TOWN OF OTIS
12/16/2018 MEETING MINUTES
Location: Otis Town Hall, One North Main Road, Otis
Conservation Commission Members present: Dave Sarnacki; Roger Meyer; Domenic Battista; Bruce Wall; Jeff Laramy.
Conservation Commission Members absent: Rene Dube.
Staff and others present: Kristen Brown OCC Admin Secretary; Chris Tryon with BGT; Don Chartier; Simone Natalie with Berkshire Engineering; Victoria Smith; Jim Marlor; Bob Mason with MA DCR.
Opening items/Introduction of Commission members and staff. Dave Sarnacki opened the meeting at 6:00 p.m. Dave also noted that the meeting is being recorded. The deadline for applications for the January 15th 2019 meeting is on Wednesday January 5, 2019 @ 6:00 PM. The next office hours, for the January 15, 2019 meeting, is January 2nd, from 6:00 –9:00 PM. Dave introduced the members of the commission, as well as Bob Mason with MA DCR, and asked everyone to turn off/down their cell phones for the duration of the meeting.
Minutes: Dave made a motion for revision to the November 20, 2019 meeting minutes; RM 2nd the motion and the Commission voted unanimously to revise the minutes from the November 20, 2018 meeting.
- Public Hearing – RDA – Submitted by Donald N. Chartier, 27 South Bay Road, map 17D lot 22, regarding the removal of 2 unsafe docks & replacement with new dock structure & boat lift; rebuilding of existing retaining wall and removal & rebuild of cottage and walkway out of home. Dave opened this hearing and invited applicants to address the Commission. Don Chartier was in attendance for this RDA. Dave asked if there were any questions stemming from the site inspection. Roger asked about the trees, but the trees were addressed under another RDA, that was already approved at a previous meeting. Roger then asked about a chapter 91 license, and Dona did not know what that was so Dave explained it was a dock license. KB directed Don to check with Berkshire middle ROG to see if there was a chapter 91 as that s where it will be filed. If there is not one filed with the ROD, then they need to start the process. Bruce also asked Roger if this was the one where they had an issue on a previous RDA with the tree(s) that was on state land, and Roger indicated that yes, and the applicant had ALL trees slated for removal, and the ones on state land could NOT be taken down. Don indicated that he has the approval that states that 7 trees could come down, and the commission said yes, all the trees requested to be removed that were not on state land were approved for removal; the one on state land is not approved, as we have no authority to approve items not on applicants property. Roger also had question if they were tearing down the old house, or incorporating the new area to the old house. Per Don, the old is staying put, and the new is going to be incorporated as an addition to the old. But per RM the lot layout shows that the new deck comes out to almost on state land, so where is the HWM on the plans? Don has a stamped map from Parsons, and per that map HWM should be displayed, but he cannot locate. Don cannot locate the stamped plans so he indicated he will review with Mike Parsons. Also, only the trees in the back were approved for removal, as we cannot approve trees on state land. Therefore, due to these questions, Dave made a motion to continue this RDA until the January 15, 2019 meeting. RM 2nd the motion and the Commission voted to continue this hearing until the January 15, 2019 meeting.
- Public Hearing – RDA – Submitted by Otis Woodlands Club, Inc., 30 Clubhouse Drive, map 10F lot 14, regarding the removal of a structurally unsound tree(s) in the BZ of Owl Lake. Dave opened this hearing and invited applicants to address the Commission. Dave asked how they would deal with the stumps, and they will be cut flush with the ground. Dave asked if there were any other questions, and being none, he made a motion for a -3 determination with the following conditions: No heavy equipment in the resource area; debris to be removed or covered immediately; stumps to be cut flush with the ground; OCC reserves the right to inspect property for a period of 3 years from date of approval. RM 2nd the motion and the Commission voted unanimously to issue a -3 determination with the above conditions.
- Public Hearing – RDA – Submitted by Berkshire Geo-Technologies on behalf of Victoria Smith, 75 N. Lake Ave., map 18 lot 33, regarding the replacement of existing failed septic system, demo & rebuild of existing house all within the BZ of OR. Dave opened this hearing and invited applicant to address the Commission. Chris Tryon with BGT was in attendance on behalf of applicant. Roger asked about EC, and they are wrapping the whole site. Roger also asked if a planting plan should be required, however, per Bruce, since they are backing up the house, away from the resource, and there are only 5 trees coming down that are all outside the 50” buffer. Therefore, a planting plan is not necessary. Dave asked if any other questions, and since there are none, Dave made a motion for a -3 determination with the following conditions: EC to be installed and inspected prior to work start; no heavy equipment in the resource area; all debris to be removed or covered immediately; OCC reserves the right to inspect property for 3 years from date of inspection. BW 2nd the motion and the Commission voted unanimously to issue a -3 determination with the above conditions.
- Public Hearing – RDA – Submitted by Clean Focus Renewables, Algerie Road, map 16 lot 85, regarding the installation, operation & maintenance of a solar array, with a 100’ setback from all surrounding wetland resources. Dave opened this hearing and invited applicant to address the Commission. Steve Ivas, an environmental scientist and Wetlands Specialist, and the principal owner of Ivas environmental, was in attendance on behalf of applicant, Clean Focus Renewables, for this solar array project. Steve Ivas did the delineation of the site, to make sure that no wetland disturbance is observed with this project. Steve is also PWS, and has a master’s in resource management and is a Conservation Commissioner in 2 towns in Eastern Mass. He has been in the field for 30 years. That being said, Steve proceeded to outline the project, that was revised based on Steve’s delineation, so that there will be NO wetland disturbance, and all offset’s and limits will be observed to ensure protection of any surrounding wetlands, of which there are none even close to this project, with revision submitted. Steve also submitted the revised Stormwater Engineering report, as well as a full set of revised plans, to which KB added to the file. That being said, Dave asked if there were any questions from the Commission. Per Bruce, speaking on behalf of the Commission, they were very impressed with the attention to detail, and the premeditated care taken to ensure protection of natural resources in the area, that are predominantly BVW, located southerly to the site, and SE of the site. Again, ALL work is outside the 100’, so Domenic asked why they filed an RDA, and it was done as a courtesy to the Town, and to assure all that they are well away from all wetlands resources as required, and with full transparency. That being said, and with no further questions from this Commission, Dave made a motion for a -3 determination, with standard conditions as follows: Since all work is outside all recognized resource areas and buffer zones, the conditions will be in place for any work that falls without these boundaries, of which there should be none; OCC reserves the right to inspect the property for a period of 3 years from date of approval. BW 2nd the motion, and the Commission voted unanimously to approve the project and issue a -3 determination with standard and above conditions.
- Public Hearing – NOI – Submitted by Berkshire Engineering, Inc., on behalf of Sally Laufer, 20 Soucie Lane, map 6 lot 116, regarding the removal & construction of existing single family home with attached deck, install of stone drip edge and extension of existing gravel drive, all within the 200’ riverfront area of the west branch of the FR in Otis. Dave opened this hearing and invited applicants to address the Commission. Simone Natalie was in attendance on behalf of applicant Sally Laufer. Simone proceeded to outline the project for the Commission. When completed, she asked if any questions, and BW indicated that the plans were done in a manner that was so precise, that they Commission has no additional questions or concerns at this time. That being said, Dave made a motion to issue an Order of Conditions for this project, with standard conditions as set forth by MA DEP, as well as special conditions as follows: OCC reserves the right to inspect property for a period of 3 years from date of approval; all EC to be installed and inspected prior to work start and no heavy equipment in the resource area. RM 2nd the motion, and the Commission voted unanimously to approve and issue an OOC with the above conditions.
- Public Hearing – RDA Continuation – Submitted by James Marlor, 6 Blandford Drive, map 18C lot 59, regarding the stabilization of seawall with existing stones on property, all by hand, in the BZ of OR. Dave opened this hearing and invited applicants to address the Commission. Jim Marlor (owner) was in attendance on behalf of the applicant. Bruce asked why this was on the agenda again, and KB indicated it was because there were question on this project at last meeting, and applicant did not show up, and KB indicated responsibility, in that we did not inform applicant of the date of meeting, etc., and BW stated that it was not our job to inform applicants of meeting dates; all of the meeting info and agenda info is published on the website, and people should be looking there, and showing up for meetings; we are not administrative assistants to all applicants. In addition, the Commission did not inspect this site, as there was a tree down on the road, and the road was closed, so the Commission was remiss, in not getting back out there to inspect. However, upon review with applicant, they see no reason why they cannot do this project, since it is all being done by hand. Bruce stated that they will need to get the work done before draw down ends, which is in January 2019. Bruce clarified that draw down officially ends when they have closed the wing of the dam, and start to fill up the reservoir. Applicant is clear on this now, and will get the work done prior to the end of draw down. That all being said, Dave made a motion for a -3 determination, with the following conditions: no heavy equipment to be used as per discussion, all done by hand; OCC reserves the right to inspect property for a period of 3 years from date of approval. BW 2nd the motion and the Commission voted unanimously to issue a -3 determination with the above conditions.
- Reminder to discuss Reservoir Heights Road, and the enforcement order issued (and ratified on 10/30/2018), and sent via USPS mail to the owners, requesting them to attend our meeting to review how to correct the issues with material run-off into OR. Dave opened this hearing and asked why this was on the agenda. KB stated that there was a mailing sent to all owners of Reservoir Heights Road, and not one responded to the EO paperwork. Bruce asked if the letters were sent Certified, and they were not. Bruce asked that we re-send to all owners, and send Certified this time, with a demand to appear at the next meeting to review. Dave made a motion to re-send the EO paperwork to each owner via certified USPS; RM 2nd the motion and the Commission voted unanimously to re-send the EO paperwork via certified USPS mail.
Forest Cutting Plans:
Extensions of Orders of Condition:
Certificate of Compliance Requests:
Next office hours: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 from 6-9 p.m. at Otis Town Hall.
Next meeting: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at Otis Town Hall. Meeting adjourned at 8:11 PM.