The Conservation Commission voted 5-0 to recommend a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a self-storage facility on Mammoth Road.
The 484 Mammoth Road parcel is located just south of the triangle at Rockingham Road and Smith Lane, near Cohas Landing.
Design and construction materials will be chosen to minimize impact on the wetlands and will include restoration of the site consistent with the permitted use, said Steven Keach of Keach-Nordstrom Associates, Inc., a civil engineering firm in Bedford.
According to the application for the CUP, there is no feasible alternative route on property owner Gordon Welch’s land that does not cross the Conservation Overlay District (COD), or that has less detrimental impact on the wetlands.
Keach told the Commission that proposed construction on the property includes the removal of a home and parking area, which will result in a 2,000-square-foot net reduction of buffer impact. The proposed plan results in a 4,120-square-foot impact to the overlay district.
Additionally, the site has been graded to allow all storm water to flow away from the adjacent wetlands, ensuring storm water runoff associated with the proposed commercial use won’t impact the adjacent wetland, according to Keach.
All on-site storm water will enter a drainage system where it will be treated and detained before it is released into a closed drainage system on Mammoth Road.
According to the application, the plans also include temporary erosion control measures that will be used during construction to ensure the proper restoration of the site.
Welch told the Commission the pavement to be removed from the site would be replaced with landscaped grass.
But Commissioner Eugene Harrington expressed concern with the proposal, saying the Commission would prefer to see a naturally vegetated buffer.
“Native plants would be far more appropriate than just grass. We don’t allow turf in the buffer. No fertilizers or chemicals,” he said.
Welch said his only concern with letting the area grow with natural vegetation is that it would create a weak spot in security, obscuring his fence.
Keach said they can use a “conservation mix” they often employ near storm water drainage areas that would satisfy the Commission’s wishes and ensure the fence isn’t overgrown by vegetation – a mix of everything but woody, stem vegetation.
The Commission agreed to support the plan with the condition natural vegetation will grow in the buffers detailed on the site plan.