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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 03/04/15

Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were:  Sandy Broyard, Chairman, Joan Malkin, Pam Goff, Bob Hungerford, Chris Murphy and Chuck Hodgkinson.  Zach Wiesner also attended.  Wesley Cottle, Candy Shweder and Maureen Eisner were absent.        

The meeting came to order at 12:40 PM.  

ZACH WIESNER DISCUSSION; 31 Meadow Lane; AP 31-76.1 (4-acre building lot);         AP 31-11.1 (Land under CR):    Mr. Wiesner thanked the Commission for its time and apologized again for doing this work without first discussing it.  He immediately asked the Commission to review the work when he realized it was in its jurisdiction.  The Commission discussed the observations made during the site visit to review trees that were cut down to open the water view.  Some were within a wetland buffer zone and some were on land under a Conservation Restriction (CR).  The CR has an allowed forestry clause: 4. Removal of trees, shrubs or other vegetation may be carried out only in connection with accepted forest, pasture, horticulture or agricultural practices.  Regarding the land under CR the Commission thought the few trees that were cut down did not breach the terms of the restriction.  A violation of the CR would be damages that might be caused by significant alterations using heavy equipment such as an excavator.  The Commission discussed the interests protected by this buffer zone which are primarily ground-level wildlife habitat and water runoff.  All agreed the trees that were cut down in the buffer zone will not impair its performance.  The understory vegetation is intact which will enable the buffer zone to continue to functioning as specified.

The Commission asked and Mr. Wiesner agreed to file a Notice of Intent to establish broad development guidelines and conditions for developing the vacant, 4-acre parcel.  Once the land is sold this will give the new owner the conditions under which the lot may be developed.

BYLAW REGULATIONS DISCUSSION:  Ms. Malkin distributed a draft amendment to Section 2.06 of the Bylaw Regulations for Salt Marshes and raised walkways over Salt Marshes.  The Commission thought the amendments added clarity to this section of the regulations.  A motion was made to approve the amendments to Section 2.06 dated 3/4/15--attached.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved with five in favor.  Once all of the proposed changes to the Bylaw Regulations are agreed a public hearing will be scheduled to receive public comment on the proposed changes before being adopted.  The next amendment for discussion will be Section 6.05-Responsible Parties.

The February 4, 2015 meeting minutes reviewed and approved by consensus.  The           February 18, 2015 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as amended with four in favor and one abstention (Mr. Murphy).

The next meeting will be Wednesday, March 18, 2015 @ 12:30 PM.  
With no further business to discuss the meeting adjourned at 1:30 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.

Proposed Revision to Chilmark Wetlands Protection Regulations, Section 2.06,       “Salt Marshes”
Dated: March 4, 2015

Amend Sections 2.06(3) and (4) to read as follows:

(3) Prohibitions

 No activity, which will result in the building within or upon, removing, filling, or altering of a salt marsh, or land within 100 feet of any salt marsh, shall be permitted by the Conservation Commission except for the maintenance of an already existing structure and any activity which is allowed under a variance from these regulations granted pursuant to Section 5.01.

(4) Activity allowed under a variance

 Any activity which is allowed under a variance granted pursuant to Section 5.01 of these regulations on a salt marsh, or within 100 feet of a salt marsh, shall comply with the following regulations:

 (A) A proposed project in a salt marsh, or on lands within 100 feet of a salt marsh, or in a body of water adjacent to a salt marsh, shall not destroy any portion of the salt marsh and shall not have an adverse effect on the productivity of the salt marsh. Alterations in growth, distribution and composition of salt marsh vegetation shall be considered in evaluating adverse effects on productivity. Also note Section 4.02 of these regulations.

 (B) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 2.06(3), a small project within a salt marsh, such as an elevated walkway or other structure which has no adverse effects other than blocking sunlight from the underlying vegetation for a portion of each day, may be permitted if such a project complies with all other applicable requirements of these regulations. No such walkway may be lower than 3.5 feet above the salt marsh unless it is at least 6 inches above the mature height of the underlying vegetation and it is designed to enable adequate sunlight to penetrate the walkway to sustain the vegetation.

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