
  • Wooden planking for all paths used by the mini-bobcat within the resource area or buffer zone shall be placed and approved by the Conservation Agent (CA) before any work takes place.
  • The new plantings will be irrigated for two seasons with a system that will be determined and approved by the CA before it is installed.  No fueling shall take place within the resource area or buffer zone.  If a watering truck is used it shall be parked in the current roadway and not within the reource area or buffer zone.  Water from the existing fresh water pond may be used for irrigation.
  • No fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides of any kind shall be used.
  • Native topsoil may be added as needed to supplement the existing conditions.
  • The Commission shall make a follow-up site visit before issuing a Certificate of Compliance.
  • If a view maintenance or pruning of any kind is desired after the plantings are established, the owner shall file a Notice of Intent before work begins.
The motion was seconded and with no further discussion passed unanimously with five in favor.

ADDITIONAL CLEARING; AP 27-2:  Chuck H. explained and Mr. Alley confirmed that additional clearing in the buffer zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland was done on this parcel.  This clearing was noticed when the surveying crew was on site preparing the site plan for Mr. Merkel’s continued hearing.  Chuck H. added that he spoke with Mr. Thorpe when visiting the site to review the survey for Mr. Merkel’s plan.  Mr. Thorpe wanted to know what re-planting was proposed on his land.  Chuck H. recommended and Mr. Thorpe agreed to attend today’s meeting to discuss the additional clearing and see the planting plan.  Unfortunately Mr. Thorpe did not attend.  After much discussion a motion was made to issue an immediate cease and desist along with an Enforcement Order for AP 27-2.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with five in favor.

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE CASEY SILVER; SE 12 – 416; 33 Beetlebung Rd.;                AP 20-34:  Chuck H. explained the Order of Conditions was issued in 2001 to build a basketball/handball court in the buffer zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland.  The court was never built and the house is being sold.  He recommended issuing a Certificate for an invalid Order of Conditions.  A motion was made to accept the report and issue the Certificate as recommended.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with five in favor.

DISCUSSION MATT COFFEE; MCGRATH ORDER OF CONDITIONS; SE 12 – 717;                   11 Little Sandy Rd.; AP 10-3.1:   Mr. Coffee reviewed a footprint change to a guesthouse that was permitted in November 2014.  The Commission asked if the guesthouse was within the buffer zone.  Mr. Coffee said it was outside the buffer.  A motion was made to declare the change as inconsequential which would not require 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 proposed change.  This motion was seconded and passed unanimously with five in favor.

The January 21, 2015 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as presented by consensus.  

The following documents were signed:

Order of Conditions SE 12 – 720; Merkel; AP 27-1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2, and 3.
Certificate of Compliance SE12 – 416; Silver; AP 20-34.

The letter dated 1/21/15 from Charles Warner Hotchkiss III was read aloud for the record.  Mr. Hotchkiss is donating a beach lot, AP 24-110 to the Town.  The Commission agreed to send a letter of thanks for this kind gesture.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, February 18, 2015 @ 12:30 PM.  

With no further business to discuss the meeting adjourned at 1:40 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.

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