Recreation Proposals Get Floodplain Approvals

By: William F. Galvin

A new mini-golf course near Bud's Go-Karts in Harwich Port cleared the conservation commission last week. PIXABAY PHOTO

HARWICH — The conservation commission approved two requests for determination of applicability relating to floodplain issues for two recreational projects along Route 28 last week. The projects include a 36-hole mini-golf course adjacent to Bud’s Go Karts and expansion and a snack shack for The Trampoline Center across from the A&W Root Beer restaurant.

There will be additional site plan review permitting required by the planning board for both projects. The mini-golf project will also be going before the appeals board on Jan. 29 for a variance to redevelop a previously disturbed and commercially used portion of the 6.4-acre parcel that includes Bud’s Go-Karts and Windsong Antiques. The proposed mini-golf project would be located in both commercial and residential zoning districts. The mini-golf course project will go before the planning board in February.

“Site coverage and building coverage will be conforming. Lighting will comply with town of Harwich lighting regulations. The proposed location of the redevelopment will allow more environmentally-sensitive land in the front of the property to be better protected. Parking and landscape buffers will be conforming. Access, curb cuts, driveways, parking and drainage will all be upgraded from existing conditions,” the narrative provided to the planning board from petitioners Steve Gopoyan and Swavi Osev reads.

The Trampoline Center expansion involves a 26-by-12 foot snack shack, installation of a septic system, parking to the rear of the existing trampolines and a 25-by-25-foot concrete slab. The recreation area to the west side of the trampolines will include but not be limited to a four-station mobile bungee trampoline. The snack shack will have outdoor lighting that complies with all town regulations. The plan is to also loam and seed existing gravel/stone areas adding more green space to enhance the property, according to the narrative submitted by owner Donna Smith.

Conservation Commission member Carolyn O’Leary wanted to know if irrigation would be added; she said she'd like to seen it there.

Last Wednesday the conservation commission took up the request for a determination of applicability for the mini-golf course project. Conservation Administrator Amy Usowski explained the commission’s purview is related to land subject to coastal storm flooding from the Allen Harbor and Herring River estuaries, adding any concerns raised by the neighbors in the abutting condominiums, if not related to floodplain issues, are not within the commission’s jurisdiction.

Nancy Bielecki of Beach Plum Condominiums to the east side said she enjoys the quietness of the location and the movement of wildlife. She wanted to know how the development would impact the ebb and flow of coyotes, fishers and foxes.

Usowski said wildlife movement was not an interest under the floodplain regulations under review. But she added the plantings proposed in the landscaping plan would provide a better food source for smaller animals. The project's landscape designer said there is low foliage that will draw rabbits and bigger animals, like coyotes, to feed on the rabbits.

Usowski also expressed concern for the use of chemicals and fertilizers. Commission member James Donovan also raised issues about chemical application. Osev said there would only be small strips of grass. Usowski recommended a stipulation be provided that there be no chemical application. In the end, the commission approved the project unanimously.

The Trampoline Center was also before the commission on a request for determination of applicability under floodplain regulations for its project. The bungee trampoline station was relocated to the front of the lot.

Environmental consultant Lynn Hamlin made the presentation on behalf of Smith, and explained the relocation of the concrete slap will allow the elimination of a gravel road and concentrate parking. That will allow a 937-square foot reduction in site coverage, Hamlin said.

“If anything, it might be a little bit more pervious than what’s there now, it’s pretty hard packed down there,” Usowski said of the proposal. “I recommend approval.”

The commission agreed there would be no pesticide or fertilizer application within the floodplain and unanimously approved the request.