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Natural Resources Commission Minutes July 15, 2009
NATURAL RESOURCES COMMISSION
Meeting Minutes
July 15, 2009


Pursuant to the notice filed with the Town Clerk, the meeting of the Natural Resources Commission was held at 141 Keyes Road, Concord, MA at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15, 2009. The following Commissioners were present: Jamie Bemis, Chair, Dean Banfield, Elissa Brown and George Lewis. Steve Verrill arrived at 7:02 p.m. Delia Kaye, Natural Resources Director and Cynthia L. Gray, Natural Resources Administrative Assistant, were also present. Betsy Sluder of the League of Women Voters was also in attendance.

CONTINUANCES

WARE / NOI – 201 Independence Road and 525 Rear Lexington RoadConstructing 15 residential dwellings with associated driveway and utilities, portions of which work is in the 100-foot Buffer Zone to Bordering Vegetated Wetland, DEP File #137-974. Dean Banfield moved to continue the hearing to August 12, 2009. Elissa Brown seconded. All so voted.

THE COMMERFORD LAND TRUST (Ahern) / NOI – 14B & 140 Commerford Road – Constructing a single-family dwelling and installing a septic system, common driveway with associated grading and utilities in the 200-foot Riverfront Area of Baptist Brook and 100-foot Buffer Zone to Bordering Vegetated Wetlands, DEP File #137-1016. Elissa Brown moved to continue the hearing to August 12, 2009. Dean Banfield seconded. All so voted.

HALL (Mattworks, LLC) / ANRAD – 44A Fitchburg Turnpike - The applicant is seeking confirmation from the Natural Resources Commission of the Bordering Vegetated Wetlands delineation on the property, DEP File #137-1033. The requested information was received from the applicant. The Commission will close the hearing and issue an Order of Resource Area Delineation later this evening.

THE FENN SCHOOL / NOI – 516 Monument Street – Renovating an existing grass baseball field and replacing turf to an existing multi-purpose field, in the 200-foot Riverfront Area of the Concord River, DEP File #137-1032
Frank Holmes and Robert Corning, Landscape Architect, both of Stantec Consulting appeared with Jerry Ward, Headmaster of the Fenn School and Bob Starensier, Athletic Director of The Fenn School.
The Applicant has revised the project to realign the driveway and change the parking layout. The Applicant should confirm that Planning Board review is no longer required. The Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) provided comments that as long as work is done between October 1 and May 14, the project will not result in a take of the Blanding’s turtle. While this satisfies the MESA requirements, issues remain to be addressed regarding potential wildlife impacts, including whether it makes sense to have openings in the fence. Natural Resources staff recommends input from Bryan Windmiller, local herpetologist who has studied the Blanding’s population at Great Meadows for several years, for his assessment of Blanding’s habitat at the site. Mr. Windmiller is currently away on vacation and will be returning on July 20, 2009.

The Commission discussed whether the Applicant has, through the alternatives analysis, proven by a preponderance of the evidence that there are no practicable and substantially equivalent economic alternatives to the proposed project with less adverse effects on the interests identified in M.G.L. Ch.131, Sec. 40. The Applicant provided additional information to support the alternatives analysis and clarify impacts to the Riverfront Area. The information consists of a response to comments letter, a plan showing land owned by the Applicant, and a memo regarding field scheduling.

Daniel Hill, Esq., who represents abutters Dr. Susanna Bedell and Dr. Robert Coles noted that the field size could fit in a north to south direction with some adjustments and by relocating the entrance of the loop road. The regulations state that higher or lower costs taken alone will not determine whether an alternative is practicable. Loss of profit or value should not be considered a cost for purposes of the analysis. Attorney Hill also noted that no reference to the synthetic field was mentioned in the MESA application. NHESP seems to have focused on the construction aspects of the project instead of the long-term use of the field as indicated by Attorney Hill.

Gordon Bell, 1657 Monument Street, noted that the use of artificial fields will increase in the near future and the Commission should carefully review the elements in the turf. Mr. Bell stated his concern on the Commission setting precedent. Mr. Bell also noted that the Applicant should provide warranties and/or guarantees on the turf to the Commission. Mr. Bell recommended that the Commission consider the risk of removal of the turf, and that if this project is approved by the NRC, that the Commission treat the future removal of the turf after its useful life as a separate proceeding, and that the Applicant understand that this approval, if granted, would not be an automatic approval for additional artificial fields at The Fenn School. The Applicant should provide information on the timetable as to when it is reasonably likely that the field would need replacement. Jeff Adams, 142 Farmers Cliff Road, noted that the question of chemicals has been previously debated in the community with the installation of the artificial turf at the high school fields. Kat Edwards, 925 Lowell Road, asked if the artificial turf contains a ground-up rubber mix. If so, the mix would move and likely wash into the wetlands.

This hearing was continued to August 12, 2009. The Applicant will provide in memo form (1) a response to CPW – Engineering Report; (2) a revised alternatives analysis looking specifically at Alternatives 5 and 6 (to include 6A); and (3) a diagnosis of the infill materials.

NEW APPLICATIONS

JACKS / NOI – 904 Lowell RoadAfter-the-fact installation on walls and walkways located in the front portion of the premises, reconfiguring a portion of the existing driveway, replacing an existing bluestone landing and walkways at the rear of the premises, installation of a stone trench, and landscaping improvements and grading in the 100-foot Buffer Zone to Bordering Vegetated Wetland, DEP File #137-1035
William Manuell of Wetlands & Land Management, Inc. appeared. Mr. Manuell became involved after much of the unpermitted work was completed. Replacement of the bluestone terrace and plantings still haven’t been accomplished. The Applicant is also seeking to put a top coat over the driveway. Because the Applicants had experienced water and mold problems on the lower level of the home, they needed to get rid of the moisture and water around the foundation. A four-inch pipe was embedded in a stone trench. Mr. Manuell is suggesting hemlocks for the replanting area. Driveway expansion had occurred but it was unclear to Mr. Manuell if it was done prior to the Jack’s purchase or after the issuance of the Certificate of Compliance.

Kat Edwards, 925 Lowell Road, noted that Chris Carlson, builder of the home, had worked closely with the Natural Resources Commission. Ms. Edwards expressed concern that there has been construction on the premises over the past two years and that the Applicants expanded the driveway without NRC approval. Brian Reynolds, 73 Hugh Cargill Road, noted that he had been in contact with Robert Ambrose, who resides at 934 Lowell Road. Mr. Reynolds stated that the pipe had been pushed through to the Ambrose property and requested that the Commission require the Applicant to remove the pipe and trench because water was discharging on to the Ambrose property.

The Commission reviewed the prior approval under the Carlson N.E. Properties Order of Conditions, DEP File 137-578. From this review, it was determined that the Jacks had expanded the driveway which now consists of two turnaround areas. The Commission discussed requiring the Applicants remove the expanded driveway. The Commission scheduled a site visit for July 22nd at 5:00 p.m. at the site.

This hearing was continued to August 12, 2009. The Commission requested that Mr. Manuell have the Applicants in attendance at the next meeting.

GORMAN / NOI – 115 Indian Pipe Lane - Installing an in-ground pool, pool deck, fence, a drywell and grading located in the 100-foot Buffer Zone to Bordering Vegetated Wetland, DEP File #137-1034
Keith Murray of LandTech and Richard McPherson of South Shore Gunite Pool & Spa, Inc. appeared with Applicant, Mary Ann Gorman. Mr. Murray stated that the premises consist of lawn and wooded area with a fairly gentle slope to a small drainage ditch along the rear property line. The soils on site consist of Windsor Loamy Sand, with a hydrologic soil group rating of “A”. The wetlands were delineated by Epsilon Associates in June and field located LandTech Consultants Inc. on June 29, 2009. Mr. McPherson stated that a gunite pool and concrete deck would be installed. The pool filter and pump will be set on a crushed stone base, poly composite pad. The pool does not require a backwash system as it is a saline pool which uses a cartridge system. The Commission discussed adding a Special Condition that no direct discharge to wetlands or within 100 feet of wetlands is permitted. Keith Murray will submit two revised hard copies of the plan taking out the drywell.

REQUEST TO EXTEND

EMERSON HOSPITAL – 133 ORNAC, DEP File #137-854
Richard Kosian of Beals and Thomas attended with Robert Bornstein, Director of Facilities and Engineering of Emerson Hospital. Project S.C.O.R.E. is practically complete. An administrative approval for the addition of the Linear Accelerator (LINAC) facility was issued by the Natural Resources Commission in April, 2009. Because the construction of the LINAC addition will not begin until October, 2009, the applicant is requesting a two-year extension. Dean Banfield moved to issue a 2nd Extension Permit for Orders of Conditions. Steve Verrill seconded. All so voted.

CLOSE / ISSUE PERMITS

US FISH & WILDLIFE – 19X Peter Spring, DEP File #137-1028
Elissa Brown moved to close the hearing. Steve Verrill seconded. All so voted. Steve Verrill moved to approve Findings A-C and issue a standard Order of Conditions with Special Conditions #19 - #42. Dean Banfield seconded. All so voted.

KILMARTIN – 104 Nimrod Drive, DEP File #137-1030
Elissa Brown moved to close the hearing. Dean Banfield seconded. All so voted. Dean Banfield moved to approve Finding A and issue a standard Order of Conditions with Special Conditions #19 - #48, with Special Condition #19, as amended. George Lewis seconded. All so voted.

HALL (Mattworks, LLC) - 44A Fitchburg Turnpike, DEP File #137-1033
Elissa Brown moved to close the hearing. Dean Banfield seconded. All so voted. Elissa Brown moved to issue an Order of Resources Area Delineation Only. Dean Banfield seconded. All so voted.


GORMAN – 115 Indian Pipe Lane, DEP File #137-1034
Elissa Brown moved to close the hearing. Dean Banfield seconded. All so voted. Elissa Brown moved to issue a standard Order of Conditions with Special Conditions #19 - #40, with Special Condition #20, as amended. Dean Banfield seconded. All so voted.

CERTIFICATES OF COMPLIANCE

US FISH & WILDLIFE – Great Meadows off Monsen Road, DEP #137-583
Dean Banfield moved to issue a Certificate of Compliance. Steve Verrill seconded. All so voted.

OTHER BUSINESS

781 Strawberry Hill Road Violation – Tom Hughes, Natural Resources Planner, has been working with the owner, Steven Reznek, relative to excavation work to replace the walkway and wall approximately 50 feet from the wetlands which requires approval of the Natural Resources Commission. A Notice of Intent application is expected to be filed by August 19, 2009 for the September 2, 2009 meeting.

5 Crowell Farm Road Violation – While performing another site visit, DNR staff observed earth work occurring near wetlands at this address. Staff performed a site visit and met with the landscaper, Jenney Landscape and the landscape designer, Mabel Herweg. The work consists of regarding, removing and relocating boulders, removing two trees and native shrubs and invasive species mostly in the outer buffer zone, with the closest area approximately 30 feet from wetlands. The project consists of planting native shrubs and groundcover. After further discussion, the Commission decided to request that the owner file a Request for Determination of Applicability by the end of July.

24 Old Mill Road Restoration Plan – DNR staff met last week with Mr. Smith and Dave Crossman of B & C Associates to review how to proceed with the restoration. DNR staff agreed that a restoration plan could be filed under the existing Enforcement Order rather than a new Notice of Intent. The restoration plan addresses the elements raised in the violation letter by replacing the fill that was moved to the north to construct the road. The abutter has asked several times over the past year to have the solution remedied, as the fill has been washing on to his property. The Applicant is proposing to restore the cart path width to 10 feet from the 18 feet it was widened to without a permit. Though there is no ability for the Commission to confirm the width prior to the alteration, Dave Crossman provided an undated aerial that shows the cart path in relation to a truck and shed, that at least provides evidence of its existence. DNR staff agrees that 10 feet is reasonable. When DNR staff met with Mr. Smith last week to review his proposal, he stated that he would propose up to 5 trees to mitigate for trees that he removed from the construction. Again, there is no ability for the Commission to confirm that only 5 trees were removed. The current plan proposes only a native seed mix on disturbed areas and no trees. DNR staff recommend that the Commission require trees be replaced at the same or 2:1 ratio for those removed.

Dave Crossman stated that Mr. Smith would start work within a week after approval by the Commission, pending a site visit. Mr. Smith indicated that he would be willing to plant trees by the shed. Mr. Smith stated that an existing carport was not present at the time of the photo. A Building Permit for the carport was issued, but he was unaware of the exact date.

After discussion, the Commission determined that they would require two red oaks, 1.5 inches dbh, and two white pines, 8 feet in height. Trees will need to be maintained and kept alive for a period of three years. Small equipment, such as a bobcat, will be used to move the trees into place. Mr. Smith will be held responsible and accountable for the undertaking of the restoration work. This decision of the Commission is reflected in the minutes because no permit will be issued. Work is approved under the Enforcement Order.

Crosby Pond Dam Non-Compliance and Dam Safety Order
The Natural Resources office  received a copy of correspondence dated July 8, 2009 from William Salomaa, Director of the Office of Dam Safety to Jack Crosby, formerly of 552 Cambridge Turnpike. The correspondence stated that Mr. Crosby had failed to comply with the March 16, 2007 Certificate of Non-Compliance and Dam Safety Order and letter dated July 16, 2007 granting an extension of time through September 30, 2007. In accordance with M.G.L. c. 253 and 302 CMR 10.00, it is the responsibility of the dam owner to protect public safety by conducting regular inspections, and operating and maintaining in acceptable condition, a regulated dam. Failure to provide the DCR Office of Dam Safety Inspection reports that are in compliance as to content and frequency of inspections contained in the order will result in fines up to $500. Mr. Crosby no longer resides in Concord, but has moved to Maine. There is a very serious concern about the integrity of Cambridge Turnpike if the dam should let go.

Ad Hoc Ditch Committee – update
Chair, Jamie Bemis indicated that she had spoken with Town Manager, Chris Whelan on this matter. CPW Engineering will be looking at all of the culverts in Town and will look at water issues. The Commission supported the idea of review and identification of ditch locations throughout the Town.

Review 8/12/09 and 9/2/09 NRC meeting dates
Due to a lack of quorum, the August 12, 2009 NRC meeting will be rescheduled to August 19, 2009. Current applicants will be called and asked to continue to August 19, 2009.

Trails Committee Logo Design Contest – After reviewing 44 designs for a trails logo for trail head markers on Town conservation lands, the judging panel of the Trails Committee selected the winning design and awarded Jesse Birge a $100 gift certificate generously donated by the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber also donated a $50 gift certificate to Trish Ng for second prize, and Concordopoly (Monopoly with Concord features) to Annette Bagley as third prize. The winning design features a meandering trail through a green field with a hawk overhead and “Concord Trails” emblazoned within a circle.

Approve NRC meeting minutes – George Lewis moved to approve the April 15, 2009 meeting minutes as written. Steve Verrill seconded. All so voted.

The meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Delia R. J. Kaye, Natural Resources Director


Cynthia L. Gray, Natural Resources Administrative Assistant


 
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