The Canton Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency discussed the Canton High School track, field and parking lot improvement plan Thursday night but made no final decision, carrying action to its meeting next month.
Representatives from Milone & MacBroom presented the plan to the agency, which needs to issue a permit, particularly since the plan involves activity in the "upland review area," within 100 feet of a wetland or watercourse.
Thomas J. Daly, associate with project consultant Milone & MacBroom, reviewed changes in the plan, including some made since the agency offered feedback at a recent informal meeting.
While the firm kept the single entrance lane and two exit lanes in the main high school access, it shifted the driveway to the east and narrowed an island between the two, bringing it further away from a wetland on the property, Daly said. The change essentially double the width at the entrance to the school but retains the existing tree line, he said.
In addition, he also informed the agency that the firm now plans for a paved 15 foot width to the planned emergency and pedestrian access to the west of the wetland area. The preliminary plans from the firm showed it at approximately 24 feet wide. (Later there was some discussion on whether a gravel or paved surface would be better for the access).
Agency member David Sinish said he still had some concerns about the driveway width but praised the firm for the changes it made.
Firm representatives said the wetland is of relatively low value but said it does a good job of mitigating runoff and has some habitat in the upper area. A town staff report stated it was not listed as a vernal pool on several maps and reports and Daly said no evidence of endangered species were found.
Daly also discussed drainage for the track project as well as a planned underground infiltration system.
Agency member Ed Evonsion said he saw no significant impact to wetlands.
"Why can’t we just turn over authorization?" he asked when the idea to continue the matter surfaced. "What are we talking about?"
Several other members, however, felt more time should be spent perusing the plan.
"It's a big project," Sinish said. "I don’t think that’s appropriate."
The agency plans to talk about the project again next month. Before that the Zoning Commission will receive a site plan for the project on Jan. 23 and is expected to set a public hearing for Feb. 20.