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August 11, 2005
August 11, 2005

Attending:  Carl Shreder, John Bell, Mike Birmingham, Paul Nelson, Steve Przyjemski, Laura Repplier


MOTION to accept the minutes of July 28 with Carl’s changes - Paul / John / Unam

Reps:  Angela & Frank Schifano, Owners

Steven P – The area in question is a new horse paddock that was cut into the wetland.  Trees were cut down and the surface was covered with landscaping fabric and topped off with a mixture of soil & stones.  The surface is deep & soft because it sits on top of the wetland.  

Angela Schifano – Originally the paddocks were grass (shows photo).  The water has been creeping up in the 3 years we’ve lived here & now the ground is waterlogged.

Carl S – Resource areas are always changing but you can’t fill them in even so.

Frank Schifano – In 2002 we pulled a permit for a 60’ x 30’ barn and weren’t near the wetland then.  Once the Pillsbury Lane development went in up on the hill behind us the overflow water during storms and Spring thawing has come down onto our property.  

Paul N – The area behind the paddocks was all wet. There were deep hoof prints in the back because the ground in that area is so wet. It also appears that the paddock is birmed to isolate it from the very wet wetlands.

Frank Schifano – The paddock area has started to grow grass and is much more solid underfoot now.

Mike B – This is the driest time of the year.  It most probably won’t continue to be solid once the rain comes back.

Carl S – We want the wetland to be natural with native plantings rather than grass.  A large portion of this lot is wetland (looking at Pictometry image).  This activity counts as wetland filling and we can’t let it go.  We need to come up with a solution to help you retain some of your paddocks and restore the wetland.

Frank Schifano – It was all grass before.

Carl S – If you grassed over a no-cut / no-disturb area that may be another reason why it is getting wetter.  If you remove the natural vegetation that is soaking up the water it will advance and pool up.

Steven P – The stumps left will rot as the conditions are so wet and leave holes that will be dangerous for the horses.

Paul N – I don’t think you should use it as a paddock – it’s dangerous for horses in these conditions.

Frank S – One of our horses was hurt walking through deep ground out there.

Mike B – This is the dry season.  Hydric soils will stay that way and it will become wet again in the Spring.

All GCC – The water could well be coming from the development at Pillsbury Lane.

Steven P – A lot of trees were cut down in this activity – there are piles of trees on the site.  

Frank Schifano – We only cut down two trees.

Steven P – You can see the natural bowl of the wetland from the hill by the house.  We need to determine where the wetland line is before getting the paddocks back.  And remember that this line could change again.

Carl S – We need to establish a no-cut / no-disturb area.

Paul N – We will have to get rid of the landscaping fabric if we want anything to grow back there.

Carl S – You will need to remove the landscaping fabric and then establish a no-cut / no-disturb area.

Steven P / Paul N – The existing paddock is about 100’ long.

Carl S – Vegetation will help to absorb the water.  The concern is about runoff.  There may be beaver activity in the area but you can’t have them removed unless it is a health & safety issue.  

Steven P – The EO will specify that the area should be replanted and returned to its natural state with a no-cut / no-disturb area to be established by me in the field .

Paul N – Perhaps it could be reestablished as a wet meadow.

Mike B – What if we get them to remove the fabric but leave the stones?  Taking that amount of stones out will require working in the area with a bobcat.

Steven P – That seems reasonable.  The soil is still underneath the stones and should be fine to re-establish wetland plantings.  

Carl S – Issue the EO and we will ratify it at the next meeting.

Representatives:  Mark Mansfield, Ken Surette, Developers

Steven P – There was an original house on the lot that was demolished.  Two new houses are being built.  This house was re-oriented from its position on the building plan when it was built.  It is very close to the wetland buffer.  The top of the hill next to the house is 40’ from the wetland.  The builders want to raze 11’ off the top of that hill because it is overhanging the house they have built into the hillside.

Carl S – Didn’t you anticipate that this hill would be a problem before you put the house there?

Mark Mansfield – No we didn’t realize it.  It didn’t look so bad when the original house was there before.  The septic system had to go at the area of gentle slope so that pushed the house into the hill.  No one is living in the house yet.

Steven P – You can’t chop the top off that hill, it’s too close to the wetland resource.

Mark Mansfield – The lot didn’t perc on the other side so we had to put the house there.

Steven P – Even a terraced wall (step change) is not a solution to this.

Carl S – This is an after-the-fact situation.  The hillside needs to be stabilized, the lower part is ledge and the upper is unstable.  

Mike B – We need proposals for a solution from the engineer.

Paul N – Whatever is done has to be safe for the residents.

Steven P – There should be one solid wall and 1 step to hold the cliff in place.  We don’t want to get close to the back and the large trees.

MOTION to issue EO against Kinson Court to prohibit further work as specified by the agent – Paul / Mike / Unam


AMERICAN LEGION PARK (GCC-2005-07; DEP 161-0619) NOI (Cont)
Construct 2 tennis courts on footprint of old courts with associated landscaping.

Representatives:  Hancock Engineering; Elizabeth Wade, Georgetown Park & Recreation

Hancock – Proposing to restore the existing 2 tennis courts.  This will involve removing some of the pavement, replacing the fence, resurfacing the courts, adding an infiltration trench and drainage to catch the runoff from the hillside.  Will also clear underbrush and add 2 picnic tables.  There will be no tree cutting.

Carl S – How deep will you be digging and what fill will you use?

Hancock – The next step is to dig test pits to determine why the original courts failed.  Then will decide how to go forward.

Elizabeth Wade – We are unsure what the foundation will be until we find out the test pit results.  

Paul N – Is the court platform sagging?

Hancock – Yes, no one knows what is under there.  We are going to dig extensively for the test pits.  The courts are going to be torn up anyway.

Paul N – How many test pits are you proposing?

Hancock – Not sure as it depends upon what is found with each test pit. We are looking at around 6 as a start.

Elizabeth Wade – Are you concerned with us digging within the 100’ buffer zone?

Carl S – That’s exactly what we are concerned with.  Are you going to do it this year?

Elizabeth Wade – Yes, as soon as possible.  We need to know about the foundation so we can approach the CPC and get it on a warrant for Fall Town Meeting.  If we can dig the test pits soon we can get the information we need for then.

Carl S – How big an area are we talking about?

Hancock – We’re digging trenches and will follow then all the way across to get the information.

Elizabeth Wade – We want to do it right this time.  Is there an issue with us removing paving to add landscaping?

Carl S – No!  We prefer it that way.

Elizabeth – We have brought the edge of the pavement in by 12’ to protect the trees.  

Steven P – You could take this opportunity to replant the hillside as well.

Elizabeth Wade – We would like you to give us a list for replanting.

Carl S – Are there any changes that need to be made to these plans?

GCC – Add a silt sock, planting plan and list of native plantings.

Elizabeth Wade – We need an OoC for the whole project –the excavation and the construction of the courts.

Nora Cannon, Abutter, 16 Pond Street – The plantings and plan are fine.  The 100-yr flood may affect this on one side but otherwise I like this plan.

MOTION to approve the plan dated 6/24/05 to repair and replace the tennis courts at American Legion Park.  The wetland lines on the plan are not approved.  – Mike / John / Unam

MOTION to close the hearing – John / Mike / Unam

7 TRESTLE WAY (GCC-2005-017; DEP 161-0624) NOI  (New)
Construct a 10’ x 15’ addition within 30 feet of Pentucket Pond.

Representatives:  George Zamboras, Atlantic Engineering; Neal & Carol Stockwell, Owners

George Zamboras – (Produces abutter letters for the entire pond.)  This is an existing dwelling, the house is approximately 24’ from Pentucket Pond at the closest corner (NE).  The owners want to add an addition to the rear portion of the L leading away from the pond.  It will not be closer to the pond than the existing structure.  The foundation will be similar to that used for a deck – sonar tubes.  They will hand dig 2 holes for the tubes and attach it to the existing foundation.

Paul N – Can this addition go to another position on the house?

Neal Stockwell – No.

George Zamboras – This is an addition to the kitchen which is on that side of the house.

Carl S – It is unfortunate that the house was built so close to the pond and there is no alternative placement for the addition.

Paul N – Can you move the kitchen extension to the front of the house?

George Zamboras – That would be reconfiguring the entire house.  There is an existing retaining wall in the area about 3.5 – 4’ high.

Steven P – I made a site visit.  Other than the fact that this is extremely close to the pond it doesn’t seem too bad.  The outside area is all lawn.  There is no real habitat value to be lost.

MOTION to hold a site walk on August 13, 10:30 am – Paul / Mike / Unam

MOTION to continue to September 8, 8:30 pm – Paul / Mike / Unam

95 ELM STREET (GCC-2005-021; DEP 161-0626) ANRAD (New)
Delineate 320 feet of BVW and Riverfront Area lying partially within an area of Estimated & Priority Habitat.

Representatives: Mary Trudeau, Engineer; Premier Holdings, Owner

Mary Trudeau – This is a 3+ acre parcel, a 2-lot sub-division has been approved.  There are 2 types of areas – lawn with a gradual slope to a flat area at the back.  The rear property line is along Bulford Brook, a perennial stream.  Tested the soils (augured) and wetland vegetation.  The riverfront was difficult to delineate (due to difficulty of accessing the river bank through wetland & poison ivy) but flags were hung on trees.  Can’t walk to the river bank as it is very very wet – especially at wetland flags 24 & 25.  The stream is in a well-defined channel varying from a broad to narrow channel as it approaches the wetland.  We want to confirm the riverfront delineation and BVW so we can see the buffer zones on the lot.

Carl S – We will need an independent review.  We are currently looking at estimates for the work.

Steven P – We need to see wetland areas extended 100’ off the property.

MOTION to hold a site walk September 24, 8:00 am – Paul / John / Unam

Mary Trudeau – Abutters are welcome to attend the site walk.

John Howland, Abutter, 105 Elm Street – The whole front yard of this property floods like a pond every Spring.  (Shows a photo of him paddling a canoe in the yard of 95 Elm.)  If this property is developed and this area is filled in where will the water go?  

Premier Holdings – With stormwater regulations we have to send all the water back to the brook.

Edgar Johnson, Abutter, 104 Elm Street – There is continuous water flowing across Elm Street to my property.  The pipe was removed that handled this water & that now creates flooding.

Carol Miller, Abutter, 146 Elm Street – This area floods much more now after increased development.  Concerned that it will be increased even more after more development.

Premier Holdings – The septic plan has been approved.

Ann Collins, Abutter, 110 Elm Street- Also concerned about flooding.  There is a family on Hart Circle whose property is close to the brook – also concerned about flooding.

Craig Millman, Abutter, 83 Elm Street – Will the owners have to come back to the GCC to raze the existing property?

Carl S – Absolutely.

MOTION to authorize a third party review, selected by agent – Mike / John / Unam

MOTION to continue to October 6, 8:00 pm – Paul / John / Unam
2 CRESCENT MEADOW LANE (GCC-2005-016; DEP 161-0625) NOI (New)
Installation of an in-ground swimming pool 68’ from BVW.

Representatives: J & Deb Cote, Owners

J Cote – Want to convert existing lawn to a pool.  The corner of the house is at the 50’ buffer as delineated by Meridian in 2003.  There is a retention basin on the property for the street.  

Paul N – Can you realign the pool to meet the 75’ setback? This is a 35’ pool, does it need to be this large?

Steven P – What else are you excavating?  Are you adding a patio, fence etc?  This is 68’ away.  We need everything you plan to build shown on this plan.

Carl S – With a pool you will have treatment and chlorination – none of that can be discharged towards the wetland.  You should look into alternative treatment systems.

J Cote – We have a system that enables us to use 80% less chlorine, it will discharge to the front yard.  We are willing to do whatever is required to meet Con Comm requirements as it doesn’t appear that we would get a ZBA variance.

Carl S – This plan needs to show the actual disturbed / impacted area and the true distance to the BVW. The pool needs to be shown with its deck/patio and fence so we can get a true picture of the sizing.

Paul N – Can you move it closer to the house?  Rotate it and move it closer.

Steven P – If you tweak the orientation you could get nearer the 75’.

Carl S – We want to get as much protection as possible.  Work with Steve to see how you can achieve that.

Paul N – We need to see alternative plans.

MOTION to continue to September 8, 8:45 pm – John / Mike / Unam

NORTH ST & WELLS AVE (GCC-2005-018; DEP 161-0629) ANRAD (New)
Review over 5,500 linear feet of delineated Resource Area, to confirm the wetland boundaries on the site.

Representatives:  Kurt Young, Wetland Preservation, Inc; Scott Cohen, Hawthorne Partners

The hearing opened with many abutters (20 +) attending.  They expressed their frustration that perc tests had been conducted before the resource areas were agreed.  

GCC - The ConCom has conducted 3 site visits gathering information and pictures of potential vernal pools and checking the applicant’s wetland flagging.  We worked as closely as possible with the applicant to ensure minimal intrusion into wetland areas during the test pit phase of the project.

Selection of abutter comments include:

Mike Canning, 24 Wells Ave – The property is very wet, there is heavy runoff from the property in early Spring.  A running brook is filled with runoff from the wetland on site.

Fred Bodenrader, 560 North Street – It needs to be recognized that the Parker River is affected by flow from / to this site.  Fred submitted a letter informing the GCC of a blue spotted salamander sighting on his property abutting the site.  There is a breeding area straddling the back of his property and this site.  He asked that we please protect the area through Spring 2006.

Elaine Canning, 24 Wells Ave – Is it possible that the bulldozers used during the perc tests covered up / destroyed resources?  

GCC – We worked w/ the applicant as closely as possible to ensure minimal intrusion into wetland areas during the test pit phase of the project.

Dan Packard, 25 Wells Ave – Water runs off this site onto Derek Circle and across Wells Ave.

GCC – Storm water runoff issues will be addressed in the NOI phase of the development.

Jonathan Kozol, 1 Main St, Byfield (direct abutter to N)  - I have otters in the wetland behind my house abutting this property.  What provisions are there for protecting them?

Yvonne Buswell, 9 Knobb Hill Rd, Byfield (direct abutter to N) – There are conservation easements for handling water from / to this site – all mapped by Newbury.

GCC – We are in contact with the Newbury Con Comm and agent regarding this project.

Charles Waters, 568 North Street – Natural Heritage has to be involved in this development as the area is renowned as an area of turtles & salamanders.  This site is all ledge and wetland.

Scott Cohen, Hawthorne Partners – This is just the discovery phase to determine what area we have to work with.  We don’t own the land as yet, just an option to purchase.  Going forward, can’t say what form the development would take until we know what we have to work with but in theory it would not be as dense a development as at Parker River Landing.  All heavy equipment work has finished until we go forward with actual construction.

MOTION to authorize a third party review chosen by the agent using the best case setback for potential vernal pools (200’) – John / Mike / Unam

MOTION to hold a site walk on September 17, 8:00 am – Paul / John / Unam

Abutters are welcome to attend the site walk.

MOTION to continue the hearing to September 22 at 8:00 pm – John / Paul / Unam

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