Approved Conservation Commission Mtg Mins

Meeting date: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Wellfleet Conservation Commission

Meeting Minutes

April 1, 2020

Remote Meeting

Attendees:  Deborah Freeman, John Portnoy, Michael Fisher, John Cumbler, Leon Shreves, Barbara Brennessel, John Portnoy and Agent Hillary Greenberg Lemos

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

Mail / Discussion

Agent Hillary Greenberg-Lemos reported some pre-construction site visits were made and a few applications have come in.  She reported that Annual Town Meeting has been postponed.  Our Americorps member is not allowed to work with the Town due to the virus.

 John Cumbler reported a shed was built on Way 60 (Lot 19:14).  The Commission had approved the house but doesn’t recall permission for a shed.  Agent Greenberg-Lemos will check this out. 

John Cumbler asked if the Commissioners could sign off on approvals electronically.  Agent Greenberg-Lemos stated she will scan the approval sheet, the Commissioners can sign it, and return it back to the office to both her and Christine Bates.    

Agent Greenberg-Lemos stated she received paperwork from the National Seashore for the Herring River project.  They want to stabilize a path through Phragmites which is 80 meters long, and 1 meter wide to access a research site.

The Wellfleet Conservation Trust reports that there is a large brush pile on the southwest corner of Hiawatha and King Phillip (Map 28, Parcel 188) spread over lands owned both by the Town and also the Conservation Trust.  The Commissioners stated they would approve removal of the pile by the WCT.  DPW (transfer station) is not taking brush until May.  Michael Fisher will notify the Commissioners when it will be removed. 

Deborah Freeman moved to approve the National Park request to construct a walkway.  John Cumbler stated he didn’t feel we needed to take a vote because this was only  notification from the Seashore.  Deborah Freeman withdrew her motion.  The Commission does suggest that  untreated wood is used for construction and that the walkway is removed when no longer needed for the research. and remove any debris. 

DLTA – nothing to report

Jurisdictional Opinions – no new requests

Meeting Minutes

Barbara Brennessel stated the March 4 meeting minutes were already approved. 

Barbara Brennessel moved to approve the amended March 18, 2020 meeting minutes; seconded by John Portnoy; passed 5-0.

John Portnoy moved to approve the amended December 18, 2019 meeting minutes; seconded  by Michael Fisher, passed 6-0.

The January 15, 2020 meeting minutes cannot be approved due to lack a quorum but will be posted on the town website.

John Cumbler moved to approve the February 18, 2020 meeting minutes; seconded by Michael Fisher, passed 4-0.

Barbara Brennessel reported the herring count is discontinued until April 7 because work under National Seashore permits has been discontinued.  The herring run started early but since the weather cooled down, there has been a less activity..  The herring warden has been trying to clean out the passages.  Trees were down and there was a lot of vegetation cutting.  As long as social distancing is done, people can go and see the fish.

Agent Greenberg-Lemos reported she submitted a scope of work to the Cape Cod Commission for revising regulations in recognition of climate change, under DLTA grant funding.  If it is agreeable, we will get a consultant to work with us and we will wait for proposals. 

John Cumbler asked if, since we sometimes have less business, we could shorten the business meeting and start later.  However, we often have guests so things will stay the same.

Since the Commissioners are now doing site visits alone, there have been some instances where they do not feel comfortable due to dogs, the applicant not being aware, etc.  Agent Greenberg-Lemos will put out a reminder to property owners that there will be site visits. 

John Portnoy went to the bayside and stated the scarp  is steadily receding.  He stated there will very high tides in the next few days. 

John Cumbler stated it appears some work is being performed along Snake Creek Road on the Herring River side.  Some of the Commissioners will make a site visit to see what is being done. 


Shields, 372 Black Pond Rd., Map 4, Parcel 36, RDA, remove 2 trees that could potentially cause damage.  Chris Lucy stated the 2 trees are within the 200’ riverways zone.  One is a pine and one an oak.  John Portnoy stated he saw 3 trees marked.  Mr. Lucy stated the other trees are outside the river zone.  The trees will be cut at the base by hand and removed by hand.  There will be no ground disturbance, except where the trees are felled onto the ground.  John Portnoy identified the RDA as a Negative 3; seconded by John Cumbler; passed 6-0.   

Salsberg & Newman, 60 B Street, (Lt. Island), Map 40, Parcel 12, NOI, septic upgrade.  David Lajoie represented the applicant and gave an overview of the property.  2 cesspools will be removed and filled in.  Plumbing will be upgraded on the left side of the property.  Barbara Brennessel stated it appears there has been a lot of clearing between the house and the marsh within the 50’ buffer zone.  David Lajoie is not aware of the clearing.  He will contact the owner to have them get in touch with Agent Greenberg-Lemos.  It also appears there is topping of trees by the deck.  Agent Greenberg will send an enforcement letter regarding the unpermitted clearing and topping.   Barbara Brennessel moved; seconded by MF; passed 6-0 along with a letter of enforcement.  

Reeves & Hino, 65 Briar Lane, Map 14, Parcel 22, NOI, septic upgrade.  David Lajoie from Felco represented the applicant and gave an overview of the project.  This will be an Advantec system.  There was discussion about the house hooking up to town water, but the system is not there as yet.  Barbara Brennessel questioned the location of the leach field and the well, and Mr. Lajoie stated due to the restrictions, he didn’t feel that the septic could be moved further from the wetland (upper Pole Dike Creek).  Agent Greenberg-Lemos stated there are more intense variances with the Board of Health and feels this is the best option.  Their retaining wall will not affect the water flow.  This has to go before the Board of Health on April 8.  Michael Fisher moved to approve the NOI; seconded by Leon Shreves; passed 6-0.

Kielb,  3187 State Hwy8’, Map 13, Parcel 69, RDA, driveway extension, fence replacement and extension, exterior siding, window replacement, outdoor shower and construct 10 x 12 shed.  Ronald Kielb stated the side yard on the property had contaminated soil and was replaced with new soil.  He is concerned about knotweed coming back again.  He stated the driveway is a single strip and is problematic because it is backing into Route 6.  He would like to have a

16’ x 12’extension and one tree would have to come down.  The area is sloped on the hill and he would bring material into the site to level off the area and put down gravel.   There is currently a stockade fence on the property line and he would like to replace it with a hedge..  He wants to plant additional native plants.  John Portnoy recommended hemlock or compact white pine  as it grows in shade and is quite tall.  He advised Mr. Kielb to contact Barnstable County Extension for other suggested plantings.  Mr. Kielb stated the shed would be located in a corner.  There is a 4’ x 8’ shed on the property which is temporary.  Barbara Brennessel asked if the shed could be closer to the end of the driveway, but the wires from the utility poles would be an issue.  Michael Fisher suggested using diamond piers for the shed.  Agent Greenberg-Leos recommended locating the shed out of the flood zone.  Mr. Kielb stated there are not many options and he wants to keep the apple tree.  Mr. Kielb stated he could place the shed on stilts and the back portion would be elevated.  The outdoor shower would be a continuation of the outside decking and the bottom of the shower would go into a 50’ gravel drywell.  The commission requires a plan, identifying the drywell, the grading, the materials and the design. Mr. Kielb asked if he could drain the shower into the septic tank.  Mr. Kielb stated there is serious rot on the exterior of the house and they want to remove the siding and the insulation and replace everything.  There was discussion regarding the value of the house and the cost of improvements and if the cost were 50%, the house would have to be raised.  John Cumbler stated he may want to lift the house due to rising sea- and groundwater levels.  The sidewall shingles are not asbestos.  Mr. Kielb said the knotweed has to be managed on the side yard and herbicides will be applied in the fall.  He stated the knotweed has been cut per the previously approved Jurisdictional Opinion.  Mr. Kielb gave an overview of applying herbicides to the stems and provided the amount he would have to use.  He stated if there are 250 to 500 stems to be injected with the product it could take over 6 years to eradicate it.  He wants to cut the knotweed in the spring and count how many stems there are.  Barbara Brennessel suggested contacting an expert or arborist regarding the knotweed.  John Portnoy recommended contacting an ecological restoration expert.   Deborah Freeman stated the following information is required for the Commission:

A site plan identifying the following:

The amount of fill to be used for the driveway.  Also a picture identifying the slope.

Site plan identifying the 50’ buffer zone.

Site Plan identifying the flood zone.

Information on the proposed fencing to include materials and provision allowing animals to pass under.

Living fence or hedge:  identify what plants/trees will be used, size and location identified on plan.

Identify where shed will be located on site plan.

Identify drywell for outside shower, grading, design and materials for shower

Additional information on the knotweed removal.

John Cumbler moved to continue to 4/15/20; seconded by Barbara Brennessel, passed 6-0.                  

Roberson, 117 Samoset Rd., Map 28, Parcel 107, NOI, septic upgrade (cont’d).  Matt Ferro stated a revised plan was submitted dated 3/19/20 and the plan was approved by the Board of Health on March 11, 2020.  He stated if the system was placed on the other side of the house it would be sticking out of the ground.  There were issues with the location of the well.  The septic tanks will be moved closer to the house.  This is a Micro-Fast nitrogen removal system and is approved by the State of Massachusetts.   Barbara Brennessel moved to approve the NOI; seconded by Michael Fisher; passed 6-0.  

Cohn, 40 First Ave., Map 30, Parcel 124, NOI, install patio to the left of house with a low stone wall, add stone walkway to the right of the house, prune selected trees, and mitigate with planting (Cont’d).  Charles Wentz of Ponderosa Landscaping reviewed the materials previously requested from the Commission.  The square footage of disturbance was identified, with a net increase of 522 sq. ft from the approved Order of Conditions in 2017 and this proposal will be an increase of 358 sq. ft.  John Cumbler questioned if there is currently a walkway and Mr. Wentz stated no.  John Cumbler stated he has a problem with the proposed driveway and doesn’t see a reduction.  Mr. Wentz stated the original plan from 2017 was for a driveway.  Even though the work has not been done yet, it was approved, and this plan will reduce the original amount of disturbance.  He will provide a revised plan identifying the amount of disturbance from the work originally approved Order of Conditions plus the work in this NOI.  Barbara Brennessel moved to approve the NOI; seconded by Michael Fisher; John Cumbler stated with all the requests in this proposal, and the uncompleted work approved in the previous Order of Conditions, he has a problem with the amount of disturbance.  The motion passed 5-1 with John Cumbler voting no.    Supervisor:  Agent Greenberg-Lemos         

Wiant. 139 Nauhaught Bluff Rd., Map 21, Parcel 11, RDA, replace existing lower wood deck with composite materials with same footprint. (Cont’d).  Agent Greenberg-Lemos stated there is no representative for the project at the meeting.  She tried to contact Mr. Wiant by e-mail twice and did not hear anything back.  She also contacted the contractor and he did not respond.  This is for the replacement of the decking materials.  Agent Greenberg-Lemos will contact the applicant / contractor to get a description of the limit of work and how the materials will get to the site.  John Cumbler identified this as a Negative 3; seconded by Barbara Brennessel; passed 6-0.

John Portnoy moved to adjourn at 6:30 pm; seconded by John Cumbler; passed 6-0.

Respectfully submitted,

Christine Bates, Committee Secretary

Public record documents:

Letter from National Seashore for Herring River project

Shields:  RDA applicataon and drawing

Salsberg & Newman NOI application and site plan

Reeves & Hino, NOI application and site plan

Kielb:  RDA application and drawings

Roberson, NOI application and site plan

Cohn:  NOI application, site plan and planting plan