WASHINGTON - The Inland Wetlands Commission voted to approve the application for a new cottage at the town beach at its July 8 meeting.The town's Planning Commission endorsed the plan as well at its meeting July 7.
The demolition and reconstruction of the beach house is the second and final phase of renovation for the 1.1-acre parcel on East Shore Road that includes the town beach and the new Lake Waramaug boat launch.
A key part of the new plan is the erosion control to be put in place. Previously, storm water runoff was allowed to drain into Lake Waramaug.
As part of this phase of the project, two bio-filters will be installed and, as part of the landscaping plan, boulders will be placed to serve as a natural buffer for the shoreline.
Some of the fencing will be replaced and a gravel path will be installed to the kayak and canoe launch.
Work is expected to begin this fall and be completed by next spring.
The project was unanimously approved by the Inland Wetlands Commission.
Selectman Nicholas Solley described the planned beach house to the Planning Commission. The new structure will be built in the footprint of the old beach house and will be slightly smaller.
The new building will house a two-bedroom apartment upstairs with a small deck. The lower level will contain public bathrooms, the Parks and Rec office and storage for the fire department air boat. The lower level will be open to the public.
Mr. Solley emphasized that the building would not encroach onto the beach.
The beach house will be financed in part by a $300,000 STEAP grant, plus $200,000 budgeted by the town in the last several years' budgets.
The Board of Selectmen awarded the bid for demolition and reconstruction of the beach house at its July 9 meeting to Ruscoe-Sedito Construction, LLC, of Washington for $256,367.
Resident Chris Charles asked selectmen whether higher insulation levels had been considered, which would result in lower heating costs.
After reviewing the project drawings, he recommended several specific inclusions to the board in addition, including energy efficient windows, a gas-fired domestic hot water tank and air handler eliminating the need for a furnace, and the addition of air filtration, as well as a heat recovery ventilation system.
Mr. Charles recommended combination storm/screen doors, Energy Star lighting fixtures and use of solar power and the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or HERS (Home Energy Rater) rating systems.
He suggested the plan be tailored to achieve Net Zero Energy, a system for producing all of a home's energy on site with no carbon emissions.
Mr. Charles suggested the board consult Peter Talbot, Mark Picton and Steve Lasar for additional information.