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Inlands Wetlands Commission Minutes 05/22/2018
MAY 22, 2018

Present were:  Rachel Gaudio, Chairwoman,  Tom Machnik, Vice Chairman, Evan Griswold, Gary Gregory, Bob DePianta.   Bill McNeil arrived at 7:25 p.m.

Chairwoman Gaudio called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.



Evan Griswold made a motion to approve the Regular Meeting minutes dated April 24, 2018.  Gary Gregory seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.



Chairwoman Gaudio clarified for the citizens in attendance that this was a Regular Meeting and the discussion would pertain to only Lot 1 and issues that pertain to the wetland itself and the upland review area.

Joe Wren, PE. representing Hope Housing, LLC stated that this application was discussed at the March meeting, at which time a Site Walk was scheduled and completed and again at the April Meeting.   He stated at the last meeting he discussed some proposed legislation potentially requiring town homes to have sprinklers and therefore it was recommended not to make any decisions on the application because we were not sure how that proposed legislation would affect the work within the 100’ review area.   He stated he was notified today that the proposed legislation was removed.

He stated there are two Lots on the site but the Lot 1 has wetlands.   He stated they have taken all the proposed potential future development uphill of that area into account for water quality and volume.   

He stated the wetlands were flagged by Richard Snarski.  He said the drainage basin is located on the eastern downhill side of the property which will collect all the runoff from the impervious areas and all the non-impervious areas from upstream into this water quality basin.   He stated the water quality basin is an extended micro-pool detention basin per the guidelines in the DEEP Stormwater  Quality manual.  It’s designed with a sediment four bay where the water enters to trap sediments and has the micro-pool at the outlet for final polishing before it gets into the outlet pipe.  He said any water that makes it through the basin becomes zero velocity and is able to equally distribute over land flow.  He said then it will travel  over land prior to entering the wetland.   

Additionally for water quality the catch basins on the site all have 2 foot sumps so when the water falls in sediment is able to settle out.   He said in the area where we are (out-letting) into  the basin, there will be 4 foot sumps to provide additional storage to have the opportunity to settle out.   He said additionally there is an open hood with a plastic cover over the outlet pipe so that only water can get out and anything that is floating is trapped inside the basin and can be maintained appropriately.  He said the bottom of the basin will have a special conservation seed mix and 200 plantings of two types of species.  The outlet structure of the basin is multi-tiered which meters the flow that exists the basin.  Wren stated the amount of storm water runoff that makes it to the design point at the end of the wetland which is in the southeast corner of the site will be same as it is today.

Wren stated the remaining work within the 100’ ft. upland review area includes additional plants on the basin slope and along the edge of buffer area. He stated there are also shrubs proposed along the south edge of the 24 ft. wide driveway.  Wren stated the basin did get slightly larger because more impervious areas were added.   He noted additional soil testing was done and permeability sampling was done and found out that the lower layer did not have a very high permeability rate but the upper soils had a higher permeability and it was better to use that higher permeability soil, therefore the bottom of the basin was raised and widened to take advantage of the soil.

He said there is currently an 18” reinforced concrete cross culvert with flared end sections on both sides.  He said that pipe will be replaced with two catch basins over the pipe that will catch any runoff from the driveway.  

He said the entire loop road has curbs on both sides with catch basins.   The lower section of the driveway the curbing was stopped and a crushed stone apron will be installed to allow sheet runoff and prevent any erosion.  He said there are catch basins at the intersections.   

Bob DePianta stated the applicant indicated the driveway was 20 feet.  Wren stated it is 24 feet and has always been 24 feet.  

Bob DePianta asked what the distance from the edge of the driveway to lower south side of the wetlands.   Wren stated it is approximately the same as it is today which is 15 feet.   Bob DePianta stated that the driveway is being expanded from 12 feet to 24 feet.  Wren stated the expansion was to the north.
Bob DePianta asked what the composition was of the driveway.  Wren stated it was asphalt.  

Gary Gregory asked if the catch basins contained a sediment reservoir.  Wren stated there are either 2 ft. or 4 ft. sumps.  Gregory asked about the maintenance plan for the basin.  Wren stated typically it could be annually or bi-annually.  He further stated there will be an owner/association that will be taking care of the maintenance.  Gary Gregory asked what the law is for the inspections.   Wren stated there is really no law but a standard recommendation would be once a year or twice a year in the spring and/or fall.  

Gary Gregory asked where the runoff goes from the off ramp.  Wren stated there is a ridge and paved/swale ditch that comes down to a catch basin and enters the DOT system.  

Gary Gregory asked what would happen to the trees and undergrowth in that area.   Wren stated Richard Snarski, Soil Scientist has proposed indigenous shrubs for the area.  Gregory asked if the trees in that area would be removed.  Wren stated there are clearing limits shown on the plan and noted there is minimal clearing on the east side except for the sightline.  

Bob DePianta asked the width of the proposed crushed stone on the side of the driveway.   Wren stated it was 3 ft.   

Seamus Moran, PE. with Indigo Land Design stated since the first design the basin has been elevated 2 feet to take account for the 28 inches of nice soil below.  Moran said the top of the basin was only able to go up another 6 inches because of the low point of the road.  

He said they had to modify the outlet control structure.  He said there are three separate openings to let water out.  He said the first opening is 6” x 24”; the second is 6” x 31” which is 15” off the bottom of the basin, and a rectangular weir on the top of the outlet control structure.  

Moran stated the water quality running that is generated currently is about 2,500 cubic feet and with the proposed development it will be generating about 9,500 cubic feet and the basis is sized to retain 27,000 cubic feet.  He said the treated volume will be going up but the untreated volume is actually going down by 1900 cubic feet so the water quality will be better.

Evan Griswold asked about the calculation used to design for the level of storm.  Moran stated the requirement is 25 year but the system was designed for 100 year storm.  Griswold asked when the last time the numbers were updated.  Moran stated the numbers were revised a year and a half ago.  

Richard Snarski, Wetlands and Soil Scientist reviewed his planting plan with the commission.   

Evan Griswold asked when the area is cleared and more light is introduced will there be some Japanese barberry and loose weed planted.   Snarkski said he is happy to incorporate that into the plan.   Griswold also asked about the ledge on the site.  Wren stated they had done many test pits on the site for the septic (it was noted all of the systems were outside the 100’ review area) and the ledge starts to rise as you get up towards the peak and there are test holes that are 9 to 10 ft. deep on the east side.   He said the shallowest they found was towards the Lot 1 and 2 division which were 4 ½ to 5 ft. and everything else was 7 ft. and up.  He further stated they got great percolation rates.   

Griswold asked Mr. Wren to explain the tiered outlet.  The commission reviewed Sheet 10 of the plans which provided the details for the outlet.  Griswold asked how the outlet interacts.   Snarski stated the subsoil will still be on the bottom of the basin for the plant growth.  

Bob DePianta asked if the curbing could be extended all the way down.  Wren stated the edge of the current driveway is the same distance away.  He stated pavement is being added to the north but it will drain to the south because there is not curbing.   He stated one low impact development feature is to eliminate curbs and promote overland flow.  DePianta expressed concern about snow.  Wren stated even with curbing the same volume of snow will still go there.  It was also noted the existing driveway is asphalt.  He further stated they kept the elevation of the driveway very similar to what it is today to avoid filling into the wetlands.  Wren noted when the Baldwin Bridge was put in they pushed it to the south a safe distance.   

Attorney Sylvia Rutkowska, Dzialo, Pickett & Allen PC stated she felt all the information was provided by the applicant and is complete and in order for the commission to make a decision.  

Griswold asked if the buildings themselves represent an additional impermeable surface and if there was any consideration to capture any of the water off the buildings in structures such as rain gardens.   Wren noted that there are yard drains between the units that can either maintained lawn or if desired could be small rain gardens if the commission so desired.  Wren noted that all the building roofs are beyond the 100 ft. review area.   

Bill McNeil stated the rain runoff from the roofs is going through the asphalt shingles.  Wren stated that is an impervious surface so the roofs don’t leak and that is all accounted for in all the impervious water volume.    

Wren stated this application has also been submitted to the Zoning Commission along with a drainage report.  He said that information has been submitted to the Tom Metcalf, Town Engineer.  

Bill McNeil asked if the water was 19 percent cleaner going into the wetlands than it is currently.  Wren stated it was 1900 cubic feet more that is going through some sort of renovation.  McNeil asked if it was cleaner water.  Wren said it cleaner in a sense of renovated.  He said there will be a water quality basin, seeds, plugs and seed mixes to uptake and sediments in the runoff.   Wren stated many more gallons of water are going through some sort of renovation prior to getting through a wetland.  

Bill McNeil asked at what point the renovated water replaces the existing water.  Wren stated the water is being improved and will remain fresh.  Wren stated this is the action required by the DEEP Stormwater Quality Manual as well as town regulations.  

Chairwoman Gaudio discussed the letter the commission received dated May 21, 2018 from Lewis K. Wise, Attorney with Rogin Nassau, LLC.  She addressed one aspect of the letter with regard to the attorney that should be conflicted out.   She noted that attorney had conflicted himself out and the commission has retained a different counsel.

Evan Griswold stated Item listed in the letter have been addressed by the applicant.  

Gary Gregory asked what percentage of the housing will be affordable housing.  Lauren Ash, Executive Director with Hope Housing, LLC is for them to be 100 percent affordable at different levels.  

Wren clarified for the record that each building will have its own separate septic system.   He stated they will be reviewed by the Ledge Light Health District and the State Department of Health.  

Evan Griswold made a motion to approve the application with the following conditions:

  • In areas where it is feasible to have water captured in rain gardens.
  • The basins be inspected bi-annually and cleaned annually.
  • The invasive species are removed during construction.
Gary Gregory seconded the motion.   The motion passed unanimously.


Seamus Moran, PE. with Indigo Land Design stated the commission visited the site.   Moran noted the proposal is to construct a 3 bedroom year round dwelling with a 2 car garage.  He stated the wetlands are located to the north and the majority of the proposed work is outside the review area.  He noted silt fencing would be installed.   Moran stated the issue of a crawl space versus a full
basement has not been discussed with the property owner.   He further stated there is some high groundwater in the area so we can encourage the crawl space but since the property is not in the flood zone it is not a requirement.  

Moran also noted the plan has been approved by the Ledge Light Health District.

Tom Machnik made a motion to approve the application.  Bob DePianta seconded the motion.   The motion passed unanimously.  

Respectfully submitted,

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

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