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Conservation Commission Minutes 10/21/10

Becket Conservation Commission
Becket Town Hall 6:30 PM
October 21, 2010

The Meeting is called to order at 6:34 PM.
Commissioners Present: Scott Morley, Chair; Richard Pryor, Vice Chair; Kathy Vsetecka,  Commissioner and Agent; Bud Moylan;  Purr McEwenCommissioners Absent:  Marty Martin

1.~~~~~~Approval of minutes of September 16, 2010 meeting

Moved to approve by Bud, Kathy seconded, all in favor.

2.~~~~~~Continued Notice of Intent ~Lucy Ferris Map 219 ~Winter Drive/spillway to Excalibur Lake ~DEP #102-368 ~Installation of a pond leveler at the spillway to Excalibur Lake  Emails dated October 11, 2010 and October 13, 2010

        Donald Moon representing and is here to address the questions that were asked the last time.  He sent an email with answers to the specific questions such as the proposed pipe and how much of the bottom would be covered, the size of the pipe, the maintenance plans and when it will be installed.  The only unresolved issue was the ongoing maintenance.  Since then there is now an organization in place that has the resources to do so. The plan is to inspect the leveler every year for ice damage and repair/replace as necessary. Scott’s concern was approving in advance the approval of the impact of work not currently known.  It will be noted that should work be necessary, it will be subject to the approval of Conservation. The lake bottom is mostly sand with some phragmities in the immediate area. With all the rain last week, the beavers plugged the spillway resulting with water coming over the berm causing a washing out of the roadway.  The installation of the pond leveler will hopefully resolve the maintenance of the berm avoiding this erosion. All of DEP comments have already been covered. Bob Ronzio, Sherwood Forest Lake District that was formed Oct 9 is here to inform the Commission that the District is in existence and submitted a prepared packet including a cover letter.  Their Association will be responsible for all future maintenance including repair, replace, reconstruct, etc of the entire lake area. Also in the packet is the budget which will provide funds for said maintenance. Human/Beaver conflicts is also addressed in the packet as well as overflow management.

        Scott motioned to approve the Notice of Intent with the conditions that the letter presented showing the newly formed lake district will be responsible for the maintenance and if they are unable too, then Beaver Solutions will be responsible; also before any significant maintenance is to done to the structure, they come before the Commission for approval, seconded by Purr, all in favor.

3.~~~~~~Continued Request for Determination of Applicability John Van Leeuwen
~~~~~~~~141 South Cove Drive ~Map 211 lot 58 ~Construction of an accessory
~~~~~~~~structure (garage) Letter: Project:Construct an Accessory Building/Garage 9/9/10; revised plan of above 10/18/10 (date on letter is  written 10/10/18); photos

        John is here to answer the concerns expressed at the last meeting.   He submitted a packet to the Commission summarizing the project.  A 14’ X 20’ garage will be installed where there is currently a small driveway.  The concern has been what is believed to be a small wetland area which abuts the property. The spot is already cleared and the concern is that the grading may cause the road runoff to go into the wetlands. A prefab will be used which will sit on 3-4 inches of stone so no concrete or footing will be necessary. The driveway will be left dirt with some bushes and shrubs being planted on the sides and back. Prior to any excavation being done, Conservation will be notified for inspection to ensure the site is stabilized.  

         A motion for a Negative Determination by Scott with Becket Standard Conditions including the conditions that hay bales be swapped for straw waddles, the planting of native shrubs be used for plantings, the clean-up of existing debris; Seconded by Purr, all in favor.

4.~~~~~Extension of Order of Conditions Indian Lake Property Owners Association
~~~~~~~~Seneca Road Map 218/219 ~DEP #102-277 ~Three year extension for an
~~~~~~~~annual drawdown Letter and report August 23, 2010 Water Resources LLC
         Ken Wagner representing the Indian Lake Association. It is believed that drawdowns started in the 60’s and continued through the 80’s but was stopped.  Due to the native vegetation, it was resumed in the 90’s which was approved by the Commission. The person responsible for the draw down was unaware of procedure and allowed it to refill immediately.   Lately it has been drawn down once every other year based on how the plants are looking and the conditions of the lake.  The intent of the drawdown is to drop it down by about 5 feet to affect the plants however it doesn’t eliminate them. During seven years of monitoring within a ten year timeframe it has determined that there are more species, more bottom coverage but less total bottom volume with no invasive species. The 10 years (included in the letter submitted) showing what has happened over time is a poster child for draw down.  No dredging has been necessary; they do some hand pulling and dam control but the total result has been great.  Bud read the report that was provided and approves.

        Bud motioned to approve the extension for three years, seconded by Scott, all in favor.

5.~~~~~Extension of Order of Conditions ~Evan and Gina Campbell ~Tyringham Rd.
~~~~~~~~Map 404 lot 8 ~DEP #102-327 ~Construction of a home with associated
~~~~~~~~Amenities  An extension letter dated 9/14/2010 Scott recused himself.
        The project has been started but the applicants are currently waiting for funds before they can complete the project.  Erosion controls have been updated in the meantime and the site stabilized.

        A motion to grant a 3 year extension was made by Purr, seconded by Bud, all in favor.

6.~~~~~Request for Determination of Applicability ~Nancy Bridges ~20 Spruce Dr.
~~~~~~~~Map 408 lot 42 ~Possibility of dredging a pond  RDA with letter dated 9/21/2010

        Brian Turton, New England Landscaping, representing. This new property was purchased as a summer retreat and he was called in for inspection of the pond which was found to be in good standing.  There were some minor issues with the overflow and invasive species.  Her intent is to make it a more inviting swimming pond.  They want to dredge the pond, do some structural remodeling and replant it with more native species and restrict their growth.  The pond acreage is shy of less than 9000 sq.ft. (according to DEP it is  over 9000 but less than 10,000 sq. ft.) The current 4 PVC pipe is cracked and not functioning. The immediate fix is to replace the pipe creating an exterior water level to overflow the water regulating the pipe under the surface with an elbow on the outside of the dike to maintain water level.  They also want to redo the swale aligning the riprap for less erosion. They want to slowly drain the pond for a 50% reduction of water for better access but still provide enough water for the safety of the current aquatic habitat. They would create a temporary sediment chamber for that overflow before it goes into the woods with silt fence and a crushed stone berm. The dredging is to be stored on site through the winter by creating a stockpile surrounded by silt fence and bales with the intent of allowing it to dry out and kill the native species in that pile.   They are anticipating 80- 100 yards of fill being created.  They want to plant pockets to restrict growth to certain areas.  There was discussion on whether an NOI was necessary for this amount of work. Also brought up was the fact that the lake is not connected with any wetland nor is there any inflow or outflow. The pond is spring fed. It was man-made pond done at least 12 years ago.  MA DEP looked at MASS GIS but do to the late submittal of the paperwork, comments were not submitted in time for the meeting.  They would like to do it the end of November/December. The question is whether or not this is jurisdictional.

         Purr motioned to continue with applicant’s consent upon receipt of DEP comments at which time a special meeting will be scheduled, Scott seconded, all in favor.

7.~~~~~~Request for Determination of Applicability ~Crystal Pond Homeowner Association ~Crystal Pond spillway Map 413 lot 75 ~Cleaning of spillway and adding rip rap Just RDA  

        Kathy motioned to continue with the applicant’s consent, seconded by Purr, all in favor.

8.~~~~~~Notice of Intent ~Mark Shemtob Leonhardt Road Map 203 lot 18.1 ~DEP #102-369 ~Construction of a single family house with associated amenities Site Development Plan 9/30/2010 Revised plan 10/21/2010
         Ann Bruzzi, Berksire Engineering representing.  She presented updated plans of the area on a map. This is a proposed development of property located on the first lot on Leonhardt Road. There is a no cut zone 100’ from Leonhardt Road which is 30’ from the abutting property.  It is 100 feet from Leonhardt and 30 feet from the abutter on the other side (Daspin). She pointed out the delineated wetland. The plans include a proposed driveway and septic area.  Currently there is a walking path that heads to the lake which he wants to discontinue and relocate to an area that would require a bridge over a little area of wetland out to a 30’ long dock per DEP guidance.  A Chapter 91 license is required and the permitting will be provided to the Commission. However, Conservation’s approval is necessary before they can submit to Chapter 91. The house will be located approximately 90 feet from the wetland with the limit of work proposed at 55 feet with 44 feet in another area of the wetland.  There will also be a well and conventional septic system. Silt fencing will be used.  The area is flat so there is no concern about grading.  There is to be the removal of 30 foot of dock (removable dock?). The bridge is a 4’ X 8’ section per DEP guidance.  
         Purr motion to approve the Notice of Intent with Becket Standard Conditions, with the added conditions of straw wattles seconded by Budd, all in favor.

9.~~~~~~Notice of Intent Robert Hayes King Richard Drive ~Map 216 lot 323 DEP #102-370 ~Construction of a single family house with associated amenities

        Ann Bruzzi, Berkshire Engineering representing.  They are in design phase but it is a lot built out for a small piece of property and she wants to be sure that all the design issues are resolved prior to the NOI.  This is on Robin Hood Lake with a proposed dock with a wetlands strip that comes into the property as well as intermittent unnamed streams within a buffer zone.  The whole property is pretty much in jurisdiction.  The limit of grading is approximately 40 feet from the BVW with a well 30 feet from the lake.  The house must be a one bedroom home per Title 5 requirements and because of 10 foot setbacks and will need to be going through ZBA.  Double erosion controls were implemented. Due to numerous issues they are requesting a continuance.

         Purr motioned to continue to November with the applicant’s consent, seconded by Scott, all in favor.

10.~~~~Request for Determination of Applicability ~Toby Logsdon Surriner Road
~~~~~~~~ Map 412 lot 30 ~Removal of trees in buffer zone of intermittent stream Site Development Plan 10/21/2010

        Valerie Bird representing with applicants present.  The project is closer to the BVW than the stream. She submitted plans outlining where the BVW goes 43 feet into the bank of his property. There is a steep bank going up.  The BVW was delineated by the topography.  The closest tree he is cutting is 74 feet from the wetland about 30 feet from bank.  The erosion control for this one tree is the only concern. The diameter is 12 inches. The root structure of that tree wraps around rock with a lot of ledge and is too far from the bank to impact it. The tree will not be dropped into BVW. The trees are all marked.

        Scott motioned for a Negative Determination of Applicability, Purr seconded, all in favor.

11.~~~Presentation by Patricia Mullins—Berkshire Regional Planning Commission
~~~~~~~~Discussion of North Becket Village streets improvement project for CDBG Grant

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has been working with the Town of Becket on a Community Development Block Grant application for FY2011.   BRPC is appearing before the Conservation Commission in order to acquaint its members with preliminary plans for the project and to receive input and recommendations regarding the permitting process and timeline for approval.  The project includes sidewalk improvements in North Becket Village in the area of lower High Street, a small portion of Rte. 8 and a portion of Main Street.  New crosswalks will also be established.  

The proposed project area is within 200 feet of the confluence of Yokum Brook and the West Branch of the Westfield River and includes the former site of a bridge that spanned the West Branch and allowed Main Street traffic to cross the stream and intersect with Pleasant Street.  Removal of that bridge decades ago created the current environmentally degraded area, with an abrupt and hazardous dead-end of Main Street, a condition that has contributed to the blighted condition of the area.   In keeping with the Massachusetts Sustainable Development standards, the project proposes to repair the crumbled sidewalk on Main Street and bring it into ADA compliance, as well as improve the quality of surface water drainage into both streams.  Water quality improvements will be accomplished by removing a portion of Town-owned impervious pavement adjacent to Main Street and currently funneling drainage into Yokum Brook and installing a vegetative buffer to filter melted snow packed by Town plows and other surface runoff that enters the streams at the end of the street.  The project would allow for the continued historical use of the area by the public by including a short section of pervious walkway, native plantings and outdoor seating at the point above the confluence of the two streams.

The question is whether this is an RDA or NOI.  Although the Commission is happy to see that the project is expected to improve an environmentally degraded area and that acquiring the necessary permit should not be a problem, a full NOI is recommended.  In discussing the 18 month performance period of the grant and the duration of the construction project, the commission further advised that the timeline for permitting will actually be determined by how quickly DEP  reviews and comments on the application, but in any event would not be less than twenty-one days.  Ms. Mullins states that the CDBG application is a competitive process and that applications are due December 10, 2010.  DHCD will most likely announce the winning communities in April or May of 2011.  Ms. Mullins stated that the preliminary engineering for the project indicated construction would be completed within 6 to 8 weeks of the start date.  Actual construction on this project will likely occur during the construction season of 2012.

The Commission also recommended that DEP be consulted on the issue of the permitting implications of the Wild and Scenic designation carried by the Westfield River and if additional federal thresholds will be met.  The Commission also recommended that the application address the proposed construction sequence for the project and other details such as erosion controls measures, storage of construction materials and the disposal of any asphalt and concrete removed from the construction site, as well as any routine maintenance required for the vegetative filtering system proposed.

12. ~~~~Other business and administrative business

  • MACC Conference was submitted
  • Becket Woods has not been stabilized. A report that a dock has been removed with the intention of a new one installed.  Permits will be needed.
A motion to close the meeting made by Scott, Kathy seconded, all in favor.  Closed at 8:15.

Scott Morley, Chair Date

Richard Pryor, Vice Chair Date

Kathy Vsetecka, Commissioner/Agent Date

Bud Moylan, Commissioner Date

Purr McEwen, Commissioner Date

Marty Winters, Commissioner Date

Respectfully Submitted,
Martie Martin

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