Town of Pelham, NH

Pelham Conservation Commission

6 Main Street

Pelham, NH 03076-3723

 

MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 12, 2001                      (NOT APPROVED)

 

Members Present:                      

Bob Yarmo, Chairman

Sanjay Kakkad

 

 

Meeting brought to order by Chairman Robert Yarmo, at the town hall at 8:07 p.m.

Chairman Yarmo announces the Commission does not have a quorum but will proceed anyway.  (PTV had trouble with the audio that contributed to the delay of the meeting).

 

Chairman Yarmo reports the resignation of Brenda Jenson and invites interested persons who would like to become a member of the Conservation Commission, to make application, as he needs the help.

 

Open Space Committee Report

 

Presentation by Deborah Waters, Open Space Chairman, reports that she attended the Master Plan meeting during the section where they were concentrating on the natural resource chapter.  They asked for some written recommendations from Pelham’s Conservation Commission.  I put that together and sent that to the Commission to review.  With your permission I’m going to go ahead and attend the meeting on the 27th and bring those recommendations to them.  They gave me some maps that I have looked over.  I anticipate in getting the natural resources inventory maps that show Pelham’s conservation and preservation lands that Betsy Hahn of NRPC is working on.  This is going to be a big report.  Ms. Waters said that most likely the recommendations coming out of that report would form the real “jest” of what’s going to go in the Master Plan.  The Conservation Commission needs to have some input so the Betsy has something from us.  Mr. Yarmo says he knows they have been working on this, and probably only needs our verification.  Mr. Yarmo asks about the natural resources inventory?  Ms. Waters said that that project is being undertaken by NRPC.  It’s her understanding that they will issue a report, so we don’t really have to involve ourselves in that. That report will be coming based on the recommendations that go in the Master Plan.  The professionals backed many of the recommendations that Ms. Waters had presented to them.

 

Ms. Waters made reference to a packet that had a draft of the Conservation Fund Brochure.  She would like to move ahead speedily on that so that that information can get out to the people.  She said we all know that there is a conservation fund but many who could benefit from that may not know that it is out there.  She has prepared a brochure in

Conservation Commission – September 12, 2001                                           Page 2

 

draft form but needs the Commission’s blessing to move ahead on that project.  Mr. Yarmo has no objections but wants to give the other members a chance to see it.

 

Ms. Waters offered information to the Conservation about “LCHIP”.  The legislature voted to fund LCHIP for the next 2 years, 6 million for 2002 and 8 million for 2003.  Last year it was 3 million and this is a great improvement in the level of funding.  She has been asked by a selectman to make sure that we have a project in front of LCHIP every year.  Ms. Waters said this is a big undertaking as you can imagine.  She would like to put together something very quickly for this year.  She is working on a couple of projects already.  It has to be in by the beginning of October.

 

Ms. Waters attended a 3 and a ½ day seminar at Camp Sargent, in Manchester, for conservation training that was provided by DES and New Hampshire coverts programs.  In that training she received “mega” literature, with more to come.  She met nearly someone from all of the environmental agencies at the state level.  Included were the county forester and the county person for natural resource conservation service, part of the Department of Agriculture.  She feels the information that she learned from this seminar should be beneficial to the Conservation Commission in the future.  Part of the training was a review of the grants that are coming out of Concord now.  One new one is the grants that are going to be forthcoming as a result of the sales of moose plates and wants to alert the Commission that there is going to be funding for various conservation projects and that municipalities are going to be included in that.  About 6 months from now we should know more about that, she says.  Along with LCHIP we should be prepared to begin to think about the funds that are coming through as a result of the sale of moose plates.

 

A quick rundown of what the annual fee will support:  Conservation, Preservation of Historic Property, Cultural and Ecological Sites, Education and Research regarding New Hampshire’s non-game wild life species, plant species, etc. We need to qualify and probably this will be a matching funds project.  Mr. Yarmo said Ms. Waters would likely need some help.  She responded that she was hoping to help the Commission and will forge ahead to see what she can do.  She did say that if anyone were interested, she would like his or her help.  Deadline for the recommendations is the 27th.

 

PUBLIC INPUT (FOR OR AGAINST THE OPEN SPACE COMMITTEE):

 

Alycia Hennessey, former member of the Conservation Commission says she has always been an advocate for open space.  Ms. Hennessey would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge John Ogonowski who is a neighbor in Dracut and who had a tremendous love for the land.  He was one of the pilots that were killed yesterday (September 11 – New York, terrorist attack on the Twin Towers).  Ms. Hennessey says that she wants the people to acknowledge the fact that he preserved 150 acres of his farmland.  John’s brother says this is John’s legacy.  Mr. Yarmo thanks Ms. Hennessey for the acknowledgement and says he is familiar with this parcel, that it is substantial and

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beautiful.  Ms. Hennessey says it is absolutely gorgeous.  She says that at a Conservation meeting she feels that he would have liked that acknowledgement.

 

Ronald and Lorraine Smith, Richard __?__ Romeo, Dutton Road, Proposed 2-Lot Subdivision – Map 36, Lot 10-10-2

 

A site walk was done on this property last Saturday says Mr. Yarmo and there is correspondence from an abutter that will be read into the record: “Addressed to the Conservation Commission and Planning Board, attn: Clay Mitchell, dated February 14, 2001 – Dear Mr. Yarmo and Mr. Clay:  The purpose of this letter and attachments is to document and illustrate our concern of the proposed 2-lot subdivision on map 10, lot 10-2.  We are abutters of this property.  Our lot number is 10-373. I presented this orally at the February 8, 2001 Planning Board meeting.  This letter better illustrates the situation.  We have a private, un-named 150 by 100-foot pond on our property that is fed by the stream this development proposes to cross.  The pond runs along the boundary between the property and the lot 10-2.  We use it for swimming, fishing, watering livestock and wildlife observation.  The pond provides nesting grounds for many species of wildlife.  We are concerned that the proposed development will negatively impact our pond water quality in one or more of the following ways:  1) Septic waste, 2) lawn chemicals, 3) oil, gas, salt and driveway run off, 4) silt from the dredge and fill preceded in construction operations, and the diversion of the stream from its current route which fills our pond water.”

 

“We feel that if this development is to take place it should be engineered in such a way to prevent pollution to our pond and watershed, and we strongly encourage the Conservation Commission to recommend to the Planning Board members such measures, such as, but not limited to, a site walk to take place in the spring after the melt. A drainage study, temporary and permanent erosion and sedimentation control plan, strict no-cut requirements in the wetlands buffer, and a no salt requirement on the driveway.  Thank you for your consideration of this matter.  Attachments are a plot plan, blue prints on lot 10-2 including the drainage pattern and a photograph of the pond.”

 

 Presentation by Jack Szempliski of Bench Mark Engineering.  This property is a 9-acres parcel on the southerly side of Dutton Road that my client wishes to subdivide into 2 lots.  There is one house on this parcel and an additional house with a long driveway in the back because that is where the most usable land is.  Last year they applied for permits for a couple crossings of wetlands, about 1400 square feet.  They are proposing to install a 15-inch culvert, and another 15-inch culvert.  There is about 350-ft. WCD crossing.  The driveway would be about 12-feet wide.  Additionally, there is an additional WCD crossing of about a 120-foot width.  Mr. Szempliski says this is a very low-density development, 2 houses on 9 acres with no negative impact to any abutter.  He is proposing to install erosion control, including hay bales to protect wetlands.  Except for the crossings, there is no disturbance to WCD.  This case has been before the Planning Board and now before the Conservation Commission for a final approval.

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Mr. Yarmo:  He wants to discuss the issues in the letter, specifically about the septic waste design to which Mr. Szempliski responded that they have an approved subdivision approval but not a septic waste design.  Mr. Szempliski points out the possibility of a location for this on the plan and states that it will be more than required and will absolutely have no impact; it’s about 40-50 feet from the property line. A test site has been done.  Question about lawn chemicals.  The property owner does not plan a big lawn area says Mr. Szempliski.  Question about gas, oil and salt and driveway run-off.  Initially, it will be graveled then paved – a 12-foot wide driveway is planned.  Silt fences and hay bales during construction is the recommendation from the Conservation Commission.  Mr. Yarmo asks if there is a need for erosion controls where there will be trees cut, and removal of stumps, and loamed piled elsewhere.  Should there be heavy rains the waters would run off in any direction.  This would be a problem if this was another site, but this land is fairly flat and should not be an issue says Mr. Szempliski.  The dredge and fill permit should state the need for a silt fence and hay bales says Mr. Yarmo.  Another issue stated in the letter was diversion of a stream.  Mr. Szempliski says the main stream is not being touched.

 

Issues that Mr. Yarmo would like addressed are the following:  #1) The sub-divider is going to be living on this land, and the Commission is more sympathetic in those cases, but we would like to see WCD signs put up along those wetland area.  They designate no-cut zones and can even be applied on a tree. #2) I would like to see the building envelope addressed on the plan, not necessarily site specific unless the construction is somewhat close to the WCD.  I would like to see this stated on the plan for the Planning Board.  The actual house is approximately 60 by 30-feet, maybe a little more as there is going to be a garage.

 

Ron Smith, 118 Dutton Road, property owner, addressed the Commission.  We intend to live there for the rest of our lives unless there is an issue that presents itself in the future.  There are 2 lots, but we chose this lot because of the natural beauty and the buffer that we are going to maintain on our own property when we build.  We didn’t try to subdivide for maximum lots.  There were several engineers that gave him all kinds of numbers with regard to house lots, but that was never my intention since making an offer on the property.  Mr. Smith says the house that he would like to put in, he would like to tilt toward the front of the property but unfortunately with the set-back, to center it will have to tilt toward the neighbor’s property.  He didn’t think it would be good aesthetically for him or for the neighbors.  As much as he can, because of the shape of the lot, a garage will be constructed at the narrow portion and tilt the house toward the front of the land so that he can expose most of the land for a back yard.  It’s a wooded lot, and he would like it to remain wooded, and doesn’t want to be cutting grass - but that may change in the future.  He says one corner may be close to the WCD.  Mr. Smith said he is doing the development himself and will not be cutting down a lot of trees, only what he needs to in order to put the driveway in.  Mr. Smith says the wetlands are all flagged and he has put some orange paint on some of the trees to identify the outside boundary of the 50-foot area.  Mr. Yarmo says he will pass his comments on to the Planning Board and will

Conservation Commission – September 12, 2001                                           Page 5

 

include signage and a revised building envelope be identified.  Mr. Smith intends to turn the house 30 degrees so as to accommodate the garage.  This will be a 5-bedroom home. Mr. Szempliski said the Fire Chief requested that the driveway be widened 10 more feet so that 2 vehicles can pass and to provide a turn around at the back, next to the house. Mr. Yarmo asked why couldn’t the fire department have a wider driveway outside the WCD?  Another question is what about the cistern.  Mr. Yarmo requests a phone call be placed to the Planning Office when the erosion control is in place so that he can personally go out and look at it.  Agreed.

 

PUBLIC INPUT:  No public input.

 

BACK TO THE BOARD:  No comments from the Board.

 

Mr. Yarmo questioned Mr. Jim Gove of Gove Environmental Associates about hearing Apple Tree Estates and Currier Road/Island Pond Road, Neil Fineman at the same time.  Mr. Gove says that the hearing is going to take quite a bit of time. The hearing of Currier Road and Island Pond Road was taken out of order.

 

Neil Fineman, Currier Road and Island Pond Road –Proposed 16 Lot Subdivision

Cara Estates, Map 35, Lots 10-352

 

Phase I is a 15 lot subdivision; Phase II is a 13 lot subdivision (total 28 lots).  Presenting this case is Wes Aspinwall, land surveyor of Herbert Associates.  The Planning Board and Conservation Commission did a site walk on this property last Saturday.  Phase II connects to Diamond Hill Road; Phase I is on Currier Road at the westerly end of the parcel.  There is a wetland area that is parallel to Currier Road.  There are 3 wetland crossings proposed – one coming onto Currier Road near the entrance at the intersection.  Total wetland impact is around 8,100 sq. ft. The first road crossing wetland impact area is around 2,700 sq. ft.  The WCD impact on is on each side of that and is about 5,000 sq. ft. for the first road crossing on Cara Lane.

 

On Phase II, Susan Drive, there is another wetland crossing, wetland impact of 2,700 sq. ft. with a 50-ft WCD on each side  - another 5,000-ft WCD impact.  Lots 8 and 9 have road frontage on Currier Road and a proposed combined driveway with a driveway on each side of the lot line to minimize fill across the wet area.  Mr. Aspinwal says there has been some discussion about the intersection area that there may be some reconfiguration of that area and it might become a 4-way intersection.  There’s another proposal for possibly two (2)  “T” intersections that would be separated by a couple hundred feet.  It may increase possible impact wetlands if that is what the Planning Board eventually decides.  Mr. Yarmo states that, to him, it makes more sense to have the 4-way intersection.  An issue that Mr. Yarmo has with the plan is Susan Drive, which aligns directly with the wetland for Richardson Farm.  In order to avoid this, should there be a future development through that roadway, I would like to see that directed elsewhere.  Mr. Aspinwal says that he has not looked too much at the plan, but understands there is

Conservation Commission – September 12, 2001                                           Page 6

 

another subdivision plan and on that plan they don’t intend to continue the road – it just ends.  In that case, it would become a permanent cul-de-sac.  Mr. Yarmo has another issue with the plan, and that is the dredge and fill permit for the driveway crossing.  There’s possibly a roadway configuration that you would be able to access these lots from the other side.  The developer may have to build more roads, but that avoids the minimization that may be required – there has to be an alternative to get to those two lots.  I would like it if you would at least proved me wrong. If Susan Drive were extended out, turn the cul-de-sac around, and there are your lots.  The developer has the right to develop his land, but not at the expense of the environment, especially if it can be avoided says Mr. Yarmo.  Mr. Yarmo also asks where the open space is; it’s my understanding that there is an open space RSA requiring open space for a development.  There are 28 lots here, and another 30 lots on Richardson farm.  It seems that there is a soulful duty for the developers to get together and create some open space for 50 lots.  Also, there is land owned by the applicant across the street.  The whole open space issue needs to be looked at with this development:  Apple Tree Estates and the other 9 lots the applicant is submitting for development.  This is a scenic vista and we would like to figure out how to preserve this piece.  Is there any consideration for low profile houses to keep the top of the roofline below the climbing grade so there is somewhat of a scenic vista and preservation asks Mr. Yarmo?  It’s possible that this is mapped out in the Master Plan says Mr. Yarmo.  Not much thought has been given to the houses at this point says Mr. Aspinwal, but they will think about it.  Mr. Fineman is not going to build these homes himself.   Mr. Yarmo says he could insist on deed restrictions and make the rooflines compatible with the grading so that there would be somewhat of a preservation of the hillside.  The fire department has some restrictions on height of rooflines also. The Planning Board is still dealing with the intersection but has accepted it for consideration.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Alicia Hennessey, 71 Dutton Road:  The Planning Board was looking for a connection into the Richardson property.  She feels that Conservation should make the suggestion about the connection.  If you do consider the connection, you would not want to go through that wetland and may want to redirect the road on this parcel in order to avoid wetland impact.

 

BROUGHT BACK TO THE BOARD:

 

Mr. Yarmo responded that he thought that Pine View Circle had a connection to another street involving an easement.  Mr. Yarmo also questions whether Conservation has seen an environmental report yet?  It will be presented when the Richardson parcel is heard.

 

Discussion between Mr. Yarmo, Mr. Aspinwal and Jim Gove of Gove Environmental Associates concerning the approval of the proposed road in Cara Estates to access the two lots without a dredge and fill permit.  It might be better to give up a couple of lots to provide additional protection for the prime wetland rather than sacrifice a 30-ft by 30-ft

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piece of wetland for the 2 driveways.  This issue has been brought up before the Planning Board says Mr. Yarmo.  The Richardson property may come back with revisions too.

 

Simpson Mill Road, Developer Neil Fineman, Proposed 9 Lot Subdivision

Map 9 & 16, Lots 9-9, Pamela Drive.

 

A site walk is planned for Saturday, September 15.  Jim Aspinwall, land surveyor for Herbert Associates presents this case.  Mr. Aspinwall speaks about the proposed development that has 3 lots located across the street from a hazardous waste site and possible problems with contaminated water; that’s why there are community wells.  Mr. Yarmo says that if the houses on Simpson Mill Road put in individual wells will the water that is being drawn for the wells be contaminated and then go into the wetlands?  There is a proposed road, Pamela Drive, at the northerly end of the parcel and has 6 lots.  Nine dash nine dash seven (9-9-7), has an existing house with a community water system and is part of this subdivision.  There is a possibility that the other lots will also be served by a community water system near lot 9-9-3.  As you move to the westerly side of this parcel there is a wetland connected to Golden Brook.

 

Mr. Yarmo:  Beaver Brook prime wetlands are part of Golden Brook wetlands.  Mr. Gove says that if Golden Brook wetlands and Beaver Brook wetlands are connectable projects then they are viewed as mitigation according to the Wetlands Bureau, same as Pelham’s Conservation Commission.  Mr. Yarmo says both plans are drawn for Neil Fineman.  Mr. Gove agrees. Hearing on Simpson Mill project concluded.

 

Stone Post Village Phase I, Spring Street Extension, Proposed 20 Lot Subdivision

Map 31, Lots 12-41 & 12-43

 

A site walk is scheduled for this coming Saturday, Sept 15.  Case represented by Philbin Farwell of  ________ and Cormier, Bill Perkins, President of Hearthstone Realty Corporation, Paul French Engineers of NH, and applicant.

 

Mr. Barbeau? Says he has a unique opportunity to preserve, what he felt was a nice asset to the community.  There is a pond on the site, and is centrally located – I believe it is an unnamed pond.  His firm does a lot of cluster subdivisions and open space is a big item for the firm.  There is town-owned land that abuts this proposed subdivision. There is a natural connection with that pond and we would like to preserve an open space connection.  Phase I subdivision was submitted, and there’ll be Phase II coming.  We want to maximize the open space, but until we get Phase II actually submitted, we want to do a combination of both land donations to the town.  In addition, we want to do some conservation easements at the back of the lots because of the formula that is used, we consider is spare land on some of the lots.  We can’t donate a portion of the lots but we can do conservation easements.  We’re hoping to add 30 of the 90 acres to be connected to open space.  When the other parcels are developed it will be a much larger open space area.  Clay (Mitchell) seems supportive of the idea and has given us some suggestions. 

Conservation Commission – September 12, 2001                                           Page 8

 

We have met with Mr. Harris who is the immediate abutter, the developer of the White property, and with their engineer Mr. Zohdi of Herbert Associates.  We have a good working relationship.  Clay asked us to come up with a Master Plan for the area.  The neighbors do not seem too interested in the connection aspect, but the fire department does for emergency vehicles.  We have attempted to split this connection into 2 parcels, and a possibility of a 3rd one coming in off Spring Street Extension at some point.  We have attempted to split the flow and one of the connections would be a direct shot.  There is a town-owned parcel that would require the right to lay a road across town-owned land in order to make that connection.  There is an alternative connection, but we would suggest the straighter approach. This might be something that could be negotiated with Mr. Harris as far as adding to the open space rather than putting a road through it.  None of these connections are for the developer’s benefit.  The connections are shown for the “master plan” of the area at the request of the planner. There is an alternative that would cross, but would be unfortunate because of preserving the view of the pond and open space.  From a “master plan” standpoint, somewhere there could be a connection through Harris’ land that could eventually connect to roads up further.  On the other side, the same thing is possible by going through the town of Pelham parcel, connecting to Mr. Harris’ land and eventually connect to Ledge Road and/or to Poplar Hill Road.  Most of the wetlands located near the pond are the major source of the wetlands.  There are a few isolated pockets near the top of the hill, and are estimated less than 2,000-sq.ft.  Lot #9 will be constructed in Phase II eventually, but for now frontage is being reserved for lot #9, so as not to have the adjacent parcel “land-locked” – parcels that this affects are owned by Harris and White.  There is very minor wetland impacts says Mr. Yarmo. There is a piece of land being donated to the town c/o The Conservation Commission.  The Planning Board seemed to want a little guidance and wants input from the Conservation Commission.  Mr. Yarmo said the Board of Selectmen can approve it but they have to get permission from the Conservation Commission, as we are the stewards of the land.  When Phase II is constructed there will be another strip of land that will connect to the town-owned land and make it one big conservation land.  We have called this the Spring Street Recreation Area for lack of a better name.  There is a potential, from other donations of land to even have 100 acres of town-owned land.  Mr. Yarmo says it is in the town’s best interest to take ownership of the land rather than an easement.  Harris’ land is currently land-locked.  There is some frontage on Phase I that could be incorporated into a right-of-way at no cost to the Harris parcel.  The town can lay a road on the town’s parcel and will make a connection.  The primary beneficiary is Harris.  The second beneficiary is when the White property is developed there would be no need for a cul-de-sac without crossing a wetland.  Phase I is on the BOS agenda for October 2nd.  Mr. Yarmo says he hates to see a road go through a conservation area.  When a road goes through a conservation area it seems to increase the value of someone else’s property.  I would rather have more open space and more deeded property, I would support that.  When, or if Harris does something, there may be cluster options.  It’s being requested that Conservation send a message to BOS for a favorable option.  Clay was very happy with this plan, and supportive. 

 

Conservation Commission – September 12, 2001                                           Page 9

 

PUBLIC INPUT:

 

Deborah Waters, abutter and Conservation Chairman of Open Space:  As far as deeding the land to the town for the proposed recreation area, I think it would be helpful to make sure town council reviews that language.  I know that Conservation can accept land on behalf of the town and through the Conservation per the RSA that we operate under.  Ms. Waters said she would be happy to handle the coordination to be sure town council reviews the language.  Ms. Waters said she really likes the idea of the Conservation easements on the individual lots that will extend the area in addition to the donation.  There were only 2 neighbors at the meeting who were pretty supportive that there be a connection to the open space.

 

BROUGHT BACK TO THE BOARD:

 

Mr. Yarmo says their needs to be an environmental report.  It’s been done and was prior to the whole layout says Mr. Gove of Gove Environmental.  The report references the wildlife corridor, the pond and habitat preservation area.   Mr. Yarmo:  Does the report address access to the wetlands.  Answer no.  There are some large hardwood trees that are considered nut-bearing trees.  There are also fruit-bearing trees and some white pine. A couple of other significant habitat features are rock-outcrops that are way up in the northern section, adjacent to mining rocks and old quarries, etc.  There is one potential vernal pool area.  The representative to the Planning Board, Hal, was pushing more for recreation than open space said Mr. Gove.  Three plans were presented to the Planning Board.  Option (A) was probably the more “cookie cutter” approach where all the lots had frontage on the pond; Option (B) eliminated the crossing, a proposed future crossing, and eliminated several more lots.  Option (C) which they liked the best was: we made the offer to the town that we would put in one lot instead of two in exchange there would be no design and build of a road.  The town wouldn’t have a road to maintain.  There will be a conservation easement in the lower portion.  It’s quite a ways from the house and wouldn’t impact - the goal is to keep the area quite pristine.  You don’t want to be seeing people on their back decks.

 

Mr. Gove refers to the dam structure and the open water area.  If a dredge and fill was needed, it could be a minimum impact dredge and fill.  It would not impact the large pond area. Mr. Yarmo congratulates the developer for a good plan.

Case concluded.

 

Map 6, Lot 158, Robin Road/Honey Lane/Noella Avenue, Proposed 2-Lot Subdivision

 

Jim Aspinwall, land surveyor for Herbert Associates presents this case.  In the course of doing Irene Drive and Robin Road there was a connection to Honey Lane between Robin Road and Noella Avenue.  There is currently an 8-acre parcel along Honey Lane.  The larger parcel is 5-acres and has a rather large wet spot within it.  The proposal is to

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separate this parcel into 2-lots.  The 8-acre piece split into lot 68-185-66, 3.1 acres and the other piece 5.3- acres.  It would come all the way over to Noella Avenue.  The house site and the large piece will be almost directly off the end of Noella Avenue.  The other house site is very close to Honey Lane.  All of the development is pushed outside the WCD.  There is no direct wetland impact.  The road goes through a certain amount of the WCD.  There is an existing road – it’s not believed to be paved yet.  Mr. Yarmo said there really isn’t that many wetland issues as you’re not crossing the WCD.  Mr. Yarmo says he has no comment to any erosion control.

 

Ms. Alicia Hennessey, 71 Dutton Road, asks to look at the plan.  She was on the Commission when Honey Lane was proposed, and it was recommended by the environmental report to not make that connection.  There was some controversy about the location of Honey Lane because when the site walk was done we were asking for the road to be narrower than what was proposed.  The environmental report should be reviewed said Ms. Hennessey.  Mr. Aspinwall said there was a 20-ft easement or access to the conservation land that was provided at the end of Noella Avenue. Mr. Yarmo said their needs to be a site walk for this subdivision.  Mr. Yarmo asked if there was a cul-de-sac at the end of Noella – response, yes, well it may not be a cul-de-sac but it is the connection between Honey Lane Noella Ave. says Mr. Aspinwall.  Again Ms. Hennessey said that the environmental report should be looked at because the Conservation Commission was opposed to even putting Honey Lane in.  It was suggested to construct Robin Avenue and avoid Honey Lane completely.  This concludes the hearing of this parcel.  Site walk scheduled for next Saturday.

 

 

Map 10, Lot 3-10, North of Jericho and Colburn Road on the East Side of Route 38.

Proposal for a Retail Store

 

Presenting this case was Wes Aspinwall, land surveyor for Herbert Associates:  A site plan has already been before the Planning Board.  All of the proposed development is to be within the 50-ft. WCD.  There is an existing building that will remain right where it is.  One entrance is on Bridge Street.  At the southerly end of the parking lot, at the right side of the building looking at it from the street, the area will be filled in somewhat.  There will be a retaining wall to maintain the grade for the parking area and the entrance to the building.  The back area will be for future parking if needed.  We are not asking for WCD crossings or wetland crossings, but showing it for a future reserve area.  If it were to be developed it would come back before the Conservation Commission for a wetland crossing and a future site plan.  The use will be for the sale of dry goods; garden supplies and has a greenhouse effect on the end.  Mr. Yarmo questions whether it is an appropriate use for this type business because of the statement of offering garden supplies, etc., which may require fuel.  He’s concerned about the facility being next to a wetland.  Mr. Aspinwall said there are parts of the land that are within the 100-year floodplain.  Mr. Yarmo asked what would prevent the operation of this business from storing fuel or hazardous chemicals that would endanger the wetlands?  He goes on to say that the

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proprietors, at a later date, might turn this into another “Bridge Street Hardware”, or “Service Star Hardware” and rent trucks and equipment and sell gas, etc.  Mr. Yarmo states:  “I will tell you one thing, your will never get a dredge and fill permit from me for additional parking.  I suggest that you take that note off the plan.  I don’t want the Planning Board to think there is a need for expansion of parking that would entail crossing the wetland.  That’s not a reasonable use for a dredge and fill permit.  That’s just my comment”.  Mr. Aspinwall said there is no reasonable way to make use of that portion of the land, that there isn’t any other access.

 

Mr. Yarmo said that at the Planning Board Meeting it was stated that there might be endangered species in this area.  I’d like some review of that if possible.  Mr. Gove, Gove Environmental said he doesn’t believe that study has been done yet but will look into it.  Mr. Yarmo will do a site walk and prepare something for the Planning Board.

 

Map 8, Lot 136, MAHLEP Housing, 25 Windham Road, Proposed 24 Additional Housing Units

 

Presenting this case is Wes Aspinwal of Herbert Associates.  Map 22, Lot 8-136 is just south of Brookview Drive and Beaver Brook.  There are a number of units that are leased for elderly housing.  There is an existing building in the middle of the complex.  The proposal before the Conservation is for a new, larger building.  The proposal here is for 24 units at the northerly side of the existing elderly housing.  There will be some rearrangement of septic areas.  There is no wetland impacts or WCD impacts with what’s proposed.  Mr. Yarmo questioned why Mahlep Housing is before the Conservation Commission.  Mr. Aspinwal said the parcel abuts wetlands that are connected to Beaver Brook.  There is a site walk scheduled for this Saturday.  If I have any comments I will write them up says Mr. Yarmo.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT:

 

Alicia Hennessey, 71 Dutton Road.  She says this case went before the Board of Adjustment for a variance.  The variance was granted.  She said she believes that there was suppose to be open space included.  Mr. Aspinwall said there is a significant amount of land that is wetland and it’s within WCD.

 

B & G Development, Dutton Road, Proposed 30 lot Subdivision at Apple Tree Estates

 

[Mr. Gove asked Wes if he could get “that nice” plan for him of Cara Estates, as it would help if he can connect these two subdivisions.  I will go over Cara Estates environmental impact at the same time.]

 

Mr. Gove, Gove Environmental Services presents this plan.  He posted the plans of Cara Estates and Apple Tree Estates to show how the two parcels connect.  There is a dredge

Conservation Commission – September 12, 2001                                           Page 12

 

and fill permit before the Conservation Commission.  This explanation may get complicated initially says Mr. Gove.  The dredge and fill is for 14,088 sq-ft.  Of that, 13,256 sq. ft. occurred prior to the applicant taking ownership of this property.  The applicant is requesting to impact 832 sq-ft.  The 832-sq. ft is located at Birch Lane. As best that can be figured out is the actual impact area got flattened out and got pushed into the wetlands.  This was 15-20 years ago. The low point is on Dutton Road and then it climbs the hill.  The wetland that drains across had obviously connected and continued to drain.  The most recent impact that you observed (meaning Mr. Yarmo) is to be restored by the applicant.  That’s where there was a culvert and has fresh fill on it.  The five (5) existing impact areas come up to 13,256 sq. ft.  The one that was done in the year 2000 is 1,323 sq. ft.  The applicant is asking for the new impact for essentially the edge of the road, to push the existing culvert out that drains from Birch Lane, put a rift-raft area on it, and also impact this thing so it will continue as it currently exists.  Some of the old impacts are being utilized says Mr. Gove.  The one at Birch Lane is not.  There was a skidoo trail that came through that area and ties into another trail.  The other impacts to consider are detention basins that are being filled in the 50-ft setback and show impacts into the WCD.  There are also impacts to the WCD at road crossing locations.  In preparing the dredge and fill application we have a total WCD impact as 27,587 sq. ft.  An aerial photo showing Cara Estates was presented.  There are all open fields up to Apple Tree Estates boundaries.  There’s a man-made dug pond on the property.  A key element in the environment impact assessment is that there is a power easement on the land also.  Mr. Yarmo asked why are all the retention basins in the WCD.  Mr. Gove answers that that is where the engineers say it is the only place they can be.  Mr. Yarmo said it is the only place they can be without loosing a lot?  Mr. Gove: I cannot make that statement; you are free to make your observations.  Mr. Yarmo:  I can’t say that for sure, but I bet if I studied the plan I probably would come up with the same conclusion.  In my opinion, get the detention basins out of WCD.  Mr. Gove:  I have to start making some notes.  Mr. Yarmo:  There are 3 house lots along Garland Drive that are build-able lots and are outside the wetlands (lots 4 and 5).  I would like to specify a site-specific building envelope area and for it to be identified on the street side of the WCD or the wetlands so that the traffic does not have to cross the wetlands.  The next two lots, #2 and #3, show the driveway crossing the wetland and is the older impact area, so that is not an issue.  My comment on lots 1, 2, and 3 are to try to have the septic systems on the same side of the houses.  My other issue is where Birch Lane drains into Garland Drive.  We talked about doing some treatment in there.  Is that proposed?  Mr. Yarmo:  Would there be any use at all to create wildlife corridors behind where there is another piece of property separating the power line.  Question about the chemical arsenic that was used on the apple orchard.  In the environmental report it showed a picture of a tank – probably used for chemicals.  I would like to have some exploratory tests done on the land.  My other issue is open space.  Between Cara Estates and Apple Tree Estates, there must be some open space that would benefit both communities says Mr. Yarmo.  Mr. Gove said that the guidelines that he has seen calls for a minimum of 300-ft for wildlife corridors.

 

 

Conservation Commission – September 12, 2001                                           Page 13

 

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

 

Alicia Hennessey, 71 Dutton Road, questioned where exactly where the structures were before being torn down. 

 

BACK TO BOARD:

 

A dredge and fill application has been filed and you have 14 days under state statute to respond said Mr. Gove.  If you need more time to review it, then you must submit a “Letter of Intervention” that will give you up to 40 days to provide your comments to the Wetlands Bureau said Mr. Gove.  Question from Mr. Yarmo as to when B & G is scheduled to come before the Planning Board.  Mr. Gove:  I believe it is on the agenda for next Monday.

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 11:26 P.M.

 

  

RESCHEDULED CASES:  (Will be heard on November 5):  Honey Lane/Robin Road/Noella Ave and Mahlep Housing

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Glennie Edwards

Recording Secretary

 

 

Note:  Transcribing of this report taken from a VCR tape provided by Pelham PTV.

 

Completed:  September 4, 2002