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Conservation Commission roundup: Chamberlain-Whalen hearing continued; Leonard Street ordered to have more inspections

by | Aug 25, 2021 | Business, Featured: News, News

The Conservation Commission on Tuesday night approved a request for reconsideration for the final lot of the Chamberlain Street-Whelan Road project and continued the hearing until Oct. 19.

The proposal to build a house Lot 12 was rejected by a 3-2 vote at the July 13 meeting because it encroached into the 100-foot buffer. The front setback was planned to be 30 feet rather than the required 60 feet.

“It was the one house that we couldn’t locate outside of the 100-foot buffer zone,” explained John Kucich of Bohler Engineering, on behalf of the applicant. He requested the continuance so that the project could be considered for a variance by the Board of Appeals.

“We wanted to go through the commission to see if it would be something that they would consider,” he added, asking for a couple of months to allow for the completion of the appeals process.

Leonard Street developer pushes back on inspections

Developer Lou Petrozzi of Wall Street Development Corporation appeared for the review of amended notices of intent (NOI) for three lots. But the bigger issue he had was the requirement that the town’s environmental consultant, Matt Varrell from Lucas Environmental, visit the site every two weeks to inspect the property.

The project was rebuked in July because the erosion control methods to hold back the flooding that occurred earlier that month.

“I just don’t see the need for it at this point in the project,” Petrozzi said, noting that repairs were made.

Replied Chair Jeff Barnes: “You don’t see the need for the commission’s environmental consultant to visit the site every two weeks to make sure that things are in compliance? At the beginning of the project, there were several incidences where the silt fence and the erosion controls were displaced by the contractors.”

He also said that standing water was pumped out of the site’s limit of work that had not been treated.

Petrozzi said that his consultant, Goddard Consulting, oversees the site. BETA Group also inspects the site on behalf of the town as part of the development process.

“I mean, how many times do we have to have people inspecting the site?” he asked.

“How many times do we have to go up there with the site being out of compliance?” Barnes challenged.

Petrozzi said that repairs were made to the erosion control methods, so it should be in compliance. He questioned why there was a three-hour time block for Varrell to assess the site.

Conservation agent Kim Ciaramicoli explained that the two- to- three-hour window allows for the inspection as well as travel time and coordination between herself and Varrell.

“It’s not about just his physical time on the site,” she said.

Petrozzi questioned the amount of the fees he has been charged. He said he has “thrown out thousands and thousands of dollars into the town’s coffers” for the land and the development process. Barnes replied that the fees were for the original environmental review and not for the inspections required now.

Ciaramicoli added that the site has been cleared for several months with no construction activity.

“We’re not trying to be difficult, Mr. Petrozzi,” Barnes said. “This is a standard requirement for all developments that we have our consultant go out and do the inspections. We’re trying to be compliant.”

Barnes added that Ciaramicoli reduced the number of inspections from one per week to every two weeks to reduce the financial hardship on Petrozzi. He requested that the hearing be continued until the next meeting on Sept. 14 so that the amount of the fees Petrozzi incurred could be documented.

Connelly Farms prepares to submit NOIs

The Connelly Farms proposed nine-lot subdivision at the corner of Hayden Rowe Street and College Street also was discussed. Scott Goddard noted on behalf of the applicant, developer Ron Nation, that the Planning Board approved the project, which is an Open Space and Landscape Preservation Development (OSLPD).

He said that separate NOIs will be submitted for each lot that intrudes into the buffer zone. Only one house is proposed within the buffer zone now, but some lots have portions of lawns affected. Roadwork, utilities and drainage plans also need to be considered.

The placement of the wetland replication area and the stormwater management system were areas of discussion. The wetland replication area currently is proposed near the crossing, which would require some tree clearing. Another option would be at the open field on the other side of the wetland. Both would comply with regulations, so he asked for the commission’s input.

The only work proposed within the 200-foot riverfront area is the stormwater management system. It was placed there so that the houses could be clustered together in the center of the site with the wetland surrounding them. The basin is proposed currently at the lowest part of the site to allow for water collection.

The commission’s preference was to place the wetland replication where trees would not have to be removed.

Varrell called for an alternatives analysis for the basin as well as the size of the rear yards that are near where it is proposed.

The proposal will be reviewed by the commission on Sept. 14.

Massachusetts Laborers restoration plan NOI questioned

The restoration plan NOI for the Massachusetts Laborers’ Training campus at 37 East St. was discussed. George Connors, representing the applicant, explained that the work basically had been completed, which made Barnes question the need for an NOI hearing.

“Why do we have a notice of intent before us if the work was already done?” he asked.

Connors explained that when snow was plowed and piled, sand sediment was left behind. The laborers clean it up on a seasonal basis.

Varrell will review the site to see if the NOI is necessary. The hearing was continued until Sept. 28. Also, earlier in the meeting, the pond dredging NOI hearing on the site was continued until Sept. 28.

Commission officers reelected

Barnes was reelected as chair in a unanimous vote. Melissa Recos and Kerry Reed, the co-vice chairs, also received unanimous support to continue in their roles.


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