EASTHAM CONSERVATION COMMISSION
09 October 2007
PRESENT: David Hoerle, Glenn Collins, Judith Williams, Steve Smith, Dennis Murley, Leah Dower.
STAFF PRESENT: Natural Resources Director Henry Lind.
ALSO PRESENT: Mark F. Wood of Wood Brothers Landscaping, Tracy Loranger, Jim Lehey, Era Bennett, Tim Brady of East Cape Engineering, Inc., Russ Sandblom.
Chairman Murley opened the meeting at 7:00 P.M.
Mr. Hoerle asked for a few minutes to speak to the town’s recent Town Meeting. He said that most people do not understand the workings of their septic systems, and wondered whether the Conservation Commission might put together some guideline for care of their systems. Mr. Lind commented that the issue has been considered more of a Board of Health matter than Conservation or Natural Resources and yet there are many conservation aspects of good groundwater. Therefore, the Commission being more closely aligned with the Water Resources and Wastewater committee would be a good thing. He said a partnering of the Conservation Commission and the Board of Health may be a solution. Ms. Williams as liaison to Water Resources indicated that she would participate in those meetings.
Mr. Lind also pointed out that the DEP is likely to assert that a municipal water plan be activated when the situation worsens. Mr. Smith said that it doesn’t seem reasonable to plan a municipal water system without dealing with septic problems first.
7:15 P.M. Request for Determination of Applicability filed by Tom & Carol Rakowski, 15 Lee Court, Map 11, Parcel 179.
Chairman Murley announced this hearing. Mark Wood of Wood Brothers Landscaping was present for the applicants and described the project. Mr. Lind showed photos of the site, explaining that prior work done was grandfathered by the age of the house. Mr. Wood is mostly interested in pruning the Oak trees and
replacing the walls with stone. He said he will use native plants from the Commission’s list. He said there is a deer problem in the yard, so he would suggest mostly Bayberry and Beach Plum. He doesn’t wish to remove the ivy because it is holding the bank together.
Chairman Murley said that he doubts the problem is with deer, but Mr. Wood said he is sure that they have been a consistent problem on the property. He said he would like to stay with native species on the water side, with ornamentals on the opposite side of the property.
Chairman Murley said that this property has come before the Commission previously, and that the view that is already there is consistent with what is allowed. He said he also feels that a Request for Determination of Applicability is not sufficient for the degree of landscaping which is proposed. He said a Notice of Intent would have the conditions that would be necessary for the Commission to oversee the project.
Mr. Collins agreed that a Notice of Intent is necessary for the project. Mr. Smith added that some guidelines would be in place in case anything should go wrong. Ms. Dower said she would like more information about the plans for pruning the marked trees and Mr. Smith said he would like more detail in the plan.
After the hearing was closed, Mr. Hoerle MOVED for a Positive Determination for Reason #3. Mr. Collins SECONDED the Motion.
SO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY.
7:45 P.M. Request for Determination of Applicability filed by Priscilla DeLea, 40 Freeman Way, Map 01, Parcel 072.
Chairman Murley announced this hearing. Tracy Loranger was the applicant’s representative and told the Commission that Ms. DeLea wishes to remove invasives at this property and replant with Rosa Rugosa. He gave a history of the landscaping of the property, mostly with Rosa Rugosa and said that some invasives have grown in the area and Ms. DeLea requests that the situation be corrected.
Chairman Murley commented that this property is some distance away from the marsh. He said that he thinks that because of the sandy nature of the soil it may be possible to remove the invasives by hand. He said that the proposal is relatively modest. Mr. Loranger said it may be more efficient to accomplish this by going in with machines and pulling everything out and starting over.
The applicant also proposes a brick walkway for the area. Mr. Lind suggested that the walkway be delineated on the plan by Mr. Loranger.
There was no further discussion and Chairman Murley closed this hearing. Mr. Collins MOVED a Negative Determination for Reason #3 and Mr. Smith SECONDED the Motion.
SO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY.
7:45 P.M. Request for Determination of Applicability filed by Philip A. Houck, 10 Hatch Way, Map 14, Parcel 112.
Chairman Murley announced this hearing. The applicant proposes regrading and restoration of the driveway at this property.
Mr. Lind showed photos of the property and noted that some conditions were assigned to this property in 1998 for which a Certificate of Compliance was issued.
Ms. Houck explained that the project consists mainly of widening the curve of the driveway.
Mr. Hoerle asked about the runoff of the water into the ditch and Mr. Lind said that a better gravel composite will prevent the sheet flow into the area below. Mr. Collins asked whether the swale should be pitched away from the resource.
Mr. Jim Lehey of 80 Great Pond Road, an abutter to this property, asked about the specifics of the project. He maintains that unauthorized changes have been made to the property. He said that the driveway has been moved over onto his property. This is a shared right of way.
Mr. Houck explained that he did remove a Cedar tree in the area at the request of the Fire Department.
Mr. Lind explained that the Conservation Commission is unable to act on such ownership issues, only on considerations having to do with the environment. He said that what the Commission is looking at has to do with the proposal to modify the driveway. He said the Commission must decide whether or not a Request for Determination of Applicability if sufficient to go ahead with the proposed project.
Chairman Murley asked whether both parties would agree to having the boundaries staked and having the bluestone laid down within those boundaries. Both parties agreed.
Mr. Collins MOVED a Negative Determination for Reason #3 and Ms. Williams SECONDED the Motion.
SO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mr. Murley and Ms. Dower left the room at this time and Mr. Hoerle assumed the Chair.
8:26 P.M. Continuation of Hearing on Notice of Intent filed by Russell Sandblom, 285 Harmes Way, Map 01, Parcel 108.
Mr. Hoerle announced this hearing for the proposed construction of a pervious
two-car parking are and a seasonal, roll-out walkway to access the beach at this property.
Tim Brady of East Cape Engineering, Inc. said that this continuation was in order to get an opinion of Town Counsel regarding the use of the roadway. The request was not relayed to Town Counsel.
Mr. Lind read from the guidelines and performance standards listed in the Eastham Conservation Commission A.C.E.C. regulations as well as 310 CMR 10.0. He pointed out that the property is on a barrier beach, with essentially the same performance standards of that of a Coastal Dune. He said that the question to do with the road layout cannot be decided by the Conservation Commission.
Mr. Brady admitted that it is unusual for the Commission to hear this kind of request to perform this kind of work on a Coastal Dune. He said the only activity on the site would be the transplantation of beach grass on the edge of the road in order to create two parking spaces. He said that a small amount of hardening would be applied to the area.
Mr. Hoerle asked how the beach grass would be transplanted and Mr. Brady said it would all be lifted as a whole, supplementing the grass which doesn’t survive the move.
Ms. Williams said this would allow for a planned parking space rather than random parking on the dune. Mr. Collins agreed that other projects have allowed owners to use their property. Mr. Smith stated his concern that the hardened area might cause a troubled area and that he is also concerned that other owners might come along with even more demands of their land use based on the allowance of this project.
Mr. Brady said that native hardening would be used and there would be sand over the hardening which may have to be removed.
Mr. Hoerle said that the concern is how the owner of the property performs over time and how he would become a steward of this piece of property. Mr. Sandblom said that he has noticed the other driveways in the area and that he would do what needs
to be done to maintain the property properly He said that the property has been in his family for fifty years and would not do anything to ruin it. Mr. Brady suggested that the Order of Conditions contain periodic reviews of the maintenance of the area.
Mr. Lind said the 310 CMR as part of MGL Chapter 131 section 40 is blind to precedent. He noted that the Commission has allowed expansions to nearby properties, but only on the same footprint. He agreed with Mr. Brady that there is no precedent for this type of allowance. He said the Commission may establish a variance procedure to the regulations. He also noted that the type of proposed walkway is not allowed under the regulations.
Mr. Hoerle asked Mr. Lind to commented on the possibility of a positive vote from the Commission. Mr. Lind said it was not up to him and Mr. Hoerle asked each Commissioner to comment as to whether they were ready to call a vote. Each indicated that they were.
Mr. Hoerle asked Mr. Lind how the membership could protect itself by establishing a variance. Mr. Collins talked about the consequences of turning down a project which could go to court and be out of the control of the Commission. He said he felt that this project would have minimum impact on the environment.
Mr. Lind read Regulation 3, Section C, regarding the any new significant construction. Mr. Smith said understanding that language he felt that the Commission has just enough leeway to allow this project. Mr. Brady further described the installation of a post and rail fence as well as a raised walkway. Mr. Hoerle noted that if this is approved, Mr. Sandblom would be the only property owner on Harmes Way with a parking area and walkway with no house on the property.
Mr. Hoerle closed the hearing and asked for a motion. Mr. Smith MOVED approval of the project with a raised walkway and Conditions 1-18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24 the parking area will have native hardening, 25, 26 with the exclusion of Poison Ivy, 27, 29, 33, 35, 38 any maintenance proposal will be presented to the Conservation Commission for approval before it is executed. Mr. Collins SECONDED the Motion.
SO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY. Mr. Brady will submit a revised plan to the Commission showing a raised walkway.
Mr. Murley and Ms. Dower came back to the meeting and Mr. Murley resumed the chair.
Mr. Lind distributed a Draft Order of Conditions for Robinson, DEP SE 19-1282 on Asparagus Lane. Mr. Collins MOVED to approve the project with these conditions,
1-18, 19, 20, 21, 22 with notations, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 33 all construction debris including demolition materials and soils shall be removed from the site daily. No stockpiling of said materials shall take place on the subject property, 35, 37 a “No Mow” zone shall be identified on the site as shown on the plan and shall be separated from the remainder of the property by such designators as a split-rail fence, boulders, or other demarcation, 38 “the entire project shall be overseen and
directed by a construction engineer or clerk of the works. Monthly reports shall be submitted to the Commission by the agent for the owner detailing activity within the
previous month, 39 A professional landscaping plan shall be submitted and approved by the Commission for any planting or vegetative landscaping.
Ms. Dower SECONDED the Motion.
SO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mr. Lind presented an Administrative Review application submitted by Debra McCarty and Richard Byline, 8 Canal Road on the Eastham/Orleans town line.
Orleans has issued an Order of Conditions for the project. Some of the work will be done in Eastham. The question is whether an Administrative Review is adequate for this project.
Ms. Williams MOVED to ratify this Administrative Review and Mr. Collins SECONDED the Motion.
SO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mr. Lind informed the Commission that Mr. Seppala on Log Cabin Road has appealed the Denial Order of Conditions regarding the construction of a garage to DEP.
Mr. Lind reviewed the Shipley Enforcement Order. He told the Commission that the fine has been paid and re-planting has been agreed upon. A Notice of Intent will be filed for this site by the owner.
There was no further business and Mr. Smith MOVED to adjourn at approximately 9:50 P.M. Mr. Hoerle SECONDED the Motion
SO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY.
Minutes taken by Judith Williams,
Transcribed and respectfully submitted.