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Inlands Wetlands Commission Unapproved Minutes 03/27/2012



PRESENT WERE:  Robb Linde, Sabine O’Donnell, Skip DiCamillo, Linda Krulikowski and Janet Bechtel.

Chairman Linde called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.



Skip DiCamillo made a motion to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes as submitted.  Linda Krulikowski seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  


Skip DiCamillo made a motion to approve the Site Walk Meeting minutes as submitted.
Sabine O’Donnell seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.



Stuart Fairbanks, of Angus McDonald & Gary Sharpe & Associates was present to discuss the proposed drainage plan with the commission.   Mr. Fairbanks also submitted revised plans at the meeting dated March 26, 2012 .  Fairbanks stated a year ago he was before the commission with preliminary plans at which time the commission requested more detailed information.  Fairbanks distributed photographs of the area along Epsilon Avenue for the commission to review.  Fairbanks stated overtime it appears that the drainage structure that is in the road along Epsilon has become silted in.  He stated the map is 40 scale in an effort to make it easier to see all the properties.  He stated they would like to replace the 8 inch pipe with a 12 inch pipe and run it  from southwest to northeast back across Epsilon Avenue up to the edge of the flagged wetland (between Epsilon and Avon Avenues).  He stated the water is coming from the state property crossing north to south in a diagonal direction and large portion of it ends up in the inland
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wetland and spills over.  He stated it appears that when the lot at the very end of Epsilon was developed a few years ago whatever might have overflowed directly across Epsilon and into that wetland to the south was blocked.   

Fairbanks stated the proposed pipes would be installed in the same location as the existing pipes.  Fairbanks also used photographs of the area to show where the flooding is occurring.  Linde state it appears from the elevations there is essentially a two foot trench which is Epsilon Avenue.  Krulikowski stated back in the sixties there was a natural flow of the groundwater and as homes were put into this area their foundations created dams and therefore the more houses that were constructed the flooding seemed to increase.  Griswold asked if there was a groundwater issue as well.  Fairbanks stated he believed so but has not done an evaluation.  

Ross Orr – 14 Epsilon Avenue  

Mr. Orr stated that when there is a rainstorm that lasts more than a day then Epsilon Avenue will overflow anytime of the year.  

Krulikowski stated it appears the existing drainage is basically clogged.  Fairbanks stated that was correct and the proposed drainage would be a 12 inch pipe.  DiCamillo asked if that would be large enough.  Fairbanks stated it was the largest that could be put in because otherwise it would be sticking out of the ground.  DiCamillo expressed concern that this might only be a temporary fix.  Fairbanks stated that the 12 inch pipe is constructed of corrugated plastic so when they lay it the grade can be maintained and therefore less likely to silt in.  

O’Donnell asked if there was anyway to retain the water in the two wetlands.  Fairbanks stated the problem is the area is so flat.  Brown asked if it was possible to redirect the water into the southern wetland.  Fairbanks stated that was a possibility if the commission wanted to try that he would suggest that the pipes be connected across but also give it a positive outlet.  He stated also the problem is that the wetlands are so overgrown with leaf litter in addition to the area being so flat he was afraid to use that area as a primary way out and expressed concern of creating a problem for the next properties down.  Fairbanks stated from a safety point the lake is a place where we know we have storage.  

Linde stated it is 560 ft. from the entry point to the lake and there is only 2 feet of drop over those 560 feet.  Fairbanks stated it was a little bit more than that but not much.  He stated the slopes of the pipe are shown and they are basically a half a percent all the way which is six inches in a hundred feet.   Linde asked if that was sufficient to allow enough velocity to clear the silt.  Fairbanks stated it was the absolute bare minimum for silt.  

O’Donnell asked from an engineering point if he could guarantee there will not be a negative impact on lots to the south if it was connected to the other inland wetland.  Fairbanks stated he could not.  
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Linde asked if the elevation was 41.9 feet at Wetlands Flag 25 and 26 which is located on the southern most inland wetland..  He also noted that there is a 41 foot contour down in that wetland.  Linde asked if de-silting apparatus could not be added because of the slope.  Fairbanks stated that was correct.  Linde stated he is concerned about placing a pipe under a watercourse especially when there is a history of silting which presumably caused the failure.  

Fairbanks stated that the Town owns Rogers Lake Trail and noted that the catch basins have not been maintained and therefore if the town would clean the basins it would certainly help the situation.  Linde encouraged the applicant to look at solutions to prevent the silt from entering Rogers Lake.  Fairbanks suggested that plastic risers with holes at 90 degrees which would pick up some sediment and would be able to be cleaned periodically.  

Brown noted that a full drainage study has not been done.  Fairbanks stated that was correct a drainage study has not been done.  He further stated the objective here was to try and get the ponding out of the area.  He stated the proposed pipes are as large as they can be.  He stated if new houses and roads were being constructed it would be a totally different situation but that is not the case.   

Krulikowski asked if there were any plans for regular maintenance.  Fairbanks stated there are notes on the plan but noted that the language was standard and generally placed on most plans.  

DiCamillo asked if it was possible to filter the water.  Brown noted that the water was pretty clean and crystal clear not a muddy water off a driveway.  Some of the neighbors expressed concern that some of the water comes out oily.  Brown stated it picks up dirt from the street.  Brown stated if you are noticing oil flowing into your lake every rain storm there is something else making oil not street runoff.  Fairbanks said there may be an oil shine on the surface but noted it is common in a lot of still water runoff.  

The commission agreed to set a site walk for Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 6:15 p.m.  

Brown stated she would notify the applicant of the fee for the application.  Linde noted the plan would be set to Tom Metcalf for his review and the applicant would be responsible for the fees associated with that review.  

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Brown reported that Mr. Buscetto was unable to attend the meeting but submitted a plan to the office today.  The commission reviewed the plan which delineated the area the wood chips were placed as well as the hay.  Mr. Buscetto also provided photographs.

Linde stated the commission had requested a restoration plan.  Brown stated it was the applicant’s  understanding that it was the commission’s desire to let  the area t grow back and noted the applicant is willing to respect that.

The commission discussed the fact that a portion of the reason the area was cleared was due to storm damage.  It was also noted that all the under brush was also cleared.  Krulikowski stated the applicant’s implication was that in order to do the tree work he had to clear the under brush.  Griswold stated he felt that some of the removal was for a view of the pond.  O’Donnell stated she felt he would have had to clear an area much further up towards the house to have a view.  O’Donnell also stated she did not feel it was clear that the commission expected a restoration plan in addition to the placement of the wood chips and hay.  Linde stated he told the applicant specifically that a detailed plan was required prior to any approvals.  Linde stated it seems as though he has done essentially what the commission requested, therefore he suggested that Ann Brown visit the site and confirm that the work done is consistent with the site walk minutes.  Brown asked the commission how much area they expected to have hayed and wood chips.  Linde stated 10 to 20 ft from the driveway for wood chips.  

Linde suggested that no action be taken until next month.  Brown stated at that time the commission could reiterate the area they expect to be left alone to grow back.


Linde stated that there has been a change in the Connecticut Statutes with regard to wetlands permits.   He further stated this change is retroactive to applications that have already been approved.  Linde stated the commission will be sending letters to applicants that have not completed their work informing them of the change in statute and notifying them of the  additional time to complete their work..  

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Brown stated this is kind of an off shoot of a Water Committee that is concerned with exporting water from Old Lyme to some other drainage basin.  She further stated a plan was going to be completed for the town at no cost but noted the funding for this project was pulled, however the Zoning Commission was able to provide funding to complete the project.  She further stated this plan has been emailed to the commission for review.


Brown reported that she attended the meeting last week.  She noted one of the presenters was from New York where they have a sewage treatment plant much like everyone else in New York, except for the past seventeen years they have diverted part of their flow into created wetlands.  She further stated they have about 130,000 gallons of sewage a day in approximately 3 acres (which they think they could do in half of that) which then goes into these created wetlands and is treated exquisitely, efficiently and elegantly all underground.  She stated if the Town of Old Lyme finds itself in a predicament she would urge the town to bring these folks in to discuss the process.

Respectfully submitted,

Kim Groves
Land Use Administrator

52 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371  (860) 434-1605

Town Hall Hours  Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM