Archive for July, 2009

Conservation Commission Continues Environmental Regulations Review

Friday, July 24th, 2009

The Wellfleet Conservation Commission held a public hearing on revised Environmental Protection Regulations regarding the Wellfleet Harbor ACEC and coastal floodplain on July 1, 2009.

WNSHA members Gooz Draz and Tony Sager spoke in support of the revisions’ objectives and commented on their improvement from an earlier draft and on possible substantive and technical changes.

The Commission summarized the public comments as follows:

The Commission requested comments from the audience.  Agent Greenberg stated the Commission has not yet received comments from Town Counsel or the State Association of Conservation Commission.  Griswold Draz asked about the performance standards and wanted to know if the ACEC regulations are different from the Wetlands Protection Act.  He recommends simplifying the definition of buffer zones by stating it will include an additional 50 feet.  Tony Sager, homeowner within the National Seashore, stated by dropping section B, the revised regulation would be easier to understand.  He provided examples of the phrase “buffer zone” in several sections that were confusing.  Agent Greenberg stated the Bylaws will have to be amended to include the ACEC.  Sager would like to see a map online.  Agent Greenberg stated it is very expensive to update information on a regular basis and the maps we are using are from 2005.  Draz stated he would supply in writing his recommendations. ConsCom Minutes of 7/01/09.

The Commission is waiting for further advice from town legal counsel and the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissioners.

The revisions will not take effect on July 1, 2009, but will be subject to further review.

At its previous meeting on June 17, 2009, the Commission had continued its review of the draft regulations and the underlying policies (from its June 17 meeting Minutes):

Discussion:  ACEC Regulations

Agent Greenberg distributed ACEC photographs which identified buffer zones and the floodplain.  She stated the Commission needs to clarify its intentions: do we want the revision to the Wellfleet Environmental Protection Regulations to specify a 50 foot buffer zone or a 100 foot buffer zone beyond the 100 year flood zone and the ACEC line?  As currently written, they call out a no-touch buffer zone of an additional 50 feet landward.   There was discussion and clarification that the new regulations would not only put into place restrictions on the previously unregulated ACEC but on a buffer zone beyond the ACEC and beyond the 100 year flood zone.  (The ACEC line is 100 feet landward from the 10 foot contour above sea level).  Agent Greenberg also clarified that since the areas delineated by the state Wetlands Protection Act, the ACEC, and LSCSF do not coincide, the most restrictive would apply in any given case. The Commission discussed the recommendations from Griswold Draz regarding Section 4A, performance standards, and 4B.  There was discussion regarding the relationship of variances to the revised regulations.  Agent Greenberg reviewed the areas of the regulations that may require revisions to improve clarification.  Agent Greenberg will work on a draft to present to the Commission with changes.  There will be another public hearing on July 1, 2009.