Conservation Committee roundup: Modifications approved for Connelly Farms, The Trails projects

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The Conservation Commission at its Tuesday night meeting expressed approval with major modifications to two ongoing projects: Connelly Farms and The Trails, Hopkinton.

Scott Goddard, representing Ravenwood LLC and developer Ron Nation, told the commission that “a significant revision” was made to the plans for the Connelly Farms subdivision project off Hayden Rowe Street near the intersection with College Street.

He presented a “fairly advanced draft plan” that showed the removal of one of the house lots (Lot 8). This allowed for the remaining eight lots to be pulled closer to the cul-de-sac at the subdivision’s center.

Joe Marquedant from J.D. Marquedant & Associates land surveyors, representing the applicant, said that changes were made to the plans to incorporate the commission’s feedback from the previous meeting. Because the lots are pulled closer together, the roadway will be shortened by 22 feet. The cul-de-sac was moved about 45 feet to the west.

“This will give us a bit more flexibility with regard to house placement, stormwater basin construction, and those sorts of things” he said.

In addition, an infiltration basin will be added to the northern part of the site in an effort to alleviate stormwater concerns.

“I for one am very pleased with the changes,” said Chair Jeff Barnes. “I think you’ve addressed the concerns that the commission had brought up in the previous meetings.”

At this hearing, notices of intent (NOI) for seven of the lots were planned to be discussed before the commission. Goddard said that the plans for them would need to be revised, but he presented the draft of the changes to see if feedback would be positive from the commission before proceeding. The hearing was continued to allow for the revisions.

Enforcement orders lifted on The Trails project

The commission voted to lift an enforcement order against The Trails, Hopkinton, a 55-and-over housing development located off Legacy Farms North Road. Cease-and-desist orders previously were issued by the commission as well as the town’s Building Department after sediment ran into the Hopkinton Reservoir, impacting the town of Ashland as well as Hopkinton. This prevented the foundations from being poured on the project.

Conservation Administrator Kim Ciaramicoli said she has been consulting with project engineer Peter Bemis.

“Temporary stabilization has been addressed and is ongoing,” she said. “The applicant now has a plan in place for each house lot.”

A contractor has been acquired to clean the main basin but has not yet completed the work.

Ciaramicoli added that the applicant discovered an underground pipe that had been discharging water.

Bemis said that significant progress has been made on the project.

“We’ve actually come a long way from where we were,” he said, noting that many of the lots had been sodded.

The area where the pipe was discovered was restored, Bemis added.

“What you guys have done in the past couple of months is pretty impressive,” Barnes said, noting that he visited the site. “You’ve really kind of turned the site around in my eyes in terms of the stormwater mitigation and putting the right controls in place.”

There still needs to be a longer-term sequencing plan put into place, he added. He said a vote did not need to be taken as long as Bemis works with Ciaramicoli to address any outstanding issues.

MassPike soil cleanup approved

Paul McManus spoke on behalf of the applicant. Salson Logistics, Inc., during the unanimous approval for a request or determination for applicability for cleanup work on Interstate 90 at the 105.8 mile marker.

“Back in June of this year, there was an accident on the turnpike headed east,” he explained. “The truck pulled over on the edge of the pavement and lost about 150 gallons of diesel fuel and some unknown amount of fuel oil.”

While the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Fire Department performed the initial cleanup, testing showed that some residue still remained in the soil. The site is near the wetland at Whitehall Brook.

Police and fire details will be needed to block a lane while the work is completed. The damaged soil will be vacuumed up, which will allow for replacement with clean soil and topsoil. Once that is established, seeding will be planted. McManus also suggested removing some of the wood chips on the site simultaneously.

Member Ted Barker-Hook asked if some of the litter could be removed from the wetland as well, including a pipe that was visible in a photo. McManus said he would have to check with the insurance company involved.

LNG stormwater management permit extended

The commission unanimously approved an extension of the stormwater management permit for Eversource’s improvement project for its liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at 52 Wilson Street. The current permit will expire in January, noted Tracy Adamski on behalf of the applicant. Most of the site work should be completed by the end of this year, but this extension would allow for an additional year due to the weather as well as for planting in the spring. Planting of shrubs to help with stormwater management was requested by the Planning Board and unanimously approved at its meeting the previous evening

Continuations allowed

Several projects requested continuations until the Nov. 16 meeting before Tuesday’s meeting. They included NOI requests by the Massachusetts Laborers Training Facility at 37 East Street for pond dredging and its restoration plan.

Also continued was an NOI for a boat lift at 34 Downey Street, as well as an NOI for a septic tank replacement at 22 Winter Street.

The 103 Wood Street hearing was continued during the meeting at Goddard’s request because beavers have created flooding of the site, which caused project delays.

Varrell announces retirement as environmental consultant

Lucas Environmental consultant Matt Varrell announced that he will be retiring from the environmental consulting business so that he can devote his time to his alpaca farm. He will continue his service through the next Conservation Commission meeting on Nov. 16.