Conservation Commission

Monday, December 4, 2017, 7:15 pm until 8:30 pm
9 Montague Rd., Leverett Town Hall
A meeting of the Conservation Commission

Meeting of Conservation Commission

Members: (Quorum)

  • Absent: Ralph Tiner
  • Present: Andrew Young, at 7:15 PM
  • Present: David Powicki, at 7:15 PM
  • Present: Isaiah Robison, Chair, at 7:15 PM
  • Present: Laurie Brown, at 7:15 PM
  • Present: Jono Neiger, at 7:15 PM
  • Present: Maggie Kraus, at 7:15 PM

Also Present:

  • Jack Czajkowski & Claire Carlson (33 Camp Rd)
  • Gregg Woodard (36 Montague Rd)
  • Jim Field (Friends of Leverett Pond)
  • David Lenart (Lenart Consulting Service)
  • Steve Salvini (Salvini Associates)
  • Jeff Smith
  • PWS (Salvini Assoc)

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:17 PM

Meeting closed: 9:02 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Public Meetings: Requests for Determination of Applicability

    • 7:22pm: 33 Camp Rd - Tight tank installation - Shawn Kimberley for Jack Czajkowski and Claire Carlson

      General Discussion...
      The applicants wish to replace a failed septic system in the Buffer Zone of Leverett Pond with a tight tank. The tank will be placed in the location of failed septic. The existing fence will be removed, as well as a couple of trees.
      The engineer predicts that the work should be completed over the course of a day, and all debris will be removed from the site.
      The applicants, who are now the landowners, plan to use the house seasonally (Apr - Nov).

      MOTION, moved by Isaiah Robison, seconded by David Powicki: Issue a Negative 3 Determination for work in the Buffer Zone: "The work described in the Request is within the Buffer Zone ... but will not alter an Area subject to protection under the Act".

      Pass: Aye: Isaiah Robison, Jono Neiger, Laurie Brown, Andrew Young, David Powicki, Maggie Kraus. Not Present: Ralph Tiner.

      Said work does not require the filing of a Notice of Intent, subject to the following conditions:
      - Silt fence or straw wattle will be installed as depicted in the diagram revised on 12/4/17. These erosion control measures will be placed as near to the fence line as possible.
      - If work is to be completed before April 2018, straw mulch is to be used to cover soil and prevent erosion.
      - The Conservation Commission must be notified 48 hrs before work commences.

      1. RDA-33CampRd.pdf
      2. RDA-33CampRd-Diagram.pdf
    • 7:35pm: 36 Montague Rd - Construction of residential dock - Gregg Woodard

      General Discussion...
      The applicant proposes to construct a 4'x16' wooden dock on Leverett Pond. The dock will be composed of pressure treated lumber stringers and pine boards (treated off-site), which will be anchored by six metal signposts driven into the lakebed.
      The applicant is aware of the Ch91 permitting procedures that are required for the construction of a dock on a Great Pond.

      MOTION, moved by Isaiah Robison, seconded by Laurie Brown: Issue a Negative 2 Determination: "The work described in the Request is within an area subject to protection under the Act, but will not remove, fill, dredge, or alter that area".

      Pass: Aye: Isaiah Robison, Jono Neiger, Laurie Brown, Andrew Young, David Powicki, Maggie Kraus. Not Present: Ralph Tiner.

      Said work does not require the filing of a Notice of Intent, subject to the following condition:
      - The Conservation Commission must be notified 48 hrs before work commences.

      1. RDA-36Montague-Dock.pdf
      2. RDA-36Montague-DockDiagram.pdf
    • 7:44pm: 36 Montague Rd - Removal of stumps and trees, road leveling - Gregg Woodard

      General Discussion...
      The applicant proposes to remove approximately 15 stumps in the Riverfront Area and the Buffer Zone to Bordering Vegetated Wetland, and to level approximately 30' of existing woods road in the Riverfront Area.
      The stumps to be pulled are currently located in a maintained lawn area, and have been cut for at least 4 years. Machine access is from the western side of an intermittent stream, which flows from the wetland area.
      An approximately 30' length of existing woods road will be lined with large rocks and filled in to level the surface of the road. An existing rock wall is downslope of the proposed work and located between the road and the perennial stream. Approximately five trees will also be cut along the edge of the existing road.

      MOTION, moved by David Powicki, seconded by Isaiah Robison: Issue a Issue a Negative 2 Determination for work in the Riverfront Area ("The work described in the Request is within an area subject to protection under the Act, but will not remove, fill, dredge, or alter that area") and a Negative 3 Determination for work in the Buffer Zone ("The work described in the Request is within the Buffer Zone ... but will not alter an Area subject to protection under the Act").

      Pass: Aye: Isaiah Robison, Jono Neiger, Laurie Brown, Andrew Young, David Powicki, Maggie Kraus. Not Present: Ralph Tiner.

      Said work does not require the filing of a Notice of Intent, subject to the following condition:
      - The applicant will not mow or remove stumps within 5' of the intermittent stream
      - The Conservation Commission must be notified 48 hrs before work commences.

      1. RDA-36Montague-Stumps.pdf
      2. RDA-36Montague-StumpsDiagram.pdf
  3. Public Inquiries

    • 7:58pm: Friends of Leverett Pond - Dam Repair Project - Jim Field & Gregg Woodard (FLP), Steve Lenart (Lenart Consulting Service), Steve Salvini & Jeff Smith, PWS (Salvini Associates)

      General Discussion...
      In order to obtain estimates for the repair of the dam, the Friends of Leverett Pond must first remove woody and organic debris left by beavers on top of the dam. They are seeking advice on how to access the dam in order to remove the debris.
      Steve proposed using swamp mats along the edge of the pond (on Bank and Land Under Water) to access the dam. A smaller machine would remove the debris and transfer it to a platform or dump truck that would be parked in the turnaround area. The use of swamp mats, though temporary, is considered fill in a wetland resource area and would require permitting under a Notice of Intent.
      The Commission suggested instead that the FLP pursue the construction of an inland road that would be a permanent solution for dam maintenance. The FLP explained that while this would be ideal, they currently require a short-term option and do not wish to undertake the longer designing and permitting process required for a larger project.
      David Powicki and Andrew Young indicated a preference for the work to be done by hand in order to minimize wetland impacts as well as permitting burdens. Jeff Smith suggested that the debris could be laid out along the upland banks of the brook and dam instead of needing to remove it from the site. The Commission approves of this option.
      The Commission will not require further permitting for access of vehicles into the turnaround and inland access easement area. Debris is to be removed as part of regular dam maintenance, so long as vehicles do not traverse the stream, pond, or their banks.

  4. Administrative Matters

    • 8:30pm: January Meeting Date

      General Discussion...
      Since the first Monday of January falls on New Year's Day, the next Conservation Commission meeting will be held on January 8.

    • 8:32pm: Open Space and Recreation Plan Update

      General Discussion...
      The District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) funding that hired the help of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments will run out on 12/31/17. Section 3: Community Setting will be completed by that time.
      The Community Preservation Coalition has informed us that, despite many precedents, the use of Community Preservation Act funding for development of an OSRP update does not comply with their regulations. The Commission will apply for DLTA funds in 2018. If awarded, work on the OSRP update will recommence in March 2018.

    • 8:36pm: FY2019 Budget

      General Discussion...
      The FY2019 budget is due January 5, 2018. The agent would like to increase her hours (currently 5 - 8 per week) to 8 - 12 hours per week. For the past two years, the agent has needed to find alternate means to procure enough funding through the fiscal year. The increased hours will allow for expanded office hours, as well as time for work on the Open Space and Recreation Plan, the proposed accessible trail, and other projects.
      The agent plans to increase the percentage of her salary drawn from the Wetlands Protection Act Revolving account in order to reduce the amount of funding to be requested from the Town.
      Pending Commission approval, the agent will discuss this matter with the Town Administrator to see how to proceed.
      The Commission discussed the procurement of a batwing mowing attachment for conservation properties, but concluded that it is not necessary enough to be worth the expense.

      MOTION, moved by David Powicki, seconded by Isaiah Robison: To approve an increase in the agent's FY2019 Salary budget to accommodate an additional 2 - 4 hours per week.

      Pass: Aye: Isaiah Robison, Jono Neiger, Laurie Brown, Andrew Young, David Powicki, Maggie Kraus. Not Present: Ralph Tiner.

    • 8:46pm: Gordon King Property Mowing

      General Discussion...
      Rocky Adriance completed the mowing on the Gordon King Property, and submitted an invoice for $300.00. This invoice was paid for by blueberry sales. The northern end of the property was mowed by the Highway Department this year.
      In order to cut costs, the Commission may consider mowing once every two to three years, instead of annually.

    • 8:49pm: Potential Land Purchase Opportunity

      General Discussion...
      Laurie Brown was contacted by a landowner who would like to sell a piece of undeveloped property to the Town. Due to the price of the property, the Commission will not pursue a purchase.

  5. Old Business

    • 8:53pm: Ruth McIntire ROW

      General Discussion...
      The agent contacted Donna MacNicol, Town Counsel, about Dick Hankinson's Right-of-Way through the Ruth McIntire Conservation Area. Donna clarified that any potential disputes about the condition of a ROW would concern only the users of the ROW, and not the owner of the property it crosses.

  6. Other New Business not considered as of the date of this notice

    • 8:56pm: 7 Dudleyville Rd - Selective cutting of trees for house construction

      General Discussion...
      Patrick Sullivan contacted the Commission to discuss the possibility of selectively cutting trees in his own and in his neighbors' properties to locally source wood for the construction of the home permitted under DEP #200-0185.
      The agent accompanied Patrick on a site visit. A number of trees would be felled in the Riverfront Area on his property, but would not require permitting as they would yield less than 5,000 board feet. Other trees on neighboring properties are outside of jurisdiction.

    • 8:59pm: 64 Dudleyville Rd

      General Discussion...
      While there were no wetland resource issues at 64 Dudleyville Rd, Isaiah found that work had already commenced without the issuance of a building permit. He called the contractor and issued a verbal warning.

  7. Meeting Wrap-up

The listing of matters is those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.

Minutes prepared by Miho Connolly, Conservation Commission Agent

Minutes approved on Monday, Jan 8, 2018

Posted to: Conservation Commission.