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Conservation Commission Minutes December 7, 2005
Minutes of the Old Lyme Conservation Commission
December 7, 2005, 7:00 pm

Members:        Janet Bechtel
Mariette Brown
Ted Crosby (ex officio representing Gateway Commission)
Eleanor Czarnowski
Taffy Holland
George James
David McCulloch
Martha Rumkas
Tom Sherer
Mike Silberberg
Attending:      Janet Bechtel, Mariette Brown, Ted Crosby, Eleanor Czarnowski, George James, Tom Sherer

Group voted unanimously to accept November 2005 minutes.  Ellie wrote two letters – to Gateway commission and about the Hartford Ave. affordable housing plan.

Recruiting New Members

Ellie asked members to be active in trying to recruit new members.  Mike is starting a new business.  Janet is definitely leaving.  Mariette has declined – she’s moving.

New members have to be Old Lyme property owners.

Ant Hills

Ellie mentioned letters we wrote to experts.  They said the ants are not poisonous.  She said she and Taffy think we should do nothing.  

George said he raked open 8 or 9 of the anthills.  That leaves about 25 hills.  A permit to use Cypermethrin costs $3,700. But it is available in the Navy commissary.

Ellie said again that we think we should leave them alone.  The homeowner – Carnell - will get rid of his own.

Open Space Acquisition Protocol

George said Diane is still working on it.  There will be a meeting on Friday in the snow storm.  It’s almost ready.

Storm Water Ordinance

Ted hasn’t heard from Marilyn.  The Statute has some useless provisions – for example you must get permission from DEP to inspect private property.  Other towns use the Fire Marshall.  Ted says he thinks we will pass our own separate ordinance this year.  This will provide a blueprint of what to do in any given situation.  It’s more stringent than some town regulations, less so than some others.  Developers will be required to submit storm water information.  Each town commission will enforce their own parts of it.

Ellie asked if the White Sands beach club were supposed to replace the storm drain that goes under the road.  Nothing has been done yet.

Annual Report, Rogers Lake, Variance

Ellie wrote a paragraph for the town’s annual report.

Jackobson and Sons have signed a contract to upgrade the Rogers Lake dam and install the fish ladder in conjunction with DEP.  There’s a study of alewives impact being done at Yale.  No other formal action yet.  Meeting on January 13th has some of this on the agenda.  Members have taken some action to control the leak.  Ted says it’s a sieve.  The underpinnings have never been replaced.  Tom said one of the people who tried to fix it doesn’t want the town to repair it because of the cost.  Ted said it must not be dammed up totally.  It needs to let water through – maintain the thruput - even if the water level is below the spillway.  

Hartford Avenue Affordable Housing Letter

This was already discussed.

Flat Rock Hill Affordable Housing

Tom sent the letter.  George said it did “stir the coals there”. .. Planning looked at the road proposal and suggested a change.  

Segment 3 of the DEP Training

Janet  and Ellie took the training, in Tolland.  It was interesting.  Someone from the National Soil Bureau (NCRS) and the DEP were there.  They showed different soil types, discussed wetland soils.  They require all 3 segments within one year to get the certificate.  Janet will do all 3 in 2006 and be certified.  Inland Wetlands statute requires someone on the board to be certified.  Janet is leaving ConComm to be chairman of IWWC.

PRCD Letter to Planning

Planning has never responded.  George talked to Tim Griswold about it.  They are planning to have another development forum.  George needs to push him into a date.  George said MFR doesn’t require any open space.  Make a date end of January or beginning of February.

Affordable Housing Letter to the Selectmen

George gave Tim Griswold three copies.  They never discussed it.  George never presented it.  George and Ellie will go to the next meeting.

Subdivision plans -  Hundred Acres

Nothing to discuss.  Can’t take any action – they’re allowed to subdivide once.  Group looked at the plans.  Cherrystones will have four acres.  The rest will be residential – 35 houses on 28 acres - and light industrial (LI80)?.  Open Space discussed it and Diane Atwood recommended that the Town buy it and land-bank it for future town needs.  

Tim has agreed to meet with Montinero to find out ????  Ellie said she could write another letter from the commission, in agreement with town purchasing the land.  Ted said write to the selectmen.  George said we should try to reduce the density.  Very Important.

Cherrystone Proposal to Redo the Restaurant

Ellie said it’s a nice plan for parking spaces, but has nothing about lighting.  Ted said if you put in an impervious service you have to worry about runoff.  Net runoff is unchanged.  Ellie said the drainage ditch by the little cabins floods all the time and doesn’t drain properly into Mile Creek.  Ted said that’s a good place to retain the gunk.  George said if they plan to build a parking lot on top of the septic system they’ll need a drywell for the runoff.  Won’t work if the dry well is in the septic system.  Tom said there is no information about drainage.  Ted said the septic will be in the flood zone.  Janet said DEP will approve it.  She said it’s within the 100 ft zone but above the flood zone.  Ted said this is one benefit of the storm water ordinance.  Tom from our standpoint there’s no drainage scheme, no lighting plan, and no landscaping shown.  Ellie will write the commission’s letter this week.  She’ll put it on email.  She asked if we should mention the septic under the blacktop.  Tom said there should be a caution.

Cove Landing

Janet received a letter saying that Tom Metcalf recused himself from reviewing the plan.  
Plan will be reviewed by Nathan Jackobson (in Chester).  Thomas Wade submitted 5-page report with questions and issues.  Janet will photocopy the report and give it to anyone who wants it.  She just got it.  Considerable drainage issues.  He says that a Natural Resources inventory should be done because the stream goes directly into the CT River.  The plans proposed a huge detention pond to handle the post-development runoff, which will then be piped into the wetlands.  Open Space did a site walk and asked that the plan be withdrawn and resubmitted to take it to public hearing.  Goes to public hearing end of January. Ellie asked that CC member be notified if there’s a site walk planned.

A portion of the road is owned by Janet Bragg.  They will need rights of way or easements or whatever.  They don't have the frontage as it's proposed.  It’s coming in as a private driveway not a town road.  

Janet said it should be stopped before incurring engineering expenses.  George said it’s 3 years old.  Thomas Wade said it needs engineering work.  Tom said it can’t qualify as a private drive – not enough frontage.  There’s a floating town road in the middle.  George said there are rights of way all through the property.  Many trails going into Lohman or to the water.
There was concerned about the huge rock berm being located in the right -of-way.  

New Business

Certified letter from DEP on Bikerman dock approval.
CREPRA newsletter is out.  Ellie has a copy.
CT Greenways – Old Lyme’s greenway wasofficially accepted into state greenway plan.  Leslie Lewis (DEP) gave us 20-30 signs to put up.  Ellie thinks we should put one on 156.  That’s part of our greenway.  Ted said we need to establish our greenway – we’re waiting for GIS.  Need to implement the greenway in regulations.  Ellie said this is an agenda item for the workshop.  Ellie will talk to Leslie Lewis and see what was submitted.  
Trail booklet:  Leslie said we should apply for grant money to help print the booklet
Ellie said CACIWC suggest writing to the Rockfall Foundation to find out about grant money for environmental studies, etc. . . maybe for Cove Landing.  Ted said the state will do it – an ERT – you have to ask for it.  Janet has the information on ER2.  Ellie says an ERT takes 3 to 4 months.  Janet will check the information.
Letter from DEP – South Lyme Marina plan is ineligible.  Proposal doesn’t conform to requirement for river navigation.
Ted said Rogers Lake is a very valuable town resource.  It’s one of the two main aquifers – the water sources for our wells.  He pointed out all the contributing ponds and wetlands.  We should worry about the water quality when 85 new houses come in at the top of the watershed.  The commission should be very alert to it.  We do have a lot of silt ponds already there, but they need to be managed.  We could sell the product.  
Wetland commission will promote not using fertilizers, 24D etc., protecting the water.  Janet said people don’t understand “vegetative buffers” – they think this will impede their views and access.  Needs education about what to plant in sun and in shade.  Janet described proposed new house.  
Ted said we need education, dredging, use of silt ponds, restraint of waterfowl, etc.  Wetlands and WPCA are involved.  A few septic systems need to be pumped.  They have an education committee on the west side.  Conservation Commission should show interest in the Rogers Lake Authority.  They are welcoming us to their meeting on January 13th at 7:00 in the Rogers Lake Association Hall.  Discussion of what to plant.
Ted said runoff from High Hopes manure pile went into the lake.
Ellie presented the Green Doll House.  The sender wants to know if we want to rent it.  Janet said there’s an Earth Day fair.  

Assignments

Ellie asked members to be active in trying to recruit new members.
George and Ellie will go to the next selectman’s meeting to discuss the affordable housing letter.
George to push Tim Griswold for a date to discuss the PRCD letter to Planning.
Ellie will write to the selectmen about the Hundred Acres proposal.  
Cherrystones - Ellie will write the commission’s letter this week saying there’s no drainage scheme, no lighting plan, and no landscaping shown..  She’ll put it on email.
Janet will photocopy Thomas Wade 5-page Cove Landing report and give it to anyone who wants it.  
Members should plan to attend the Rogers Lake Authority meeting on January 13th at 7:00 in the Rogers Lake Association Hall.



 
 
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