Wilmington Wetlands: Do Not Disturb
Minutes from the Conservation Commission meeting on December 1.
Does your home abut the Wetlands? You might not know that many homes in Wilmington do and any changes to the property or house must be cleared first by the Planning Board and Conservation Commission. At last night's Conservation Commission meeting, one of the focuses was on correcting violations of Wilmington's Wetland Enforcement By-Law.
Several residents appeared before the group to provide updates on their progress to restore wetlands that have been encroached upon. One owner noted that he was "caught by surprise" that his fence in violation because the fence had been there since he bought the house. He has removed the fence, sandbox, and propane tanks but still has to move the shed, swing, and playhouse, he said. He and his neighbor will be returning in February to present timelines for removal and restoration.
One owner was asked to plant new trees after cutting down ones that were within 100 feet of wetlands. The owner explained he had cut down only the trees that were threatening his property and he was unaware that he was required to consult with the town prior to taking action.
As many residents are unaware of town policies, so were some at the meeting last night. Some residents inherited their issues from previous owners, and others were confused about their property boundaries. Whatever the reason for disturbing wetlands or the buffer-zones, these residents must now restore their land back to the original state, regardless if they are located on private property.
To verify compliance with town regulations, residents should consult with the Planning and Conservation Department prior to starting any work within 100 feet of wetlands.
In other, environmental news from the meeting, new resident Ferdinando "Fred" Carriglio said he would build a fence just beyond the boulders in his yard to protect his children from large animals. Fred requested approval to build the fence just beyond the boulders to protect his family "so that an animal does not hop onto a rock and jump over the fence." Fred proposed to use an "environmentally safe fence to allow small animals to pass through." The Conservation Commission approved his request.
Gene Sullivan, an engineer for the Crystal Commons, presented a request for an Insignificant Change to the stormwater management plan for Crystal Commons. Gene explained the plan is still under revision but "things will be smaller" and there is "not much of a change" to the stormwater management plan. The plan originally proposed 108 condominium units and now proposes 108 rental apartments, which are slightly smaller and will produce 16 percent less roof runoff. Gene also noted that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) changed its methodology for computing stormwater runoff. The Conservation Commission approved the Insignificant Change because the final plan is expected to be further from the wetlands.
Several residents had also attended the meeting to learn more about Cushing Drive. Winifred McGowan, Assistant Director of Planning and Conservation Agent, noted the discussion is postponed until the next meeting on January 5, 2011. In addition, McGowan explained that the Conservation Commission meeting in January will be only addressing delineation of the area to determine wetland boundaries and associated buffer-zones.