Approved Conservation Commission Mtg Min.

Meeting date: 
Wednesday, February 5, 2020


Wellfleet Conservation Commission

Meeting Minutes

February 5, 2020

Town Hall Meeting Room

Attendees:  Deborah Freeman, Michael Fisher, Jon Cumbler, Leon        Trudy Vermehren, Agent Hillary Greenberg Lemos, and Christine Bates, Committee Secretary 

Regrets:  John Portnoy and Barbara Brennessel

4:00 - Business Meeting & Conservation Agent's Report

Update from Open Space Committee Activities:  Bruce Hurter of the Open Space Committee gave an update of their activities.  He stated the committee wants the next year put together  town properties that would meet criteria for ACEC, water quality, etc.  The Conservation Trust already has their own matrix scoring system.  He stated the properties are presently uncharacterized and should be able to be located quickly through a computer program.  The map Open Space proposes to create will be made available to the Commission detailing the  properties the Open Space Committee would like to protect. They will prioritize the properties and list only a few at a time which will go before Town Meeting.  Some of the properties are presently in private hands but have important potential to Open Space.  Mr. Hurter stated the Commission could help the Open Space Committee prioritize the properties.  John Cumbler stated that there first needs to be some kind of vision deciding which properties would work and he would like to see the Commission and the Open Space Committee work together to determine the appropriate properties by utilizing a map and making decisions about the use of the land.  John Cumbler provided a history on some properties that were sold from the Town to abutters to make money and he feels some of the properties should have been utilized by Open Space.  Mr. Hurter stated he feels very strongly that there needs to be a five-year plan for Open Space and Conservation and that the current plan is out of date and needs serious editing.  Agent Greenberg-Lemos stated there is grant money available for towns to produce recreation and Open Space plans.  She stated that if we were to get such a grant, she would hire someone to do the work professionally.     

Chair Freeman welcomed Leon Shreves to the Commission as a new member.

Mail / Discussion – no mail

John Cumbler’s Waste Water letter to the Select Board will be reviewed at the next meeting.  

DPW – Gull Pond Road discussion to be addressed at the first meeting in March.

DLTA:  A final draft bylaw will be coming.  Agent Greenberg Lemos stated the drafters are looking for additional grant money and possibly use commission money.  The old bylaws need to be reviewed at the time we propose a new one to ensure that no provisions are omitted. 

Chair Freeman stated the Select Board has agreed to provide money for a Consultant to look at the3 issues surrounding pumping at Wesley Swamp.  Trudy Vermehren stated historically there was a retaining wall located by Prez Hall.  Dan Hoort has asked Agent Greenberg-Lemos to determine the appropriate consultants and start this process.

State and Town Cultching meeting – The Agencies must act jointly to set up a permitting process top allow continued cultching in the 11 customary areas.  Agent Greenberg Lemos stated we have, in the past, approved two Orders of Conditions.  One of the problems for the Agencies involved is that, by law, there can be no fill on the sea floor and cultch is viewed as “fill”.  She stated there are also issues with terminology in the Agency regulations between MEPA and the State as well as the National Seashore. 

Jurisdictional Opinions:

 220 Blue Heron Road, 41/19, remove 1 pine tree located at front side of the property which is leaning on the house, remove another pine on left side of house, selective pruning on two trees which are leaning toward the dwelling, and all branches near dwelling will be pruned.  Trees will be stump ground due to beetle infestation.   John Cumbler moved to approve the Jurisdictional Opinion; seconded by Trudy Vermehren; passed 5-0.

715 Chequessett Neck Rd, Map 19, Parcel 113, pruning of 23 pitch pines removing only dead branches.  Trudy Vermehren recommended the Commission make a site visit before voting on this. Deborah Freeman expressed the view that this might be too many trees for a Jurisdictional Opinion.  John Cumbler moved to continue to 02/19/20; seconded by Trudy Vermehren; passed 5-0.

Seashell Condo Trust, 575 Chequessett Neck 19/120, prune one locust tree to help reduce storm damage and place bolts on the tree to prevent the tree from splitting.  The height will be reduced.  Peter Due will perform the work.  Trudy Vermehren stated there are several small locust trees on the property and recommended they consider a management plan for the future because locust grows quickly.  John Cumbler moved to approve Jurisdictional Opinion; seconded by Leon Shreves; passed 5-0.

Meeting Minutes:  Cannot review due to quorum


Town of Wellfleet, Maps 41 and 42, NOI, repave Lt. Island Road from Rte 6 to Catboat Road, catch basins to be removed and replaced with deep sump pumps with heads (Cont’d)  John Cumbler moved to continue to March 4, 2020; seconded by Deborah Freeman; passed 5-0. 

SLA Nominee, 1005 Chequessett Rd., Map 19, Parcel 94, NOI, Proposed replacement of an existing coastal engineering structure (Cont’d).  John Cumbler moved to continue to March 4, 2020; seconded by Trudy Vermehren; passed 5-0.    

Sandy Shoes, 135 Highmeadow Rd., Map 12, Parcel 131, NOI, create view corridor by topping 5 pine trees and trimming 3 oak trees (Cont’d).   Jeremy Young, Ken McPhee and David Lajoie of Felco Inc. came to the table.  Trudy Vermehren stated the mitigation plantings of red cedars should be 4 to 5 feet tall and feels horizontal junipers should be included and would work for coverage.  Jeremy Young provided an overview of the revegetation plan for the property.  Junipers will be planted where there is no vegetation.  David Lajoie stated the majority of the trees are obstructing the view from the deck and if another area was chosen, more trees would have to be cut if changed.  The owner is agreeable to the change in plantings.  Deborah Freeman reminded the applicant’s representative to call her before starting any work because she is the supervisor and has not ever been called about this property.  A revised revegetation plan is required to indicate where the junipers (12 two-gallon) will be located as well as agreeing to the 4 to 5 foot tall red cedars.  Trudy Vermehren moved to approve the NOI with the condition that the revised plans be merged into one which will include the cedars and junipers; seconded by Leon Shreves; passed 5-0.   

Karen Cheniae and Larry Robbins, 365 Lieutenant Island Rd., Map 41, Parcel 113, NOI, septic upgrade.  Michael Fisher stated that the Wellfleet Select Board has approved his Disclosure of Appearance of Conflict of Interest (MA GL c. 268A para 23(b)(3) form that he is able to perform his official duties objectively and fairly in this case.  Jason Ellis gave an overview of the project, stating there will be a new leach area which will be a little further away from the wetland.  The Board of Health approved the variances.  At the current time, the house is used seasonally.  Jason Ellis stated the new system will have an 80% to 90% nitrate removal.  Trudy Vermehren moved to approve the NOI; seconded by Michael Fisher; passed 5-0. 

Bex, 147 Kendrick Ave., Map 20, Parcel 15, NOI, Septic Upgrade.  David Lajoie represented the applicant and stated this project was approved 7 years ago, but never started.  New owners are requesting a septic upgrade and Mr. Lajoie gave an overview of the project.  Deborah Freeman requested the driveway be replaced with permeable material.  Trudy Vermehren requested a revised plan identifying the location of where beach grass will be planted.  John Cumbler expressed concerned with nitrogen going into the harbor and recommended a closed tight tank system.  David Lajoie disagreed and stated the Board of Health approved the proposed I/A system.  Trudy Vermehren moved to approve the NOI; seconded by Michael Fisher; passed 4-1 with John Cumbler opposing.      

Jeremy Young, 140 Commercial St., Map 21, Parcel 86, NOI, Install new driveway off Holbrook Ave, remove 3 trees, and demolish existing “lodge” building.  Jeremy Young and David Lajoie came to the table and Mr. Lajoie gave an overview of the project, identifying the location of the property as well as all the resources.  The proposed driveway will create a new entrance to the property.  There will be side slopes which will be vegetated.  The 3 trees will be totally removed, including the roots with additional plantings to mitigate the removal.  The building will be removed from the property and new plantings will be planted in that area.  David Lajoie stated the driveway run-off will go to a catch basin which is sufficient in size to safely remove a large amount of storm run-off.  Jeremy Young stated the property has been in his family for many years and they do not intend to have any more weddings there and will reduce the number of rooms they rent out.  The intent is that water running off the new driveway will not go into any other properties based on the proposed grading and catch basin.  Jeremy Young stated he received permission from the DPW for the new curb cut.  Linda Indek,, abutter, asked why they are not utilizing the current driveway from Commercial Street and Jeremy Young stated the topography of the property makes sense to utilize Holbrook Avenue.  An alternative analysis was not provided with the application.  Trudy Vermehren expressed concern about the efficacy of the catch basin with a sloped driveway and would like numbers to show how it will affect the road.  Barbara Nestle, an abutter expressed concern with erosion and flooding to their home located across the street.  She stated that in extreme weather, they already have water in their cellar.  She does not want to see the proposed driveway paved.  She is concerned with the future use of the property (i.e. more buildings, commercial use, etc.), proposed plantings, and the safety of people walking along the road if heavy commercial trucks and equipment uses the driveway.  Michael Fisher moved to continue to 02/19/20; seconded by Trudy Vermehren; passed 5-0.       

Thor Construction for Houck, Leimbacher, Moran & Ryder, Neill & Armsby, Kaupin & Fox, Brennan, and McGuire.  84 Commercial St., Map21, Parcel 71, NOI, Repair / replace part of cellar area for condominium structure.  David Lajoie represented the applicant and stated they need to elevate the building in order to make repairs or replace part of the cellar.  After the work is completed, the building will be placed back on the foundation.  Any excess soil will be removed from the site.  Only two sides require repair.  There will be no changes to the septic system.  The Commission questioned why the structure was not being elevated to meet flood plain levels and viewed the failure to do so as shortsighted.  Tina and Doug Watson, abutters, questioned how long the repair will take and where will vehicles park.  Lajoie stated it will take approximately one month and equipment will not be anywhere near their property.  An oil tank will be removed from the cellar.  Trudy Vermehren moved to approve the NOI; seconded by Michael Fisher, passed 4-0 with John Cumbler abstaining.

Trudy Vermehren moved to adjourn at 6:30 pm.; seconded by John Cumbler, passed 5-0.

Respectfully submitted,

Christine Bates, Committee Secretary