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Inland Wetlands Commission wades through seven applications

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KENT—The Inland Wetlands Commission dealt with a jam-packed schedule Monday night as it reviewed seven applications.

The first was an after-the-fact application from Andria Budd, 422 Kent Hollow Road, for activity in a wetland. She was represented by Richard Rosiello, who explained that lightning had struck a tree on Budd’s property and that it had been cut down. Rocks were also placed along the stream bank to prevent erosion and a “meditative path” had been created with gravel and wood chips on the western side of the stream bank.

More woodchips were laid down on the house side of the stream to create a sitting area and little bridges were built over the stream for access to the other side.

Rosiello said the most important thing to do is to stabilize the stream banks. He proposed planting native vegetation to achieve this. At the same time, he asked to expand the application to remove large patches of invasive garlic mustard and honeysuckle. He said the area on the northern side of the stream is full of invasives.

He anticipates a three-weeks for the work, done over one or two seasons. The plan was approved.

The IWC also approved an emergency replacement of a septic system at 11 Kane Mountain Rd. Paul Szymanski explained the design of the system for the owners. “There’s nothing lacking in the plan,” said Land Use Administrator Tai Kern. “If it’s a health issue, you don’t want to hold it up.”

The IWC continued Robert Pulford’s application to install a septic system for a bathroom in his barn until next month. Architect Wesley Wyrick explained that the existing system is substandard. The system will be downhill from an unnamed stream and there are no other wetlands that would be affected. 

Also continued was an application for extensive removal of invasives from Karen Kittleman’s property at 173 Cobble Rd. The work would be done in stages over several years and IWC Chairman Lynn Werner said each stage should come before the IWC as it commences.

Michael Baczewski of New England Pollinator Gardens, described the project, saying the work would proceed in stages so as not to disturb the entire site at one time. Again, Kern said, “There is nothing lacking in the plan. It is a really good approach.”

Baczewski, who first appeared before the commission in January, said the owner stepped back from what was originally planned, and a survey was updated so the application “is a road map” of what they will do. “We want the scope out beyond 2024,” he said. “We hope to create more habitat. We’re not looking for any conventional landscaping.”

Mark Mancini, a civil engineer with SLR, appeared to explain the design for the second phase of the streetscape project along Maple Street Extension, as well as along South Main Street to the entry way to South Commons Rd.

Mancini said the plan was only 75 percent complete, but that some work would be done in wetlands just east of the railroad tracks, where an intermittent waterway is carried through a 36-inch culvert under Maple Street Ext. 

He said the plan calls for a five-foot-wide concrete walk with granite curbing. Given the grade drop-off, a concrete wall at the back of the walk would support it. The pipe would need to be extended through the wall to continue to convey the water from one side to the other. Culverts would also have to be installed under driveways. He described measures that would be taken to control siltation. 

The project on South Main would be simpler, entailing the removal of an asphalt sidewalk and its replacement with concrete and curbing.  

Werner said the commission needs time to absorb the information presented and the application was continued until the June meeting.

Ross Cole of 23 Stonewall Lane appeared to explain his application to create a driveway and brook crossing. He said he had redesigned his engineer’s plan to minimize steep grades. He said he wanted the drive “to be responsive to the terrain so there the disruption is as little as possible.”

He showed a picture of another drive that used a culvert to cross the stream and Werner said that kind of conduit is now being discouraged. “Most plans now are for bridges or open-bottom culverts that can mimic the natural riverbed,” she said. “I would like you to consider alternatives.”

Ross said he would investigate further. 

Department of Public Works Foreman Rick Osborne appeared on behalf of the town to present an application for removal of an underground oil tank and installation of a generator pad and conduits. The pad would be 180 feet from the pond between the Town Hall and the post office, which is the only wetland on the property. The tank will be removed by a qualified contractor.

It, too, was continued to next month.

Kathryn Boughton
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