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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 05/17/17

Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were:  Candy Shweder, Chairman, Joan Malkin, Vice Chairman, Sandy Broyard, Pam Goff, Chris Murphy, Bob Hungerford and Chuck Hodgkinson.  Reid Silva, Peter Cook, Janet Weidner, Barbara Armstrong and Lynn Lilienthal also attended.  Russell Maloney and Maureen Eisner did not attend.    

The meeting came to order at 12:30 PM.

FOLLOW UP DISCUSSION SE 12 – 779; REID SILVA FOR BENJAMIN HOWARD LILIENTHAL; 0 Salt Meadows; AP 21-52.3:  Mr. Silva explained an Order was issued in October 2016 to trim and prune trees and vegetation to open and maintain a view channel and to install a domestic water well within the buffer zone of a Bordering Vegetated Wetland on a vacant lot.  The well is approximately 62 feet from the wetland edge.  The Commission thought it was very difficult to determine how to open the view channel and prune the vegetation and allowed the work to be done in two phases.  

The Order allowed Phase I work to be performed:  view clearing in the area beyond 50 feet from the eastern edge of the wetland; the Russian Olives and tree saplings within the Phase I area as defined may be removed.  The remaining Phase II work for review is as follows:

  • A house viewing stand shall be erected to more clearly identify the details of the Phase II work.
  • The Phase II view channel work shall be clearly flagged for a site visit.  A site plan shall also be prepared that identifies the limit of Phase I work and the key work areas and the flagged vegetation for Phase II pruning.
  • A detailed access plan for the well digging and a water line trench plan shall be provided and shown on the site plan including the location of hay bales and silt fencing that shall be installed between the well site and trench and the wetland to contain the well cuttings.  The trench spoils shall be placed on the up-grade side of the trench.  The hay bales and silt fencing shall be installed and approved by the CA before the well or trenching work begins.
Mr. Silva reviewed a site plan hand-dated 5/17/17 and explained they would like to limb the silver maple, remove an oak and several choke cherries to the north and top-prune the vegetation to open the view of the water.  The Commission discussed its observations from the site visit and asked if the water well location and trenching can be moved about 30 feet to the south and closer to the cleared area.  This will reduce the disturbance created by the well drilling rig.  The Commission also asked to define a specific height for the topping of the vegetation and understory.

After much discussion a motion was made to allow the following phase II work with additional conditions of:  1. The Conservation Agent and applicant shall meet on site and agree to a specific top pruning height for the vegetation before Phase II work begins.  2.  Allow the silver maple pruning, removal of the oak and choke cherry trees to the north.  3.  After the Phase II work is completed the Commission shall make an additional site visit with the applicant to discuss whether or not additional view clearing work is needed and the extent of the same.  4.  Before work begins provide a revised site plan identifying the trees that will be removed; the first and second 50-foot sections of the buffer zone and the work done in each section; the specific height for the top-pruning; the final locations of the well, trenching and siltation barriers to contain the well cuttings.  All other conditions still apply along with the requirement that any maintenance plans shall be reviewed by the Commission or its designee before future maintenance work begins.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved with six in favor.

FOLLOW UP DISCUSSION SE 12 – 780; REID SILVA FOR HEIDI PUTZE;                   18 Greenhouse Lane; AP 33-32:  Mr. Silva explained an Order was issued in October 2016 to re-vegetate and stabilize the coastal bank (the work has been completed) with a condition of returning with a managed retreat plan as the dwelling is five feet from the edge of the Coastal Bank.  On December 21, 2016 the Commission reviewed a proposed exit strategy for this house.  It agreed that a plan shall be presented that supports the narrative on April 5, 2017.  On April 5 Mr. Silva said the owner has not provided a plan to scale down and relocate the house.  Chuck H. sent a letter to Mr. Silva and the owner requiring a plan to be presented by May 17, 2017 including a proposed septic plan.  The following is the direction for this plan:             

The final retreat plan shall be fully permitted for a planned construction start date of October 1, 2017.  This includes any and all required permits such as an approved Order of Conditions, any Board of Health permits, any Zoning Special Permits and a Building Permit.

Mr. Silva reviewed a site plan dated 5/17/17 with the septic tight tank location identified and said the owner has not yet provided architectural plans.

After much discussion about how to proceed, a motion was made to accept the site plan as presented as it in concept, satisfies what was directed in the Order of Conditions for SE 12 – 780.  The motion was seconded.  In discussion the Commission asked if a supplemental narrative could be provided outlining the sequenced steps for executing the plan with the specific site conditions that would trigger action on each successive step.  The motion came to a vote and passed with four in favor and two opposed (Mr. Murphy and Ms. Malkin).

DISCUSSION PLANNING BOARD SUBCOMMITTEE – MENEMSHA:  Ms. Weidner explained the Planning Board is working on updating the Menemsha section of the Master Plan and is focused on addressing the vehicle and pedestrian traffic congestion during the summer season.  She asked for the Board’s input on a concept of creating a bus U-Turn on the north side of the comfort station and opposite Larsen’s Fish Market.  The Commission explained it reviewed a Notice of Intent submitted by the Selectmen that included this proposal about one year ago.  At that meeting the Commission was not inclined to agree with the plan as proposed.  The Selectmen withdrew the application and decided to have the Planning Board evaluate possible solutions.  Chuck H. said he will supply the surveyed site plan prepared by Vineyard Land Surveying & Engineering last year.  The Commission concluded it generally does not comment on hypothetical plans and asked the Board to submit a formal plan with the impacts on the wetland resources as done a year ago.  It also advised that a part of the discussion will be about possible alternatives that are outside the Commission’s jurisdiction and thus have no impact on the resources.  Ms. Weidner thanked the Commission for its time and input.


The draft April 19, 2017 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as presented by consensus.

Chuck H. reviewed a plan to replace the utilities for 3 Young’s Way; AP 25-138.  He said he approved the work without requiring a permit filing because the trenching follows the South Road shoulder and turns up the driveway.  While technically within a wetland buffer zone that runs along the opposite west lot line he felt this met the DEP standards for a minor activity as outlined in Section 310 CMR 10.02 (2) (b) 2. i. The Commission agreed.

With no further business to discuss the meeting adjourned at 2:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.

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