TOWNSEND -- The Conservation Commission will be conducting a site walk before deciding whether to approve construction of a deck and an addition to a single-family home within the 100-foot buffer zone of a wetland.
Steven Eriksen, of Norse Environmental Services, spoke on behalf of applicant Frank J. Gorman Sr. to describe the project at 106 Haynes Road.
"What we're proposing is to rehab the house, attach an addition to enlarge it a little, replace the existing septic system and install a new well and drainage system," Eriksen said.
The project wouldn't disturb the wetlands, he said.
"The house is 57 feet from the wetland, and the work will be on the other side of the house for the most part, so the odds of any impact on the wetland area are pretty thin. It's a relatively simple project," Eriksen said.
A permit is needed to build within 100 feet of a vegetated wetland, but the work would be outside of the 50-foot zone where building is prohibited.
Chair Karen Chapman said the decision to schedule a site walk is a standard procedure.
"We always like to verify before we approve it," Chapman said.
The commission will be conducting the site walk on Sept. 7, and voted to continue the public hearing to their next meeting on Sept. 11 at 8:45 p.m.
The commission also voted to involve the Department of Environmental Protection in an advisory role to handle an issue at 177 Lunenburg Road. An application for a permit was filed last year to build a driveway to a single-family home on a wetland site.
Conservation agent Leslie Gabrilska said that when she went to inspect the property, she discovered much of the wetland area had been filled in with unclean fill that contained scrap metal and other construction debris.
She said work on the site is in clear violation of the Wetlands Protection Act. The applicant did not attend the hearing.
Members of the board said that the condition of the property warrants DEP involvement because the violations are more extreme than those the commission usually faces.
"They are professionals, they do this every day," said Commissioner Mary Small.
Small also suggested that if the applicant continues to be disrespectful to Gabrilska, as she had stated, or members of the commission, they should turn the case over to DEP entirely.
The commission voted to continue a public hearing on the site to the next meeting on Sept. 11 at 8:15 p.m.
In the meantime, Gabrilska will be contacting the DEP and the Board of Health for consultation.
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