ANDOVER TOWNSHIP — Testimony for a construction storage facility resumed at Tuesday’s proposed Land Use Board meeting after a two-month break, with the applicant’s engineer introducing a scaled-down version of original site plans and addressing various environmental concerns.
Chris Nusser, who represents BHT in its application on Stickles Pond Road, sat for roughly three hours of testimony and questioning from BHT attorney Roger Thomas as well as township experts and board members. The hearing, held at the Hillside Park Barn, was stopped before members of the public could comment and will resume next month.
Nusser, who first testedified at the July Land Use Board meeting, noted some revisions to plans originally presented for the 100-acre property. Most notably, he said, the storage area for BHT construction equipment would be reduced to a quarter of its previous space, from 12.14 acres to 3.40 acres.
The reduction came after township engineer Cory Stoner questioned the need for so much space, approximately one to three vehicles per acre, during the hearing in October.
Nusser also spoke about potential environmental issues raised by the board and members of the public, including the possibility of materials such as asphalt millings migrating into the nearby Pequest River and other “sensitive areas” of the property.
Nusser said BHT has plans to implement an infiltration basin, which captures stormwater runoff and filters it into the soil. The site will also have detention basins, where any additional material on the property would be directed before it is collected and disposed of by the company.
The systems meet standards required by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Nusser said, and BHT is an analysis of the property to be sent to the agency for review.
“The overall use of millings on the site is, one, in keeping with the (state) guidance, and two, has several fail-safes involved with it to make sure that it is protective of the environment,” he said.
The proposed BHT facility would also include aggregate construction materials no more than 8 feet tall and storage containers 8 feet, 6 inches high to hold fencing and piping.
Meeting an author:Sandyston students meet children’s author Marc Brown to celebrate 25 years of ‘Arthur’
Nusser discussed the visibility of operations at the site, including a tree buffer between 10 and 25 feet thick and fencing to be placed along Stickles Pond Road. He said his opinion remains the same as it did in July — that the company is “substantially screening” the property to residents in the area.
In addressing noise, another significant concern of the community, Nusser said BHT would accept a condition upon the application’s approval to conduct a test to ensure that site operations conform to the state’s noise code. But board member Eric Olsen suggested that the test take place before the vote.
“This noise is a big concern,” Olsen said. “It’s my recommendation that we ask for a noise study prior to making a decision on this so that we can have that information to better inform our decision-making.”
Board Chair Paul Messerschmidt proposed a condition that BHT keeps logs of its weekly inspections of equipment on the property, which the company would then send to the township for review on a quarterly basis.
Newton:Newton’s Cobbler Lofts, planned detox center at odds over ‘hazardous’ building conditions
Nusser’s testimony will continue at the next hearing, 7:30 pm, March 15, at the barn. The meeting is expected to include findings from two consulting companies retained by the board, Equity Environmental Engineering and H2M Environmental Services, regarding stormwater management and other aspects of the site.
Also at the March meeting, board attorney Tom Molica announced Tuesday, the Land Use Board may discuss the possibility of moving future meetings to either Long Pond School or Florence M. Burd School in Andover for logistical reasons.