TOWN OF PELHAM

CONSERVATION COMMISSION MEETING

MARCH 8, 2000

 

 

Members Present:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Members Absent:

Alicia Symonovit Hennessey - Chairperson†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Alicia Harshfield

Debbie Waters - Alternate†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† William McDevitt, Selectman

Rick Cummings

Bill Cookinham (arrived late 7:20 p.m.)

Paul McLaughlin (arrived late 7:20 p.m.)

Don Paquin

 

The chairperson, Alicia Symonovit, called the meeting to order at 7:12 p.m.

 

Article 21 Update

 

Alicia Symonovit opens the discussion by stating that Article 21 is sponsored by the Conservation Commission and asks Debbie Waters for an update.Debbie Waters states that she has met with the Pelham Parks and Recreation Director and Advisory Board at their last meeting.Discussions took place regarding long range plans with everyone in agreement that the town needs land for passive recreational use.Debbie Waters added that the Town of Pelham cannot afford to put land away and not use it.She stated that it was crucial that Article 21 be passed now and asked that residents get out and vote yes.

 

Alicia Symonovit reminded residents that Article 21 needs to pass this year and that the Conservation Commission was not able to access funds last year from current land use taxes but will be able to do so at 75% if this article passes.She added that this was an important article and urged everyone to vote yes.Alicia Symonovit said that Article 21 was supported by Planning Board, Budget Committee and T.A.P.

 

Prime Wetlands Update

 

Alicia Symonovit explained that the Planning Board supported the Prime Wetland articles on this yearís town ballot.Currently there are seven designated Prime Wetlands and the University of New Hampshire students classified four more.She urged everyone to vote yes for Articles 1, 2, 3 and 4 regarding Prime Wetlands at Little Island Pond, St. Patrickís Convent School, Sherburne Road Bog and Sherburne Road Emergent.Alicia Symonovit added that these were all significant areas for educational, esthetic and environmental reasons.Much work has gone into this study by UNH.She urged residents to support the passing of these articles on March 14, 2000 at town elections.

 

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Update

 

Alicia Symonovit announced that representatives of Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) had returned, asking that they address the Commission with an update.Mary Usovicz stated that Tennessee Gas Pipeline would like to coordinate a workshop with the Conservation Commission which would include review of the State application along with a response letter the Commission members would receive by March 15, 2000.She added that a site walk could be arranged along with the workshop which would be offered by the TGP team.Ms. Usovicz requested a date and time to provide this workshop which would offer visuals and information.

 

Paul McLaughlin asked what the time length might be for a workshop and Mary responded that this was the first time TGP was offering it.Alicia Symonovit stated that the Commission was pleased and felt it would be beneficial to both TGP and the Conservation Commission.Mary stated that the length of the workshop would largely depend on the time involved with questions and answers and whether a site walk would be included.Alicia Symonovit stated that the members would request a site walk at some time and asked if


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there was anything restored that the members could view.Mary responds that the existing easement can be used as a reference.Debbie Waters inquired to whom the application was sent and Mary responded it had been mailed on February 16, 2000 to the chairperson, with a copy sent to James Pitts, Town Administrator, Board of Selectmen, Town Clerk and Town Library.Debbie Waters asked how many wetland crossings were involved and Mary remarked there were 28.

 

Paul McLaughlin requests a copy of the application but Ms. Usovicz explains that it is large and cumbersome.TGP will be happy to copy segments on request and that the Commission chairperson has one copy with others available in the town as explained earlier.

 

Debbie Waters stated that the public would have concerns and may wish to attend the workshop.Mary responded that this was not a problem but there was much technical information involved which TGP had intended to review with the Commission.She noted that there would be a public hearing later in April.The Commission reviews schedule and it is decided that the workshop will be scheduled on Saturday, April 1, 2000 at Town Hall beginning at 1:00 p.m. with a site walk scheduled for a later date to be determined.Paul McLaughlin states that the Planning Board, Town Administrator, and Board of Selectmen should be notified and invited.Don Paquin suggests that the public be notified of the meeting with an explanation given that this workshop will be technical in nature and that a future public hearing will allow for a Q and A session with the public in late April.Everyone agrees.The Conservation Commission will be responsible for notifications of this workshop to town officials and the public.Debbie Waters suggests that this workshop should be posted as a Conservation Commission meeting and videotaped for replay.

 

Hearings

 

Map 29, Lot 7-54-9, Stevens Road

 

Randall Shuey from Gove Environmental Services, representing Berango Homes, opened discussion on this property for dredge and fill application with minimal wetland impact.Mr. Shuey stated he was present to go over the application and obtain signatures.Alicia Symonovit explained that the Commission would need time to review the application fully and do a site walk before signatures could be had.Randall Shuey distributed plans and copies of the application to the Commission members stating that they were self-explanatory and that the work would result in minimum impact.

 

Rick Cummings inquired whether a bridge was a possibility and Randall Shuey responded that it was not due to length involved.Debbie Waters asked about the dimensions.Mr. Shuey stated that it was 175 feet.Rick Cummings asked if half of it could be bridged and Mr. Shuey responded that it would not be cost effective to do so.Mr. Cummings asked if the driveway could be built up Currier Road and Mr. Shuey responded that it would cause a bigger wetland impact problem.Alicia Symonovit inquired about the location of the wetland.Mr. Shuey noted it was at the end of the cul-de-sac and referred the Commission to the map in back of the application.He added that the driveway was 12 feet.Paul McLaughlin asked about the minimum width for the driveway with Mr. Shuey answering 10 feet with 12 feet being the standard preferred.

 

Don Paquin asked what the water flow was like in the spring.Alicia Symonovit offered that the Commission did not know and a site walk would be necessary.Debbie Waters inquired about the size of the wetland being impacted and Mr. Shuey responded that it was over an acre but did not know exact size.He added that it was composed of poorly drained soil and scrub shrubs.Alicia Symonovit asked about the flow of the water and Randall Shuey explained it went towards Lot 54-7 and eventually down towards Dutton Road.Debbie Waters asked when the area was subdivided.Mr. Aspinwall of Edward Herbert Surveyors, also present, answered that it was in the early 1980's and that the back area was open field with scrub shrubs and wetlands.Debbie Waters asked whether the driveway would be paved but Mr. Shuey did not know.

 


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Hearing on Stevens Road continued

 

Randall Shuey reiterated that the work resulting from this dredge and fill application would have minimum wetland impact and that the area showed signs of being disturbed in the past.Paul McLaughlin asked if there was a reason for haste in developing the parcel and Mr. Shuey responded that the owner was hoping to get work started as soon as possible.He added that Heather Ward had been scheduled to appear at this meeting and that she would attend the site walk.Alicia Symonovit inquired about the size of the lot and Mr. Shuey answered it was a little over three acres.Paul McLaughlin added that there were homes on what once was an open field and that the Commission needed to view the ground.Alicia Symonovit and Rick Cummings agreed adding that the application had to be reviewed as well.

 

It was decided that a site walk would take place on Sunday, March 26, 2000 at 7:00 a.m. with the Commission and surveyor meeting at the Town Hall prior to the walk.Rick Cummings stated he felt that voting on site created difficulties and the Commission agreed to vote on this application at the next meeting.

 

Map 12-203, Mulberry Wood Estates

 

Debbie Waters removed herself from the Commission for this hearing explaining that she was an abutter.She would participate from the audience.

 

Wesley Aspinwall of Edward Herbert Surveyors in Windham presented and distributed copies of the impact report to the Commission members, posting a subdivision map on the board, along with a road profile.He addressed the public, comprised of abutters, stating that copies of the report would be left at the Town Library for review.The public asked whether they could be removed from the library, copied or emailed.Mr. Aspinwall did not know and Alicia Symonovit explained to the abutters that the report had a lot of pages.

 

Mr. Aspinwall explained that there had been some discussion on this parcel before the Planning Board and indicated the wetland areas on the posted map.He pointed out the two WCD areas in question stating that there was no wetland impact projected in this subdivision.Mr. Aspinwall indicated the extension of Shepard Road on the map and the proposed house location with leach field area.

 

Don Paquin inquired about the length of Mulberry Lane and Mr. Aspinwall answered it was 2,000 feet.Mr. Paquin asked whether it was Planning Board approved but Alicia Symonovit explained that the Planning Board did not have engineering details and was only given a preliminary view.Don Paquin asked if the cul-de-sac was regulation length and Debbie Waters responded that this was a Planning Board issue which would require a waiver.

 

Alicia Symonovit asked how many house lots were in the subdivision and Wesley Aspinwall replied 20.Alicia Symonovit questioned whether this was over two years and Mr. Aspinwall did not know but said it made sense to put the road in at one time.The chairperson inquired whether Jim Gove would be coming before the Commission to present the environmental study.Mr. Aspinwall noted that Mr. Gove was away on vacation and that he was here tonight to present information and suggest a site walk with Planning.

 

Paul McLaughlin asked Mr. Aspinwall about the broken lines shown on the map and he answered that they were paper roads.

 

Rick Cummings made a MOTION to recommend that Jim Gove attend next Conservation Commission meeting to present environmental study, that the Commission accompany the Planning Board on a site walk, that the Commission be given an overview of the area and that a final vote be had at the nextmeeting.Paul McLaughlin seconds the motion.Vote:All in favor - Alicia Symonovit, Rick Cummings, Bill Cookinham, Paul McLaughlin,


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Hearing on Mulberry Wood Estates continued

 

Don Paquin (5-0-1).Debbie Waters abstains.Motion passes.

 

 

Alicia Symonovit asks when the Planning Board will be doing a site walk and Doris Cvinar of 7 Regis Drive comments that the Planning Board was waiting for input from the Conservation Commission and was taking a traffic study into consideration.The Commission agrees to do the site walk with Planning Board at such time as it is scheduled.Alicia Symonovit asks Mr. Aspinwall which lot has septic and leach field nearest wetlands and he responds that he does not know.An audience member believes it is Lot 9.Mr. Aspinwall explains that Lots 10, 11 and 12 need driveway crossing over WCD but no wetland crossing, noting that it is a double width driveway of 20 feet.Alicia Symonovit asked if it were possible to have a single entry that would then branch out and Mr. Aspinwall explains that this would not be a valid solution.Alicia Symonovit asks about the length of the driveway.Wesley Aspinwall answers that the WCD portion is 160 feet with a total length of 350 feet to one house and about 400 feet to the other.He reiterates that this is not wetland but rather WCD and between two wetlands.Alicia asks about the reason for cul-de-sac and is told it is necessary for frontage on Lot 1.She inquires if it is heavily treed and Mr. Aspinwall answers that the area was logged about 15 years ago and there now existed thick growth brush and saplings.Bill Cookinham adds that it is largely oak.

 

Paul McLaughlin states his concern that the abutters be given access to Mr. Goveís report which would be up to the developer to provide.There is discussion and a decision to place three copies at the library.Alicia Symonovit suggests to the abutters that they take down notes prior to site walk.Don Paquin states that there are approximately 20 abutters involved and that they should each receive a copy.Doris Cvinar adds that neighbors can share and it is agreed that 10 copies would be adequate for now.Debbie Waters provided the abutters with Mr. Goveís name and phone number to request additional copies if needed.She felt strongly that the abutters should have access to the document and time to review it.

 

Debbie Waters stated that she felt it was important for the Commission to know the future build out of the road as there was substantial land remaining with potential for major development.She questioned whether the WCD crossings would be of minimum impact given major road construction in the future.Emily Skolfield of 20 Wheaton Drive stated her concern with drainage from the land above the cul-de-sac where a stream was present.She added that it is drier now than in past years and questioned whether the road would allow for water flow.Debbie Waters asked if engineer could note stream location on plan for site walk.Mrs. Skolfield commented that it may be in the adjacent lot which is why it is not shown on the map.

 

Wesley Aspinwall assured the abutters that no damming or back-up of flow would be done and that a culvert would be added if needed to maintain the current water flow under the road.Rick Cummings questioned whether that should be in report but Mr. Aspinwall explained it was not since this is not wetland permit.

 

Doris Cvinar voiced her concerns about the leach fields being so near the wetlands and about the ledge to be blasted, asking how it would be done.Wesley Aspinwall explains that all leach fields will meet State and Town standards and are inspected.He added it was not common or preferred to blast but sometimes necessary for foundation or water lines.The leach bottom has to be 6 feet above ledge, finished grade 8 feet above ledge.Septic and leach bed distance requirements must be met.An abutter asked about how the needed fill would affect the wet area and Mr. Aspinwall explained any fill would be stabilized.The leach area would be graded and seeded.Mr. Aspinwall added that the blasting was a Planning issue and had no impact on wetlands; no ground shifting.Doris Cvinar inquired about the blasting changing the drainage of wetlands and Mr. Aspinwall said it did not in general and that the blasting would be minimal.

 

Debbie Waters states that the blasting will impact wetlands.Mr. Aspinwall agrees that it may to some extent but adds that the wetlands are not being excavated.Mrs. Cvinar asks about what impact the driveway


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Hearing on Mulberry Wood Estates continued

 

might have on the wetlands and Mr. Aspinwall responds that every effort is made to have minimal or no impact.He adds that there is a need to cross WCD to get to buildable part of the lot.Mrs. Skolfield asks if there might not be a different way to get at this if the whole picture were known.Mr. Aspinall responds that he can only speak for his developer who owns this parcel and not remaining land.It is noted that there is town owned land at the end of this area and Alicia Symonovit explains that Conservation works to keep town land and maintain as pristine.Mrs. Skolfield notes concern about cracks in foundation with blasting and changes in drainage.Mr. Aspinwall reiterates that culvert will maintain existing flow.

 

Wesley Aspinwall explains that the road construction is done by a civil engineer, well studied and requires a state permit.Mrs. Skolfield states that this is not an isolated piece and that the road might differ if the whole picture was known.Alicia Symonovit agrees that this may be true but remaining land is not purchased yet.Debbie Waters offers that the Planning Board has asked for overview to Woekel Circle due to high potential of build out.Mr. Aspinwall suggests that a site walk should take into consideration whether cul-de-sac may later lead to wetlands and that there should be a discussion of safety factors to loop roads long-term.Mrs. Cvinar states that there are 100 lots landlocked from Shepard Road to Harley Road.Mr. Aspinwall agrees that a long range look into road development should be considered.

 

Mrs. Skolfield questions what authority the Conservation Commission has.Alicia Symonovit explains that the jurisdiction of the Commission is wetlands, endangered species and environmental impact; beyond that are Planning Board issues.

 

M. Gael Ouellette of 18 Wheaton Drive questions the wetland flow affecting the leach fields and Mr. Aspinwall explains that the leach area is higher and, therefore, not affected.Mrs. Ouellette asks if there is any protection if this fails.Rick Cummings explains that the Conservation Commission can make recommendations but the WCD here is the Commissionís only precaution.Mrs. Ouellette inquires how the Commission knows the wetlands are not disturbed once the house is constructed.Rick Cummings answers that the Commission does ask developers to erect signs but adds that the signs can disappear.He adds that the Conservation Commission has no enforcement authority but that neighbors may alert them or the town to any problems.Paul McLaughlin states that NH has a different statutory authority.

 

Wesley Aspinwall explains to the abutters that there are state statutes to protect wetlands and permission is needed to disturb wetlands.He added that complaints can be sent to the Department of Environmental Services Wetland Bureau but that the goal was for people to live in harmony with the environment.An abutter asks about the salt and sand on road in winter with respect to affect on wetlands.Mr. Aspinwall offers that salt dissolves and steps are taken to control capture or drainage.Alicia Symonovit acknowledges that the abutters have legitimate concerns.Mrs. Cvinar asks about designated wetlands.Bill Cookinham and Rick Cummings explain that only prime wetlands are designated.Alicia Symonovit adds that a soil scientist makes the determination of wetlands from type of soil and vegetation.

 

Rick Cummings inquires about the WCD crossing on Lot 17 and whether there is extra care given due to existing vernal pool.Mr. Aspinwall does not know.Alicia Symonovit offers that the abutters can play a part by watching and reporting.She adds that the Commission does ask homeowners for permission to check on the wetland areas at future time intervals.

 

Rick Cummings inquires whether it is possible for plans to require no stump dumps and Mr. Aspinwall responds that he hasnít heard of this before.Debbie Waters asks if the stumps can be chipped and he responds that this is possible.Alicia Symonovit asks about possibility of moving road so it is not so near the WCD but Mr. Aspinwall explains it is needed as shown for frontage.Debbie Waters asks again when Mr. Gove might present his study.Wesley Aspinwall notes he will likely do that at April 11th meeting.Alicia Symonovit explains to the abutters that Mr. Gove is the soil scientist.Paul McLaughlin ends the discussion


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Hearing on Mulberry Wood Estates continued

 

by stating that the Commission will take a site walk with the Planning Board.The Commission members thank Mr. Aspinwall for his presentation.

 

Map 6, Lot 185, Irene Drive

 

Wesley Aspinwall of Edward Herbert Surveyors explains that he was not aware that this matter was on the agenda tonight.Alicia Symonovit states that the Commission believed the road would end in a cul-de-sac but she now understood that the Planning Board would require a loop.She asks if any other wetlands or WCD would be affected.Mr. Aspinwall studies the map and notes that he is not certain and that the map needs to be updated and reviewed at a later date.

 

Review of February minutes

 

The Commission members have not had time to read the February minutes.†† It is decided that the January and February, 2000 minutes will be voted on at the next meeting in April.

 

Rick Cummings makes a MOTION that at future meetings, the Conservation Commission will not hear the beginning of any proposals on the agenda after 10:00 p.m.Bill Cookinham seconds the motion.VOTE: All in favor - Alicia Symonovit, Don Paquin, Paul McLaughlin, Debbie Waters, Bill Cookinham, Rick Cummings (6-0-0).Motion passes.

 

Final Discussion

 

Rick Cummings addresses the grant from Department of Environmental Services that was discussed at last meeting.He explains that an agreement needs to be signed and notarized and other forms submitted.He questions a W-9 form but the members are not familiar with this form.

 

Rick Cummings makes a MOTION that Debbie Waters be given the authority to sign the necessary form on behalf of the Commission and have the form notarized to return to the Commission for proper filing.Paul McLaughlin seconds the motion.VOTE: All in favor - Don Paquin, Bill Cookinham, Alicia Symonovit, Debbie Waters, Paul McLaughlin, Rick Cummings (6-0-0).Motion passes.

 

Adjournment

 

Paul McLaughlin makes a MOTION to adjourn.Don Paquin seconds the motion.VOTED:All in favor - Paul McLaughlin, Don Paquin, Debbie Water, Rick Cummings, Bill Cookinham, Alicia Symonovit (6-0-0).Motion passes.

 

Meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.

 

Minutes recorded by,

 

Kathleen A. Carr,

Recording Secretary†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Approved: May 10, 2000