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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 11/02/16
FINAL

Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were:  Candy Shweder, Chairman, Joan Malkin, Vice Chairman, Pam Goff, Sandy Broyard, Bob Hungerford, Chris Murphy, Maureen Eisner and Chuck Hodgkinson.  Lea Littlefield, Thomas Huber, Chris Alley, Matt Kramer, Leo Desorcy, Amandine Surier-Hall and Isaiah Scheffer also attended.  Russell Maloney did not attend.  

The meeting came to order at 12:30 PM.   

DISCUSSION LEA LITTLEFIELD AND THOMAS HUBER; 10 Molly’s Way;               AP 27.1-56:  Ms. Shweder welcomed Ms. Littlefield and invited her to speak about her property.  Ms. Littlefield distributed a hand-written letter dated 11/2/16 that provided the over 90-year history of her property and the neighboring properties.  She also demonstrated how her         7,800 sq. ft. lot has been maintained as a mowed meadow with native plantings for more than    90 years.  She added that her native plantings throughout her yard were discussed with Rusty Walton to make sure her garden was consistent and exclusively planted with only native species.  Ms. Littlefield closed by expressing she is not applying to do anything and voiced her displeasure with the Commission’s request for her to stop mowing near the wetland and stonewall.  She said this area is not mowed at all if there is any sign of moisture.  The Commission thanked her for attending and explaining the history of her property’s care.  

NOI SE 12 - 782; CHRIS ALLEY AND MATT CRAMER FOR DAVID ARONOFF;         76 Menemsha Inn Rd.; AP 21-33:  Ms. Shweder opened the public hearing at 12:46 PM.       Mr. Alley explained there are two sequential plans for this Notice of Intent because of the site’s resource area sensitivity.  A Phase I site plan for the first segment of work near the un-named stream and a Phase II site plan for building a new house closer to the road.  Phase I is in the streams’ resource area a Bordering Vegetated Wetland (BVW), the resource area 100-foot buffer zones, the 100-foot buffer zone of the Coastal Bank and the 200-foot Riverfront Area.  The Phase II plan is in the 200-foot Riverfront Area and the 100-foot buffer zone of the BVW.

The Phase I plan is to remove the existing dwelling and constructing an observation deck with fireplace in its place; the maintenance of two existing foot bridges and a timber stairway over a perennial stream and filling in the existing septic tanks.  The Phase II work will relocate the septic system; construct a new dwelling with a combination of basement foundation, retaining wall and sonotube supports, new utilities, driveways, parking areas, grading, landscaping and the abandonment and restoration of several existing footpaths.

Phase I:  The deconstruction of the house will be done by hand.  The debris will be carted away from the site on a small trailer.  The septic tanks will be pumped out, filled with sand and remain buried.  The proposed 18’ X 18’ observation deck and chimney fire place will be within the footprint of the existing house.  It will be supported by concrete block piers.  The site visit observations were discussed at length along with the resource protection measures and the overall sensitivity of the area.  

Phase II:  The proposed new house is within the BVW buffer zone with the closest disturbance 20 feet from the wetland edge.  

After much discussion of each Phase, their components and with no public comment a motion was made to close the hearing at 1:27 PM.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  After further discussion among the Commission a motion was made to approve the plans with the following special conditions and changes that shall be reviewed by the Commission before work begins:

Phase I
  • An erosion control system of staked coir logs and silt fencing shall be installed as shown on the Phase I site plan dated 10/11/16.  All erosion control measures shall be installed and maintained in good condition throughout all construction of Phases I and II and until the re-vegetation landscape plan is approved, installed and has taken hold.  
  • The erosion control system shall be installed and approved by the Conservation Agent (CA) before any Phase I work begins.
  • The existing house and block foundation shall be de-constructed using hand tools with the debris removed from the site daily via a trailer.  Any gas-powered hand tools shall be fueled in the proposed parking area as shown on the Phase II site plan and outside the resource area and 100-foot buffer zone of the resource area.
  • Any debris that falls into the stream shall be removed immediately.
  • The log berm in the stream shall be left in place.  All other loose wooden planks and debris along the stream bed and in the stream shall be removed.
  • The existing septic tanks that will be abandoned shall be emptied, filled with sand and buried in place.
  • The plan for the deck and chimney as proposed and shown on the Phase I site plan is not approved.  The applicant may return to the Commission with a revised plan showing no viewing platform as an option.   The plan shall consider moving farther away from the stream; reducing the footprint; minimizing the number of bridges and provide a new overall site plan for all walking paths.
  • The revised plan will show a 50-foot no cut buffer on both sides of the Bordering Vegetated Wetland (BVW) as shown on the Phase I and II site plans dated 10/11/16.  The no cut zone shall indicate those areas that are currently cleared and maintained as a walking path or as open space.  These areas may be maintained as they have been over the years.
Phase II
The Phase II site plan dated 10/11/16 is approved with the following special conditions.
  • As with Phase I an erosion control system of staked coir logs and silt fencing shall be installed as shown on the Phase II site plan dated 10/11/16.  All erosion control measures shall be installed and maintained in good condition throughout the construction of Phase II and the re-vegetation landscape plan is approved and has taken hold.  
  • The erosion control system shall be installed and approved by the Conservation Agent (CA) before work any Phase II work begins.
  • The screened porch off the master bedroom shall never be enclosed as a 4-season room.
  • A new outdoor access plan to the storage basement (shown in green on the Phase II site plan) shall be redesigned to increase the distance between the limit of work and the edge of the BVW.  Consideration should be given to providing a footpath entrance and eliminating access for the winter storage of an automobile which would in turn, increase the disturbance distance from the wetland.
  • The applicant shall return with a landscape plan for both Phase I and Phase II sites for approval by the Commission before work begins.  The plan shall also include a specific water drainage plan for the side of the new dwelling facing the un-named stream and Vineyard Sound.
  • The stockpiling area for all construction materials and debris shall be as shown on the Phase II site plan -- on the road side of the new dwelling in an area planned for disturbance.
  • All construction debris shall be stored in a covered dumpster or removed from the site daily.
  • The excavation spoils shall be stored on the road side of the new dwelling as space permits.  If there is no space the spoils shall be removed from the site daily.
The motion came to a vote and passed unanimously with seven in favor.

RFD MV SHELLFISH GROUP; Menemsha Pond and Menemsha Bight:  Ms. Surier-Hall reviewed the plan for a one-time test of growing sugar kelp this winter.  She explained this is a cold water winter crop that has a commercial market.  The plan is to deploy two experimental lines of sugar kelp to further investigate the feasibility of growing this new sustainable crop in the Chilmark waters of Menemsha Bight and Menemsha Pond at depths between 15-17 feet.  The gear deployed will be:  4X100lbs. mushroom anchors and mooring balls; 2X50 to 100 feet long horizontal lines held at a 6 foot depth.  Deployment would be mid-November 2016 with a harvest/removal date of March-April 2017.  The Commission commented that this is a worthwhile test and the Town’s Bylaw allows for aquaculture exemptions.  A motion was made for a negative determination.  The motion was seconded and with no further discussion passed unanimously with seven in favor.

ADMINISTRATION:
The October 19, 2016 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as presented with five in favor and two abstentions (Ms. Shweder and Ms. Eisner).
The following documents were signed:
Order of Conditions SE 12 - 782; Aronoff; AP 21-33.
Deter.of Applicability MV Shellfish Group; Menemsha Pond and Bight.
With no further business to discuss the meeting adjourned at 2:26 PM.                         Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.


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