Residents Concerned of Aggravated Flooding on Campbello Street Plan

The Hudson Planning Board met on April 24 to hear the requested continuance of a conditional use permit at 36 Campbello St. Engineer, David Jordan, of Greenman-Pedersen was at the meeting to give a presentation for the applicant.
“The request in front of you was a conditional use permit for a stormwater basin less than 50 feet from a wetland,” said Jordan. “Currently, there is a single-family dwelling on the property, and the applicant is proposing to develop this into ten additional house lots. As part of that, we would be extending Campbello St., into the property, ending in a cul-de-sac.”
Currently, the land contains one house, which would remain in place under the plan. The property borders the Merrimack River and has a stormwater basin. A long-term impact on the wetland buffer of approximately 4,500 square feet would be unavoidable under the proposal. The included stormwater infiltration basin will be in an area normally reserved for a wetland buffer and should prevent groundwater contamination from runoff.
“The topography, the high-water table precludes us from locating the stormwater best management practice outside of the buffer, and that’s why we’re seeking this conditional use permit,” he added.
Board members had a few questions about the request.
“This conditional project is not going to have an impact on that brook and its flow into Merrimack, correct?” asked Vice Chair, Jordan Ulery, who was referring to a small brook on the property.
The Engineer confirmed it would not have an impact and that the basin was designed to prevent any increase in the runoff volume from the project, although there was extensive skepticism from members of the public on this point.
“I do have a concern that as they develop the property and they try to divert the water there, how this is going to affect my well,” said John Colby of 11 Kenyon St., who lived close to Campbello St. “It’s been serving my house for 124 years; it’s never run dry.”
With a high water table, overflows in the area have been a consistent problem, according to several surrounding residents.
“This past Dec. I had to tear out my basement because it flooded,” said Tina Bates of 10 Kenyon St.
Rick Suter of 12 Campbello Street felt that if the project were to change the flow of water it would “create issues” for everyone in the area and that adding drains to prevent flooding had already failed to solve the problem.
“It’s definitely a concern if we have huge rain,” said Lisa Fitzgerald of 100 Webster St. “We just have standing water for quite a few months, we’re in a progressive situation it seems with water.”
Jordan responded by reiterating that the proposal would not worsen flooding.
“All the stormwater on that property, from the front of the existing house to the field, flows back towards the wetland area, we’re not changing that with this project, everything will flow back to the same area,” he said, adding there would be a formal, written response to comments related to the alteration of terrain related to the permit request.
He also expressed openness to making changes to the plan if needed, including a possible reduction of the land area impacted by construction.
“What you’re saying is that these 4,500 square feet could be reduced,” said Board member, James Crowley. “I’m a little leery about approving anything here tonight until plans are revised.”
Crowley suggested moving some of the proposed structures in the property to avoid the wetland buffer zone to avoid the need for a conditional use permit.
The Board voted to require additional planning and profiles, asking the property owner to justify their need to build into the buffer impact area before allowing the Campbello Street project to move forward. They also voted to require a hydrological impact study of the area. The Board expects to take up the permit request again at their June 26 meeting.

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