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Inlands Wetlands Commission Minutes 10/23/2012

OCTOBER 23, 2012

PRESENT WERE: Robb Linde, Skip DiCamillo, Linda Krulikowski, Janet Bechtel and Evan Griswold.


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


This item was tabled.



Richard Sagan and Ron Madison were present to discuss the proposed improvements. Mr. Madison stated the proposal was to improve the use and appearance of a three quarter acre of cemetery land that is currently uneven and land locked.  He stated they would like to remove the steep brook banks (approximately a 45 degree angle).  He noted they would like to enclose the section that used to be enclosed which is approximately 25’ in addition to another 100’ to the end.  

Madison stated they also reviewed the option of doing the improvements as they were done previously but felt it would create more excavation as well as additional tree removal.  He noted the brook has had no water in it for the last four months.   

Linde asked Mr. Madison to explain why putting it back in its original form would cause more work than the current proposal.  Mr. Madison distributed drawings for the commission to review.  
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Item 1  - Represented the area as it is today which includes 4 or 5’ high banks,  1-2’ of fill from debris on top of the banks and possibly 3 to 4 trees buried in that debris.  

Item 2 – Mr. Madison explained the area upstream to the Water Companies property and that part of the brook has an 8’ wide bed with a 1’ high bank  and a nice gentle wide slope where water can back up in the event of an emergency.

Item 3 – Mr. Madison stated is what they are proposing to pipe into the bottom of the brook which is approximately 3 feet so they will leave a bank that is only 1 foot high that needs to be smoothed.  He stated it would stretch out 10 to 15 feet on either side and would only require minimum tree removal.  

Item 4 – Mr. Madison stated this proposal is to replace the 25’ of original pipe.  He stated they would smooth the bank to the bottom of the creek bed.  So it would require tapering from 4 to 5 feet down to the bank bed which will require a lot more fill to be moved around.  

Linde asked why the same bank could not be maintained and needs tapering.  Madison stated the bank is very steep and dirt continues to come down it and goes into the brook and will eventually plug up something downstream which eventually flows into the Three Mile River.  Linde stated if there is enough water to scour the bank; where the water would go when the space is enclosed.  Madison stated it is not water that is scouring the bank it is animals, branches, and dirt falling down because of the steepness.  Linde stated the water eventually goes down to the creek and therefore if it is filled in and a drain pipe installed where will the water go.  Madison stated the water is not coming from the property it is coming from upstream which comes back to Mile Creek Road under the railroad tracks and The Oakridge Development.

Bechtel stated at this point in time the only water that would scour would be rain water.  Bechtel stated the banks are so steep so anybody’s kids playing or animals or debris would be the cause of scouring not necessarily the water.  Krulikowski stated the pipe would handle the drain water.  

Linde asked if the existing pipe was also 18 inches.  Madison stated that was correct.  DiCamillo asked if the pipe overflows where the water will end up.   Madison stated it would flow to the Three Mile River.  

Ann Brown stated she spoke with Al Bond who was unable to attend the meeting but will be doing the work at the site.  She stated that Bond felt that one way or another the banks needed to be graded off because they are too steep and stuff is just being deposited in the area.  She further stated that Bond believes that the routine water flow will be handled by

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the pipe.  He also agreed tapering and not filling would actually disturb more square feet than just filling.

Griswold asked if this was an artificially constructed ditch.  Madison stated that was correct.  Griswold stated the banks are trying to create their own angle of repose.  Therefore, he asked if it would make sense to angle and regrade the bank in such a way and then reseed would resolve the problem.

Linde stated it seems as though this is a classic watercourse wetland doing exactly what it is suppose to do with a large repository to handle some of the overflow and it fills up and drains down again.  It has 100 feet of land to treat the water and by putting it into a pipe you loose the ability to do that.   Linde further state this may be an unsightly ditch that conveys water that people want to clean up and make look better but he questioned how this differs from half of the creeks that run through our beach communities that are over grown ugly looking ditches that convey water through them.

Therefore he questioned why this was in the best interest in the land and of the watercourse.  He stated he understood why the cemetery committee would like to make the land look better but he was not convinced it was doing the wetlands/watercourse any good.

Bechtel stated when she visited the site it was discussed that originally at the very end there was the original 25 feet where there was once piping allowed and it was clay piping which has since broken down.  She noted when she met with them at the site she understood why they would want to replace the 25 feet of pipe which was originally there because that would provide truck access into the triangular corner of the property.  She further stated since the clay piping was originally permitted and deteriorated she was comfortable replacing the 25 feet of piping but normally as a commission we did not like to see brooks piped.   Linde stated he was also comfortable with a repair but was concerned about the additional 100 feet.  

Griswold stated the bank is putting dirt into the stream because the bank is to steep and the dirt is trying to find its equilibrium and perhaps a soil scientist or engineering might be able to tell what the angle is but it would seem to him that creating a less steep bank and seeding and stabilizing it would make more sense than installing a pipe.  He also suggested the placement of a jute map.  Evan Griswold stated without visiting the site he felt the preferred option for him would be Option 4.  

Robb Linde and Evan Griswold agreed to visit the site prior to the November meeting.  

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Bechtel stated they walked the property and met with the applicant who represented the Miami Beach Association.  She stated at the walk they told him he did not need to come.  She stated the area was totally flat.

Janet Bechtel made a motion to approve the application as submitted.  Linda Krulikowski seconded the motion.  

Discussion:  Griswold asked what the improvements include.  Bechtel stated the improvements include driveway apron restoration and lawn area.  She stated there are a couple of pieces of flat property that are lower and puddle.  She stated they are digging down along Fifth Avenue and installing rip-rap and grading it in and repairing some of the driveway aprons.   

Linde stated his concerns were whether the area needed to be engineered but because it is so flat it is not an issue.  Bechtel stated there is not enough slope to damage the wetlands. Linde asked if it is essentially sheet flow which is something the commission is normally in favor of.  Bechtel said yes.

The motion passed unanimously.


Bechtel stated the commission walked the site.  She noted the property is right on the road and it crosses underneath the road and goes over to the Johnson property.  She noted that the contractor met the commission members at the site and explained the application.  She noted they understood the dredging but also requested a buffer with a no mow zone.  She noted the contractor indicated the property owner wanted the lawn right to the edge of the pond.  She noted McCulloch expressed his concerns about fertilizers and pesticides entering into the pond.   

Brown stated she spoke with the owner and he indicated that they do put some fertilizer on the lawn but none near the pond.  Brown further stated he is perfectly happy to have a 10 ft grass buffer around the pond if he can mow it twice a year.  She stated he feels that mowing only once a year it will come up with weeds and he also is in agreement with the commission to muck a little more area.  He also noted the project will not be done until the Spring.  
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Bechtel stated the contractor indicated that whatever is removed from the pond will be spread because the lawn to the north is uneven and this would even it out and then it would be replanted.  She further stated the contractor showed the location of the backhoe on the site walk and it can reach to the other side of the little bridge and clean it out and would enable better flow.  She stated the only concern was how pristine the area was down to the pond.

Brown stated the property owner is perfectly happy to provide a buffer and noted when they do mow it the clipping will be pushed away from the area because he doesn’t want it in his pond.  DiCamillo asked if the buffer would be around the entire pond area.  Brown stated that was correct.

Bechtel stated as long as there can be a 10 ft twice a year mowed buffer she was okay with the dredging.  Griswold asked if 10 ft was adequate.  Bechtel stated she felt it was adequate.

Linde asked how far the house was from the pond.  DiCamillo indicated it was at least 60 to 70 feet.  The commission discussed the size of the buffer.  Brown indicated that 20 feet would not catch much more nutrients than 10 feet.  

Janet Bechtel made a motion to approve the application of Geoffrey and Koni Rich with the addition of the 10 ft vegetative buffer to be mowed twice a year with two points of access down to the water. Skip DiCamillo seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.


Bechtel stated the commission visited the site and anything would be an improvement.  She noted the area is off of Route 156 and its Twining/Buck Preserve.  Griswold asked if the Land Trust owned the Road.  It was noted they own everything but 25 ft.  Bechtel stated the proposal is to repair  part of the pavement.  She noted the wetland is the pull off area and in it is just bumping the gravel into the dirt and when it rains it picks up the dirt and sends it down into the wetlands.  She further stated the proposal in the application was the area they showed on the plan (which was staked out for the walk) is to put down crushed stone on the side for parking and place logs along the outer boundary so cars cannot go further and further and desperately needs to be done.

Linde stated his only concern was that a barrier be placed to keep folks from further extending.  

Bechtel stated the application also discussed how they would handle the work.

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Bechtel made a motion to approve the application as submitted.  Evan Griswold seconded the motion.   The motion passed unanimously.


Bechtel stated she did not have a problem with the regulations.  She said she was the one who adapted them from Wendy Goodfriend’s information.  She stated she likes them as written, however if Ann Brown as staff feels certain things are more burdensome then by all means eliminate them.  

Brown stated procedurally once they are put together and the commission has agreed on the text they should be sent to Mark Branse for his review.  She noted they also need to be sent to DEEP.   She noted then a Public Hearing is held to discuss proposed changes.

Linde stated he did not see the Definition of Buffer included in the text.  Brown stated the language has not yet been incorporated but will be added.  Linde also suggested Jim Kalan and/or Penny Sharpe testify about the regulations.  Linde stated he would accept written comments as well.  Linde also wanted the assertion that the wood frog lava contributes to the physical characteristics of the wetland therefore is imperative to provide habitat for those frogs to survive.  

Brown asked if the commission would like their attorney to attend the Public Hearing.  
Linde stated he was in favor of the  commission having Mark Branse attend the hearing but ultimately that would be up to the new Chairman.  Brown stated she thought it was a good idea to have him attend.

Skip DiCamillo made a motion to make all the text changes and send the draft regulations to Attorney Mark Branse for his review and then to the Commissioner who gets at least 30 days to review and then scheduled a Public Hearing for January.  Krulikowski seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.


Linde stated as per the meeting he attended last month the commission needs to make sure the establishment of the schedule for 2013 Meetings is on the November agenda.

Respectfully submitted,

Kim Groves
Land Use Administrator

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

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