Lee’s Trailer Project Moves Forward Before Conservation Comm.

The Revere Conservation Commission (ConsComm) held its regular monthly meeting last Wednesday evening (May 1) in the City Council Chamber. Chair John Shue presided over the session that was attended by fellow members Samantha Woodman, Joseph Lavalle, Brian Averback, Wilson Correa. and Bernardo Sepulveda.

The first matter on the agenda  was a continuation of a request by Parkway Homes, LLC, for a Notice of Intent (NOI) for the project at 2, 12, & 16 Pratt Street and  418 Winthrop Ave., the site of the former Lee’s Trailer Park, where the Parkway is seeking to construct a new residential development of 250 units. The matter came up at the ConsComm’s April meeting (and the meeting before that), but a continuance was granted in order for the Friends of Belle Isle Marsh to review the application. The property borders Sales and Green’s Creeks, both of which flow into the Belle Isle watershed.

Rick Salvo, a civil engineer with Engineering Alliance, Inc., of Saugus, who had made a detailed presentation at the April meeting, was on hand to answer any questions. He noted that he had conducted a site walk with members of the Friends of Belle Isle Marsh and answered all of their questions.

In response to a question from Averback, Caleb Manchester from Helge Capital, the investment firm that owns Parkway Homes, said that the actual construction process will not be able to start for a period of about 6-8 months.

Shue read a portion of an email submitted by the Friends of Belle in support of the project in which the Friends noted that the project, which will include the planting of native vegetation and trees, will be an improvement over the present condition of the premises.

Averback applauded the clean-up of the rear portion of the property abutting the creeks, which has become a toxic dump over the years, that will constitute a significant improvement for the entire marsh ecosystem.

There were no opponents and the commission unanimously approved the issuance of the NOI.

Next up was another continuation of a hearing for an NOI at 48 Jones Rd. by the owner, Rosa Greico, who is seeking to add a single-story addition on her property, which is located on land subject to coastal storm flowage (LSCSF).

An issue arose over whether a Cultec chamber would be necessary to be installed. A Cultec chamber is a dome-shaped, open-bottomed corrugated plastic structure that functions like a  conventional stormwater pond to provide underground retention and infiltration of rainwater into the ground.

Greico had included two Cultec chambers in her original plan, but asked the commission to accept her proposal without any chambers. “There never has been a problem with flooding in the 50 years that I’ve lived there,” she said. “This will be a huge expense for me if they were to break,” said Greico.

The commissioners voted to allow Greico to amend her plan to install one chamber and issued the NOI on that basis, a decision that Greico said she would accept.

The commission then took up a request for a Determination of Applicability from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to renew the Wetland Delineation along the MBTA’s right-of-way of its Rapid Transit tracks in Revere as part of the new Vegetated Management Plan (VMP).

Alicia Thoms represented the MBTA at the hearing. Shue noted that the T’s contractors recently had exceeded the boundaries of the VMP and asked what steps the T was taking to ensure that it is doing its work, which involves applying herbicides to keep the tracks clear of the plant growth, only where permitted.

Thoms agreed to do a walk-through with the commissioners along the tracks with the T’s contractor to delineate the boundaries of the area to be affected. The commission voted to continue the matter until next month’s meeting.

The ConsCom heard a request for a Determination of Applicability for the property at 129 Lynnway from the owner, Samir Agudelo,  to determine if widening an existing walkway by one foot and installing pavers on it is an activity subject to the jurisdiction of the Wetlands Protection Act.

Lorena Escolero, the city’s Conservation Agent, was on hand for the hearing to answer any questions. Woodman and LaValle reported that they both had walked the property and said they had no issues with the proposed work. The members then voted unanimously for a negative determination of applicability, which means that the work will not fall within the jurisdiction of the commission.

Another request for a Determination of Applicability was presented by the Revere Beach Partnership (RBP) for its annual Sand Sculpture Festival on Revere Beach this summer. The festival will require the delivery of sand and the erection of two tents that will be temporarily installed on the beach for the extent of the festival.

Erin Lynch presented the application on behalf of the RPB. There were no questions and the commission unanimously approved a negative determination of applicability, as has been done in the past.

The commission then took up a request for a Certificate of Compliance for the completed construction of a new, single-family home at 18 Neponset St. from Mario Zepaj, the project developer. Peter Blaisdell from the engineering firm that did the work was on hand for the hearing, as was Mr. Zepaj.

The commissioners, some of whom had walked the property a few days previously, unanimously approved the issuance of the certificate.

The commission then held a hearing for an after-the-fact issuance of an NOI for 63 Eliot Rd. where the owner, Zain Akhtar, had performed some unpermitted work consisting of adding concrete steps, a concrete wall, and a concrete floor underneath an existing porch below-grade leading to the basement.

Members of the commission had walked the property a few days previously and the commission unanimously approved issuing the NOI. Upon receiving the NOI, Mr. Akhtar then will need to apply for a Certificate of Compliance, which in this case will be a formality because the work has been completed and the commissioners have viewed it.

The commission took up an enforcement order pertaining to 100 Arcadia St. regarding the completion of a remediation plan. Escolero informed the commission that the work has been completed and the commissioners voted to approve sending a letter to the owner, informing her that she now is in compliance with the Wetlands Protection Act.

The commission received two pieces of correspondence in the past month, one from the Massachusetts Electric Company notifying the commission of necessary electric distribution maintenance work near the address at 207 Lynnway and another from the city regarding utility replacement work at the Oak Island railroad crossing.

Shue updated the commissioners on the progress of the clean-up of hazardous waste at the properties at 12 and 14 Furlong Drive which had been addressed by the commission at a previous meeting.

At the end of the meeting, Shue reminded his fellow commissioners of the upcoming, all-day walk-through with the peer review firm hired by the ConsComm regarding the delineation of wetlands boundaries for the proposed new Revere High School at the former Wonderland dog track.

The next meeting of the ConsComm is set for June 5.

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