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Conservation Commission Meeting

May 28, 2019
Meetings & Notices

CITY OF NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS

Conservation Commission
________________________________________

Meeting Notice

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


The North Adams Conservation Commission will hold a meeting on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. in conference room 202 in City Hall.

AGENDA

Roll call 6:00 p.m.

Public hearings old business

• File # 241-0195 - A Notice of Intent submitted by Tighe & Bond on behalf of Blackinton Backwoods, LLC for the proposed construction of the TOURISTS Pedestrian Path Project located to the south of Massachusetts Avenue, North Adams.

Public hearings new business

• A Request for Determination of Applicability submitted by The Berkshire Design Group on behalf of the City of North Adams to determine whether the proposed Brayton Playground project parking area located at Brayton Hill Terrace is subject to the Wetlands Protection Act.

Other business

• Ratify Emergency Certification Form for removal of several fallen trees at Southview Cemetery.

Approval of minutes

• Public meeting – May 14, 2019

Adjournment

PUBLIC MEETING

MINUTES

May 28, 2019

Members present Chairman Jason Moran, Jason Canales, Adam Galambos, Andrew Kawczak, Tim Lescarbeau and
Elena Traister

Members absent

Call to order Chairman Moran called the public meeting to order 6:00pm with the presence of a quorum.

Public hearings old business
• File # 241-0195 A Notice of Intent submitted by Tighe & Bond on behalf of Blackinton Backwoods, LLC for the proposed construction of the TOURISTS Pedestrian Path Project located to the south of Massachusetts Avenue, North Adams

Chairman Moran opened the public hearing and explained that this is the second visit to the commission regarding this project. We now have comments from the DEP so we can address them. Kate Wilkins stated that she had spoken to Mark Stinson from the DEP. The first comment was a request for more information on the dewatering system. Ms. Wilkins explained the system. Commissioner Kawczak inquired about dewatering the whole channel. Ms. Wilkins stated that it would be just the work area. Commissioner Kawczak inquired about keeping the water out of the work area while they are working. Ms. Wilkins stated that they will install the turbidity curtain first, and then install the two berms to isolate the work area. Eric Kerns pointed out specifics of the area getting dewatered to the commission on the site plan.

Ms. Wilkins addressed comment number 2 regarding a culvert versus a stream. The water does flow north to south and Massachusetts Avenue is at higher grade then the canal. It is not identified as a river or stream on USGS; it is not in StreamStats...it is not hydrologically connected to the Hoosic River anymore and hasn’t been for 20-30 years. Their definition is that they are not creating a stream crossing or impacting a stream channel. Commissioner Kawczak inquired about how they would do things if it had been a stream crossing. Ms. Wilkins stated that they would have to meet the stream crossing standards and would have to allow for water flow and passage of wildlife. Chairman Moran stated that they couldn’t do this if it was a stream. Ms. Wilkins agreed.

Ms. Wilkins addressed comment number 3 regarding the Wildlife Habitat Evaluation. Ms. Wilkins didn’t have a response because that would have been for the commission.

Commissioner Traister inquired about the land under water and meeting no adverse effect/no impairment. Ms. Wilkins stated that they would be introducing a native species as well as returning to more of a natural state.

Chairman Moran requested other questions from the board. Commissioner Kawczak requested questions from the public. Chairman Moran expected more comment and requested the timeframe from the applicant. Mr. Kerns indicated that they would like to move quickly. Chairman Moran reminded him that there is a 10-day appeal period. Chairman Moran inquired about the outstanding orders on the property and how they plan to clean up the orders. Mr. Kerns stated that David Fallis came to take a look at the bridge last week. They plan to close out that Order of Conditions and the chapter 91 closing at the same time. The landscaping behind the farmhouse they have been fighting the weather but will wrap up in the next week. The others should be closed at this point.

Chairman Moran requested a motion to close the public hearing and open the setting of the Order of Conditions. Commissioner Lescarbeau made a motion to close the hearing and open the setting of the Order of Conditions. Commissioner Traister seconded the motion. Chairman Moran requested a motion to accept the plan. Commissioner Lescarbeau made a motion to accept. Commissioner Canales seconded the motion. All in favor. Motion carried.

Chairman Moran requested any other conditions from the commission. No further conditions requested from the commission. Chairman Moran requested a motion to issue the standard Order of Conditions. Commissioner Lescarbeau made a motion to issue the standard Order of Conditions. Commissioner Canales seconded the motion. All in favor. Motion carried.

Public hearings new business
• A Request for Determination of Applicability submitted by The Berkshire Design Group on behalf of the City of North Adams to determine whether the proposed Brayton Playground project parking area located at Brayton Hill Terrace is subject to the Wetlands Protection Act.

Chairman Moran explained the prior project and the reason for the new RDA. Jeff Squire from Berkshire Design Group spoke to the commission regarding the new plan. He explained the rain garden to catch the overflow, etc.

Chairman Moran clarified that they were able to get the curb cut from the parking lot through the vegetated rain garden into the catch basin. Mr. Squire confirmed. Commissioner Kawczak clarified that the overflow goes to the existing catch basin.

Commissioner Traister requested clarification on the determination of the WPA. Chairman Moran and Commissioner Kawczak explained the process regarding making the determination.

Chairman Moran explained that the previous determination was a negative 2. In this instance, it is subject to protection under the Act, but will not remove, fill, dredge, or alter the area. It is more of a challenge for us due to the flood chutes. Outside Berkshire county has less of a challenge. This instance is an improvement to something that is already preexisting. They already have an approved RDA. Chairman Moran inquired about the schedule. Mr. Squire indicated that they have a year to complete the project but would like to start soon.

Commissioner Traister inquired about the calculation used to determine that the runoff can be accommodated by the rain garden. Mr. Squire confirmed and explained the overflow drain to the catch basin and the regulations.

Chairman Moran requested other questions from the board. Chairman Moran explained that a determination needs to be made for an RDA. A positive determination would require the RDA be turned into an NOI. A negative determination would include 6 choices and Chairman Moran explained the options. Commissioner Kawczak would like to go with negative 2. Commissioner Traister would like to know if the commission could be notified of the status of the project. Chairman Moran noted that the city could notify the commission secretary. Mr. Squire also noted that they would have to request a Certificate of Compliance.

Commissioner Kawczak stated that negative 2 is the better choice. Chairman Moran requested a motion for determination. Commissioner Kawczak made a motion for a negative determination category 2. Commissioner Traister seconded the motion. All in favor. Motion carried.

Other business

• Ratify Emergency Certification Form for removal of several fallen trees at Southview Cemetery.

Chairman Moran opened the meeting to Commissioner Lescarbeau. Commissioner Lescarbeau explained the plan provided by Trinity Engineering. The plan is to remove fallen trees and headstones. He noted that an NOI would be filed for bank stabilization at that point. Chairman Moran clarified that this is mainly to stop further erosion on the bank to not lose any more headstones. Commissioner Lescarbeau noted that the pictures show the fallen debris with headstones included. The water was pushed to the south side of the stream. Chairman Moran clarified that they are just taking trees out at this time. Commissioner Lescarbeau explained that they will cut trees out by hand so as not to disturb too much of the area. Commissioner Traister inquired about vehicle access to the area. Commissioner Lescarbeau explained that they will put mats down and drive the equipment in. Commissioner Traister clarified that there would be no driving in the river.

Chairman Moran requested any further questions. Chairman Moran requested a motion to accept the emergency certification to preserve the headstones. Commissioner Traister made a motion to accept the emergency certification. Commissioner Kawczak seconded the motion. All in favor. Motion carried.

Approval of minutes Chairman Moran requested a motion to approve the minutes of May 14, 2019. Commissioner
Traister made a motion to accept the minutes. Commissioner Lescarbeau seconded the motion. All in favor.

Adjournment Meeting adjourned at 6:28pm.

Respectfully submitted,


Michelle Ells
Conservation Commission Secretary





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