Conservation Commission extends deadline for erosion plan

SOUTHWICK – The Conservation Commission approved the request of the applicants of 61 & 63 College Hwy to extend their deadline to complete their erosion and sediment control plan.  

The applicant, AAA Homes, requested an extension of one month to finish the plan, but the Conservation Commission approved the request on the condition that AAA Homes has until the next rainfall to finish the erosion and sediment control plan.

The runoff of silt from the driveways at 61 and 63 College Hwy is going onto the road. (WNG File Photo)

The other condition to the extension is to keep the cease and desist in place, which was voted on and issued by the Conservation Commission on January 7. AAA Homes is building two single-family homes side by side at 61 and 63 College Hwy but was in violation of their application. One driveway was being built for each of the single-family homes, however AAA had a third driveway constructed in the middle of the two driveways to allow their concrete trucks access to the job site.

Southwick town officials who have been reviewing the application and overseeing the project, report that the location of the driveway and the two homes are set on a steep slope causing silt from the driveways to runoff into the road.

Due to the erosion going onto the road, Southwick Police have recently had to work traffic detail to make it safer for vehicles to pass by and avoid accidents from occurring.

Dennis Clark, Conservation Commission Coordinator, added that it’s also estimated by town officials that 50 cubic yards of erosion material has gone into the nearby wetlands.

The Conservation Commission has also issued an enforcement order to AAA Homes, which required them to create and submit an Erosion and Sediment Control plan, in order to prevent any more material from going onto the road or into the wetlands. They were also required to hire a professional engineer to help them create the plan, which is R. Levesque Associates.

Members of the Southwick Conservation Commission discussed the enforcement order on the applicants of 61 & 63 College Highway. (Photo by Greg Fitzpatrick)

The hope from the Conservation Commission is to have the erosion and sediment control plan finished and the roof complete at a proper timetable before rain becomes consistent and causes more of a safety hazard.

“We want to make sure it’s in place by the spring,” said Clark.

Conservation Commission member Brian Pranka pointed out that mud that has gone down onto College Hwy could turn into ice if the temperatures drastically drop again. The chance of ice could be an issue on such a busy road.

“There’s some serious traffic going through there,” said Pranka.

AAA Homes is expected to come back to the Conservation Commission at their next meeting on March 2.

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