Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were: Candy Shweder, Chairman, Joan Malkin, Vice Chairman, Pam Goff, Chris Murphy, Sandy Broyard, Bob Hungerford, Russell Maloney and Chuck Hodgkinson. Brian and Elaine Vanderhoop, Kara Shemeth, Barbara Fenner, Frank Fenner, Debbie Packer, Howard Grimm, Everett Poole, Diane Smith and Jonathan Mayhew also attended. Maureen Eisner did not attend.
The meeting came to order at 12:30 PM.
NOI SE 12 – 808; KARA SHEMETH OF SCHOFIELD, BARBINI & HOEHN FOR BRIAN VANDERHOOP; Menemsha Basin: Ms. Shweder pointed out the DEP has not yet issued a file number and opened the public hearing at 12:31 PM. Ms. Shemeth explained Mr. Vanderhoop leases “Lot F” as shown on the revised site plan dated 12/19/17 from the Town of Aquinnah. Mr. Vanderhoop is applying for an Order of Conditions to maintain and license an existing wooden pier—a portion of which is in Chilmark waters within Menemsha Basin. The applicant would also like to maintain and license three existing spiles that are also in Chilmark waters within the Basin. Approximately 4 sq. ft. of land under water is disturbed by a total of five spiles in Chilmark waters. Ms. Shemeth also outlined the ownership history of this lot, shack and pier. She added the structures in this application have been in existence for over 30 years and the structures were licensed in 2005 for recreational use. A new license is
required because Mr. Vanderhoop will change the use to commercial fishing.
It was pointed out that while both structures in Chilmark waters are pre-existing; they were never permitted—as is the case with many of the old fishing structures in the Basin. The discussion continued and the Commission said it has previously approved the maintenance of pre-existing docks for licensing purposes. It was noted that the Commission has not in the past penalized a current owner for a 30+ year oversight, and that it would be particularly onerous in the current circumstances where the current owner was not remiss in having failed to secure a valid Order of Conditions when first required.
Mr. Mayhew demonstrated that a small portion of the dock is on the fishing lot he and his family have leased from the Town of Chilmark for many generations. He added this is not a problem but wanted to point it out for the record. Abutters Fenner and Packer commented that when boats are rafted from the dock and three spiles it infringes upon their ability to access their property from the water. Several documents and photos were provided by the abutters. The Commission noted that this testimony, however valid and meritorious, raised issues that were not within its jurisdiction. After much discussion and with no further public comment a motion was made to close the hearing at 1:30 PM. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. A second motion was made as follows:
Subject to comment from the DEP, the maintenance of the section of pre-existing dock with two spiles and the three free-standing spiles in Chilmark waters of Menemsha Basin as shown on the Schofield, Barbini & Hoehn site plan as revised and dated 12/19/17 are approved with the following special conditions:
- Any future maintenance plans for any elements of these structures shall be reviewed and approved by the Conservation Commission or its designee before any work begins.
- Any maintenance or other work on pre-existing structures that may be on an abutter’s assigned lot or owned by the abutter shall have a letter of consent from the abutter for the work and the desired work shall be reviewed and approved by the Conservation Commission or its designee before any work begins.
- Should the three free-standing spiles located in Chilmark waters of Menemsha Basin as shown on the site plan dated 12/19/17 be removed, the work shall be reviewed and approved by the Conservation Commission or its designee before any work begins.
The motion was seconded. In discussion Ms. Shweder pointed out Alternate member Mr. Maloney will not vote on this motion. Mr. Murphy added he did not think the Commission should approve unpermitted structures without due process for approval. After further discussion regarding past practices for pre-existing structures, the motion came to a vote and passed with five in favor and one opposed (Mr. Murphy).
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE SE 12 – 787; CS RE 1, LLC; 86 Stonewall Rd.; AP 32-71: Chuck H. explained an Order was issued in April 2017 to install an updated septic system 54 feet from a wetland edge. He said the project has been completed, is in full compliance and recommended issuing the Certificate of Compliance. A motion was made and seconded to accept the report and issue the Certificate. The motion passed unanimously with six in favor.
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE SE 12 – 785; FULENWIDER; 35 Harlock Pond Rd.; AP 1-12: Chuck H. said an Order was issued for this property in March 2017 to install an updated septic system 68 feet from a wetland edge. This project is complete and he recommended issuing the Certificate of Compliance. A motion was made to accept the report and issue this Certificate of Compliance. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved with six in favor.
DISCUSSION SE 12 – 754; RUSSELL MALONEY; 245 North Rd.; AP 13-8: Mr. Maloney recused himself and explained an Order was issued in December 2015 to tear down and re-build an existing barn with an addition on his property. The existing deck will also be converted to living space. In October 2016 the addition was removed from the scope of work. One half of the existing barn foundation is a full basement and he explained the builder recommends expanding the basement foundation to a support the entire structure – rather than a frost wall foundation as planned for the half that does not already have a full basement. After brief discussion a motion was made to declare the requested changes as inconsequential to the approved plan. The motion was seconded and passed
unanimously. A second motion was made to approve the full basement as described with the condition the excavation spoils are stored in a location that is outside the 100-foot buffer zone. This motion was seconded and passed unanimously with six in favor.
Mr. Maloney then asked for direction on how to apply to have a French drain hand-dug and installed on the south end of the existing tennis court. He said during heavy rain storms the surface of the court is being washed into a wetland. The Commission recommended filing a Request for Determination of Applicability with the location, design and construction methods for the project.
Order of Conditions SE 12 – 806; Eddy; AP 25-7.7.
Order of Conditions SE 12 – 808 Vanderhoop; Menemsha Basin—and pending DEP comment.
Certificate of Compliance SE 12 – 785; Fulenwider; AP 1-12.
Certificate of Compliance SE 12 – 787; CS RE 1, LLC; AP 32-71.
The draft January 3, 2018 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as presented by consensus.
The draft 2017 Annual Report was reviewed and approved as presented.
The next meeting will be Wednesday, February 7, 2018 @ 12:30 PM.
With no further business to discuss the meeting adjourned at 2:10 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.