Dec 2. ConComm Approves Removal of Some DelCarte Dams

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The Conservation Commission met at 7pm on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. Present were Chairman William Batchelor, Vice Chair Jeff Milne, and Commissioners Patrick Gallagher, Andrew Mazzuchelli and Richard Johnson. Jeff Livingstone was not present. Becca Solomon, Conservation agent, and Tyler Paslaski were also in attendance.

The first matter for the Commission was a notice of intent (NOI) for Washington Street (Map 304 Lot 064). The applicant requested a continuance and the Commission approved.

Next on the schedule was an NOI for 900 Washington Street. Here again, the applicants requested a continuance and the Commission voted to approve that.

A NOI for 10 Populatic Street was also on the schedule but had previously been given a continuance. 

That brought the Commission to General Business, which included a minor buffer zone activity (MBZA) 471 Charles River Drive. The applicant wished to remove “some trees deemed hazardous on the homeowner’s property, which are all within the buffer zone. The trees in question are a pine tree which overhangs a pool and associated patio. That tree has been dropping some branches in the recent year, and the homeowner would like it to be removed. Additionally, they have submitted a letter from a Licensed Tree professional for that pine tree and some additional nearby ash trees, which are diseased with emerald ash borer. Both have been recommended for removal.”

The Commissioners voted to approve the tree removals with the condition that the stumps remain in the ground.

The commission then reviewed and approved minutes from two prior meetings and planned meeting locations and dates for 2022.

A further lengthy discussion was conducted at the request of DPW director, Robert Cantoreggi, who sought permission to remove two ‘manmade’ dams at the DelCarte Conservation property in the hopes that this step would reduce flooding in the area and would also prevent beavers from blocking the gaps in those dams.

Batchelor wasn’t sure why the dams were created but noted that they were no longer in use. He strongly advocated for their removal, stressing that the Commission had to spend a lot of money to remove beavers and their dams earlier.

Batchelor asked for and, after a few questions from Commissioners, got a vote in favor of removing the dams.

The meeting adjourned shortly thereafter.

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