Conservation Commission – Helmis Circle 40B Report & Action Items Requested Of Developer for Continued Hearing

At the Feb.14, 2018 Conservation Commission (ConCom) Hearing Under Notice of Intent – Helmis Circle LLC, numerous issues were raised by ConCom members and the public. The developer was directed to provide additional information to ConCom at least one week prior to the next hearing scheduled for March 21, 2018.

In general, ConCom members were relatively critical of the applicant’s inadequate plans and poorly staked property not clearly delineating the boundaries, plots, location of retaining walls, sensitive areas i.e. coastal bank, buffer zone, distance from wetlands, etc., which prevented them from visually understanding the property and wasting their time.

The majority of time was taken by ConCom members’ questions and the applicants’ responses, much of which had already been addressed in the Zoning Board meeting, and some of which lay outside of ConCom purview.  A great deal of time was spent by the ConCom members expressing concern for the impact that the project would have on the adjacent protected property which includes a white cedar swamp, vernal pool and flood zone.

Three abutters and 1 neighbor spoke in opposition to the application.  These gentlemen spoke eloquently expressing their concerns, including loss of natural habitat, effect on protected species, damage to coastal bank and buffer zone, drainage issues, erosion, effect on Little Pond, adjacent trees, density, setbacks, etc.

ConCom requested the applicant to provide the following at the next Hearing:

  • Cut and fill calculations
  • Details of proposed retaining walls – size, location, construction
  • Move houses on lots 12 and 13 to the west of the parcels to possibly eliminate the retaining walls on the eastern coastal bank near Little Pond
  • Provide operation and maintenance plan for the drainage systems
  • Update the delineation of the Atlantic Cedar Swamp north of the site
  • Provide erosion control plan
  • Consider making boundary fence to the north and east a split rail type rather than stockade to provide wildlife passage
  • Submit endangered box turtle protection plan
  • Provide construction and staging sequence plan
  • Submit impervious surface data for entire site and by lot in Commission jurisdiction zones
  • Consider rain garden run-off controls rather than stone swales
  • Provide draft of homeowners’ association covenant
  • Eliminate emergency spillway to wetlands planned at northern retaining wall
  • Provide details of weephole outflow from retaining walls
  • Submit frozen ground calculations for runoff along southern property line
  • Provide information on amount of fill allowed to be brought to site under Falmouth bylaws and how much can be moved on the site
  • Structural engineer certification of design for any retaining walls over 4 feet high
  • Stake entire site including property lines, limits of work, roadway, drainage systems, lot corners, structure corners in jurisdiction zones, and retaining walls.