Conservation Commission Minutes 05/06/2016

Location: Otis Town Hall, One North Main Road, Otis


Conservation Commission Members present: David Sarnacki, Roger Meyer, Domenic Battista, Bruce Wall and Jeff Laramy

Conservation Commission Members absent: None

Staff and others present: Kristen Brown Secretary; Sarah Schultz, with SK Design Group; Attorney for Otis Lake Partners (signature illegible); Trevor Volastro, President of West Mountain, Inc., the contractor hired to install the docks;

Opening items/Introduction of Commission members and staff. Dave Sarnacki opened the meeting at 6:00 p.m. He noted that the meeting is being recorded. This special Conservation Commission meeting was scheduled in order to review the following:

Public Hearing – SK Design Group, on behalf of Otis Lake Partners, DEP File #254-0287, Reservoir Road, regarding the extension of OOC that was issued in November 2015. Docks now being installed and Building Inspector shut down the job to make sure public safety was being addressed with regards to the docks and boardwalks. OCC also wants to be sure that docks and boardwalk(s) being installed as per the approval from OCC and MASS DEP Chapter 91 licensing. Dave opened this hearing and invited applicants to address the commission. In attendance on behalf of property owner were Sarah Schultz with SK Design Group, Trevor Volastro, president of West Mountain, Inc., contractor who is installing the docks and, attorney for applicant in this matter. Dave thanked the group for taking the time to sit down with the commission to review the order of conditions issued for DEP File #254-0287, specifically the dock configuration approval associated with the chapter 91 license issued by MASS DEP. Per Dave, we called this special meeting as it came to the attention of the building inspector that the boardwalk and docks were being installed at the Marina. Larry stopped the job as he needed to make sure that the work was being done with the interest of public safety, as he did not issue any permits for this work. Larry then contacted the commission (as well as a couple outside reports from concerned neighbors) to let us know that the job was stopped, and Larry wanted to make sure that all ConCom issues were addressed as well. According to the order of conditions, applicant was supposed to notify ConCom prior to work start (dock & Boardwalk installation) – this was not done. In addition, per the chapter 91 license, as well as the order of conditions, the docks would be aluminum and would be attached to the bottom of the lake using metal pads Per BAW, one direct issue is that the work associated with the installation of the docks was supposed to be completed while the reservoir was in “draw down”. Although there is some debate as to what “draw down” actually means, by definition, in this case, all are in agreement that this specifically refers to the time when the water level is still low enough to be well away from the shoreline. On this date however, 5/6/16, the water is not well away from the shoreline, and per Trevor, the contractor prepping and installing the docks, admits that the water was about ankle to knee deep while they are working. Per Bruce, the reason this is an issue for the commission, is because we permit work frequently that must be completed during “draw down”. If an applicant attempts to do this work outside of the period of “draw down”, the commission would stop that work and expect the conditions of the approval to be followed, and work to cease until it can be completed by the terms of the approval. That being said, why should this case be any different, and why should the commission view it any differently from any applicant/approval. The attorney for applicant spoke and agreed that the commission has a responsibility to makes sure that “permitted” work is done subject to the conditions put forth on the approval; any deviation from that would need to be approved by the commission; with all due respect, this is why the applicant is here today, to ask permission to explain why they should be allowed to complete the installation of the docks. Upon further review and general discussion, Dave made a motion to allow the dock work to continue to finish, based on this applicants’ request for a special meeting, and respectful request to allow the work to finish, despite draw-down being done. BW 2nd the motion and the commission voted unanimously to approve the continuation of the approved work, despite being late to finish, by special meeting.




Next office hours: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 6-9 p.m. at Otis Town Hall.
Next meeting: Monday, June 20, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at Otis Town Hall. Meeting adjourned at 6:45 PM.