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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Conservation Commission Minutes 12/06/17

Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were:  Candy Shweder, Chairman, Joan Malkin, Vice Chairman, Pam Goff, Chris Murphy, Maureen Eisner,             Sandy Broyard, Bob Hungerford and Chuck Hodgkinson.  Reid Silva, Ezra Sherman, Doug Cooper and Tom Shockey also attended.  Russell Maloney did not attend.  

The meeting came to order at 12:30 PM.  

SE 12 – 805; REID SILVA FOR MV PINEVIEW-1, LLC; 18 Moses West Road; AP 32-78:  Ms. Shweder opened the public hearing at 12:35 PM.  Mr. Silva reviewed the plan to remove the existing guesthouse and build a new one in the same location.  The location is in the buffer zone of a Shrub Swamp Wetland the closest point of which is 72 feet from the wetland edge.  A new water well will be dug outside the buffer zone.  The water line could be trenched up the driveway that is within the buffer zone or trenched outside the buffer zone.  The Commission questioned why the new guesthouse needs to be located within the buffer zone.  At times the regulations can allow the maintenance of pre-existing structures within a buffer zone.  In this case, if the existing structure is being removed the new one should be 28 feet away from the current spot and located outside the buffer zone.  Mr. Shockey said the owners would like to keep it within the existing cleared lawn.  When asked, Mr. Shockey did not yet know what type of foundation will be designed.  The Commission pointed out the limit of work is usually ten feet beyond the foundation footprint which would make the closest point of the disturbance 62 feet from the wetland edge.  The values of the shrub swamp wetland were discussed as protecting ground water and providing wildlife habitat.  After further consideration Mr. Silva requested the hearing be continued to December 20 @ 12:30 pm to provide time for Mr. Shockey to discuss options with the owner.  A motion was made and seconded to grant the request.  With no further discussion the motion passed unanimously with seven in favor.

SE 12 – 804; EZRA SHERMAN FOR JACK DAVIES; 12 Stone Ridge; AP 25-135:          Ms. Shweder opened the continued public hearing at 12:56 PM and confirmed the eligible voters are present.  Mr. Sherman summarized the past agreements to have wetland delineations updated, the 100-foot buffer zones of each added, have the edge of the established grass shown and the additional cleared area that is beyond the lawn’s edge outlined.  He presented a revised site plan dated 12/6/17 showing the newly identified isolated wetland that was delineated by Doug Cooper.  The Commission pointed out the manicured lawn has expanded into this wetland resource.  Mr. Cooper explained the isolated wetland is perched and mostly dry during the growing season when there is less precipitation.  He added there is no indication the septic system is leaching into the wetland.  The Commission pointed out the proposed addition and outdoor shower that are within the buffer zone and now 45 feet from the wetland edge.  There was much discussion about options to protect the wetlands especially since the majority of the overall lot development is within the buffer zone.  With no further public comment a motion was made to close the hearing at 1:20 PM.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.  A subsequent motion was made to approve the revised plan and wetland delineations as presented with the following special conditions:

  • The updated wetland delineations and the addition of an isolated wetland as shown on the revised site plans dated 12/6/17 are approved.
  • The enclosed addition with a 110 sq. ft. slab-on-grade foundation and outdoor shower with a gravel drainage surface as shown on the site plans dated 12/6/17 are approved.
  • Before construction begins the applicant shall return to the Commission or its designee with a revised site plan with the following additional features plus a specific re-vegetation plan.
  • A 20-foot wide no cut buffer zone from the edges of the newly delineated isolated wetland and running 20 feet from the wetland edge southwest of the house.  The 20-foot no cut buffer shall terminate approximately at the end of the slate patio as shown on the site plan.
  • This 20-foot no cut buffer zone shall be planted with native plant species only.  This planting plan and supporting planting narrative shall be approved by the Commission or its designee before work begins.
  • There shall be no landscape maintenance, fertilizing or mulching of any kind within the re-vegetated 20-foot no cut buffer zone.
  • There shall be no deposits of landscape cuttings placed within the 20-foot no cut buffer zone or within the 100-foot wetland buffer zones.
  • The outside limit and edge of the 20-foot no cut zone shall be marked with stones that are approximately 2’X2’X2’ (8 cubic feet).  The applicant may propose an alternative method to delineate the no cut zone for consideration when the landscape plan is discussed.  The stones shall be placed approximately five feet apart to allow for unobstructed wildlife movement.  
With no further discussion the motion passed unanimously with seven in favor.
DISCUSSION REID SILVA FOR CAROL WEICHERT; 93 Putnam Rd.; AP 4-13:         Mr. Silva reviewed the proposed subdivision plan to relocate the road farther away from Carol Weichert’s house.  He said none of the activity is within the Commission’s jurisdiction.  A motion was made to have no comment.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.               

DISCUSSION REID SILVA FOR NEW PROPERTY MV, LLC; AP 9-2.4.  Mr. Silva summarized the work being done on this property.  He then said the caretaker cleared an area for the potential site of two separate studio buildings.  A neighbor pointed out that oak trees were cut and the field mowed in an area where there is a small pond.  Several photos were reviewed.     Mr. Silva explained that when informed of this activity he contacted the owner who agreed an immediate cease and desist should be imposed—which was done.  He added the owner wants to do the right thing and will accept whatever the Commission decides.

After much discussion a motion was made to issue an Enforcement Order with the following specifications and not impose any fines unless the conditions are not met.

  • There shall be no structures located within the 100-foot buffer zone.
  • The remaining cut tree stumps within the first 50 feet of the buffer zone from the pond shall not be removed and left in place.  The cut logs may be removed in a manner that minimizes further disturbance to the buffer zone.
  • The second 50 feet of the buffer zone from the pond may be maintained as a field and there shall be no additional removal or cutting of trees or landscaping other than periodically mowing the field.
The motion was seconded and unanimously approved with seven in favor.

The draft November 15, 2017 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as presented by consensus.

Order of Conditions Davies; SE 12 - 804; AP 25-135.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, December 20 @ 12:30 PM.

With no further business to discuss the meeting adjourned at 1:55 PM.

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

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