Phone: 603-536-4315





Members of the Holderness Conservation Commission


Larry Spencer, Chair


Peter and Angie Francesco, Walter Johnson, Richard Mardin


21 April 2006


Site visit to the Angie Francesco property, Butternut Lane




Location of Visit:  Property of Angie Francesco, Butternut Lane, Holderness, NH

In attendance:  Larry Spencer, Chair, HCC; Walter Johnson, Town Administrator; Peter Francesco, representing Angie Francesco

Date of Visit: 19 April 2006, 0915 to 1000


Prior to our visit, Peter had marked by red paint, the location of the underground power lines. Those lines ran from the power pole roughly parallel to slope inflection point, but about a 0.5 m in the driveway. The lines left this course at a point where a right angle line from the oil supply vent on the house would intersect the driveway and the slope and then proceeded towards the house meeting the house at the juncture of the house and garage, where the meter box was located on the side of the house. Although Peter did not see the wires in the trench before it was covered, he believed the trench was about two to three deep and carried not only the power lines, but cable and telephone and an empty channel for future “wires”. Attached photo shows the approximate location of the trench (indicated by the white line).

I examined closely the slope between the driveway and the upland buffer/wetland. Peter had last fall installed a siltation barrier and had covered the slope with mulch. For the most part the mulch had prevented washouts from the slope. There were a couple of small washouts. The siltation barrier had prevented movement of silt into the adjacent upland buffer/wetland. At the one near the culvert, Peter mentioned he had thought of digging the washed out material up, but hadn’t because he thought we should see the situation first hand. I mentioned to Peter that as long as the siltation fence had not been breached, it was better to leave the material in place. I also mentioned that it was good practice to leave the siltation fence in place and not to take it out.

As we examined the slope between the driveway and the wetland, we talked about work that could be done to lessen the angle of the slope. There seems to be enough room between the location of the power line and the slope, that material could be pulled with backhoe from the bottom of the slope towards the driveway, so as to lessen the angle of repose of material on the slope (See Figure 1). Walter also mentioned that application of a “jute” mesh with a conservation mix of seed would also be useful in “anchoring” the unconsolidated slope materials and that he had seen the effectiveness of that approach on very steep slopes. We also discussed the use of a “simulated soil mix (a mix of paper fibers, sawdust, and biocompost)”.


Figure 1. Typical cross section to show effects of lessening slope (Note: Drawing is not to scale)

Peter was somewhat reluctant to lessening the slope angle by the methods mentioned in the previous paragraph. I mentioned that we would talk more about that at the meeting to be held that night.

Peter then made the following proposal. He had driven an upright stake about 0.3 m down from the top edge of the slope at a point where a line at right angles to the middle of the garage intersected the slope. He had then run a rope towards the Theresa Long property along the slope. He indicated that he would be willing to have his contractor lower the horizontal surface to a depth following the rope. If this were done, it would take off about 0.3m at the stake and roughly a meter of material at the high point of the horizontal surface. Surplus material would be moved towards the Theresa Long property. He mentioned that he would want formal written permission from Theresa Long allowing this material to be spread in a tapered fashion on her property. See Figure 2.


Figure 2. Peter’s proposal (Note: drawing is not to scale, but simply to show the outcome of the work).

I mentioned to Peter that there was an area of steep slope on the house-side of the access road going to the Theresa Long property that needed to be covered to prevent down-slope movement, but that the proposal mentioned in the previous paragraph would automatically decrease the angle of that slope.

We completed the meeting by saying that this report would be presented to the full commission that evening and that I appreciated Walter’s presence for the site visit.