Present for the Conservation Commission and attending the meeting were: Sandy Broyard, Chairman, Candy Shweder, Vice Chairman, Joan Malkin, Chris Murphy, Pam Goff, Bob Hungerford and Chuck Hodgkinson. Reid Silva, Daniel Padien, Meg Rehrauer, Russell Schuck, Tony Orphanos, Rosalie Hornblower, Martin Hale, Jay Walsh, Jane Slater, Andy Goldman, Warren Doty, Dan Greenbaum, Steve Flanders, Eric Peters and Alex Elvin also attended. Maureen Eisner was absent.
The meeting came to order at 12:32 PM.
NOI SE 12 – 741; REID SILVA FOR TOWN OF CHILMARK; off Squibnocket Road; AP 35-1.30, 23, 17.3, 17.4: Ms. Broyard opened the public hearing at 12:33 PM and explained the Commission will only entertain comment and act on what’s been filed in the Notice of Intent with the Town, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP). It will not consider suggested design alternatives from the public.
Mr. Silva said the Town would like to conduct archaeological exploratory investigations within resource areas and associated buffer zones between Squibnocket Beach and Squibnocket Pond. The project will involve a series of ½ meter by ½ meter test pits in the area for the Town parking lot and skiff access project as recommended by the special Town Committee on Squibnocket. The exploratory work will help identify potential underground historical and archaeological resources as required by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. He added the Squibnocket Farm homeowners have a similar Notice of Intent to survey the area for the planned low causeway.
Mr. Silva reviewed the site plan dated 6/26/15 and explained all the resources affected and the methods of delineation which are very conservative. The DEP has rigorous criteria for delineating the location of the projected top of the coastal bank. The delineation shown is based upon the draft updated FEMA flood maps which may change before they are adopted in a few years. Mr. Silva explained it was probably best to recognize the future projections in this case.
He added the test work in the buffer zone is exempt from regulation as outlined in Section 10.02.2.g. in the Wetland Protection Act. The letter from the NHESP was read for the record which stated the project is not considered a taking of Resource Area habitat for protected rare wildlife species and the work is exempt from MESA review.
Mr. Silva added the survey process will take 2 – 3 days. Each test pit will be immediately filled after the soil is sifted.
Mr. Peters Chair of the Vineyard Open Land Foundation (VOLF) explained the proposed work is on land owned by VOLF and said the organization has signed off on the work and supports the total project. With no further comment from the public a motion was made to close the hearing at 12:42 PM. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. A subsequent motion was made to approve the plan as presented and dated 6/26/15. The motion was seconded and with no further discussion passed unanimously with six in favor.
NOI SE 12 - 743; DANIEL PADIEN FOR SQUIBNOCKET FARM, INC. (SFI); off Squibnocket Road; AP 35-17.3, 17.4 1-30, 21, 22, 23: Ms. Broyard opened the public hearing at 12:46 PM and reiterated the Commission will only entertain comment and act on what’s been filed in the Notice of Intent with the Town, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP). It will not consider suggested design alternatives from the public.
Mr. Padien explained the Squibnocket Farm homeowners are building the low causeway as recommended by the Town Committee on Squibnocket but, will coordinate all permitting with the Town’s portion of the project because of the close proximity of both projects and the common resources involved. He continued that the homeowners would also like to conduct exploratory archaeological investigations within resource areas and associated buffer zones between Squibnocket Beach and Squibnocket Pond. This will be done on the planned footprint of the low causeway. He further said the homeowners also want to perform a series of engineering test borings and test pits to evaluate the surrounding sediment profiles to determine how deep the planned roadway support piles will need to be.
He explained that the homeowner’s permit applications will use the same resource delineations explained by Mr. Silva for the Town’s project. Mr. Padien pointed out the siltation barriers shown on the site plan but did not think they were needed. He explained the installation of these barriers will damage more vegetation than if they were not used. The Commission agreed.
Mr. Shuck outlined the specific machinery and methods that will be used for the test boring and soil test pits. A 4 ½ inch diameter boring drill will dig approximately 35 feet or until it reaches solid footing for the piles. The test pits will be dug with a back hoe. All holes and pits will be filled in immediately after the evaluations are complete. He anticipates the work will take approximately 1-2 days and will be done by John Keene after Labor Day (September 7).
The NHESP report was exactly the same as for the Town’s project. Mr. Peters reiterated this project is also on VOLF land. As with the Town’s project VOLF fully endorses the homeowner’s plan for the low causeway.
With no further comment from the public a motion was made to close the hearing at 1:02 PM. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. A subsequent motion was made to approve the plan as presented and dated 6/24/15 with the following special conditions: 1. The removed vegetation mats shall be replaced on each test site immediately following each test. 2. Loose hay shall be placed on the disturbed areas as needed to contain erosion until the vegetation is re-established. 3. The test boring in the Bordering Vegetated Wetland shall be performed on the existing rocky path. The motion was seconded and with no further discussion passed unanimously with six in favor.
NOI SE 12 - 740; REID SILVA FOR THE SPRING POINT ASSOCIATION; off North Rd.; AP 8-56: Ms. Broyard opened the public hearing at 1:12 PM. Mr. Silva reviewed the site plan dated 5/22/15 to maintain an existing grassy walking path and construct and maintain two sections of elevated walkway that are in a Bordering Vegetated Wetland and a footbridge over a stream. The walkways will be approximately 18 inches above grade and made with cedar posts, pin footings and oak planking with ½ inch gaps between the boards. He said the original design called for the walkways and bridge to be 3-feet wide but said he would like to expand them to a four-foot width so Robin Hyde can cross them with his mowers. The Commission asked if the path can be moved out of the wetland. Mr.
Silva explained the majority of this area is wetland and the existing path has been in place for over 40 years.
With no comment from the public a motion was made to close the hearing at 1:21 PM. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. A subsequent motion was made to approve the plan as presented with the following special conditions: 1. The 4-foot wide walkways shall be 18 inches above grade with small ramps on each side. The bridge shall also be 4 feet wide. 2. All construction equipment and materials shall be brought to the site by hand and all debris shall be removed from the site daily. 3. Any gas-powered equipment shall be fueled outside the resource area and resource area buffer zones. 4. A copy of this Order shall be available on site during construction. 5. A pre-construction conference shall take place on site among the
Conservation Agent (CA) and contractor to review this order before work begins. The motion was seconded and with no further discussion passed unanimously with six in favor.
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE SE 12 – 349; BARBARA CROSBY; 3 Nickerson Farm Ln.; AP 21-48.2: Chuck H. explained the house is being sold. This Certificate is for a septic upgrade that was permitted on February 3, 1999. A partial Certificate was issued on 9/27/2000. At the time the re-vegetation over the septic system was inadequate. After reviewing current photos he recommended the project is now in full compliance with continuing conditions # 13, 14, 15 and 16 which are consistent with the partial Certificate. A motion was made to accept the report and declare the project is in full compliance. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved with six in favor.
DISCUSSION REID SILVA FOR TRUDY TAYLOR; SE 12 – 581; 21 Eliot Ave.; AP 33-26, 27, 28: Mr. Silva explained an Order of Conditions was issued in May 2009 to upgrade the septic to a drip dispersal system. He said the owner is now ready to install the system but would like to change it to a FAST de-nitrifying system. He added the de-nitrifying system is recognized by the Commonwealth as an acceptable system for reducing nitrogen load. The drip dispersal system while very effective is not yet endorsed by the state. The change in system design would have a smaller footprint in the buffer zone than the drip dispersal system and be
52 feet from the wetland edge – instead of 34 feet from the edge for the drip system.
The Commission thanked Mr. Silva and a motion was made and seconded to declare the change as inconsequential. The motion passed unanimously with six in favor. Mr. Murphy made a subsequent motion to approve the FAST de-nitrifying system as proposed. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with six in favor.
The July 1, 2015 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as presented by consensus.
Mr. Murphy suggested the Commission adopt a policy that future testing performed as outlined today be reviewed and approved by the Conservation Agent—provided a back hoe is not used. The Commission said this might be an amendment to the existing minimal work in the buffer zone policy and should be discussed when it drafts a vegetation management policy.
The following documents were signed:
Order of Conditions SE 12 – 741; Town of Chilmark; AP 35-23, 1.30, 17.3, 17.4
Order of Conditions SE 12 – 743; SFI; AP 35-21, 22, 23, 1.30, 17.3, 17.4
Order of Conditions SE 12 – 740; Spring Point; AP 8-56
Certificate of Compliance SE 12 – 349; Crosby; AP 21-48.2
The next meeting will be Wednesday, August 5, 2015 @ 12:30 PM.
With no further business to discuss the meeting adjourned at 1:45 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Chuck Hodgkinson, C.A.S.