Tashmoo tree clearing prompts complaints

The Pasture Gate Road home. Several trees were removed from the property abutting the water. — Brian Dowd

A recent tree clearing at a property on Lake Tashmoo in Tisbury has prompted a stop work order amid concerns of erosion into the water.

On Thursday, Tisbury conservation agent Jane Varkonda sent a letter to Thomas J. Friedmann and Amy D. Anderson, the listed owners of 138 Pasture Gate Road. Friedmann and Anderson’s listed address is in Weston, according to assessors’ records.

According to Varkonda, the owners had a permit to construct a revetment, but did not “go about it the correct way.”

“They were supposed to have a preconstruction meeting. Normally they would detail how they will do the work, the way they’re doing the work,” Varkonda told The Times. “The conservation commission is looking at it.”

She said if a person wants to cut down trees or alter a coastal bank, they need some type of review. The level of review depends on the project.

In a letter to Friedmann and Anderson, Varkonda outlined that the conservation commission office received a complaint about heavy equipment on the beach at the Pasture Gate Road home. Upon an inspection of the site, Varkonda told the equipment operator to cease and desist all work, as the project did not comply with permitting, which required a preconstruction meeting.

“I am concerned that the work as performed to date has resulted in the addition of fill onto the beach and intertidal area, which will likely erode into the waters of Lake Tashmoo, and that staging equipment and materials on the beach may not be able to occur without adverse impacts on the coastal beach and intertidal area,” Varkonda wrote in part.

Friedmann and Anderson were issued a permit to construct and maintain a revetment of coir logs/fiber rolls. As a condition, the permit requires the applicant or their agent and the person performing the work meet with the Varkonda for a preconstruction meeting.

The project proposed to construct a fiber roll and gabion array. Fiber rolls are temporary erosion and sediment-control devices used on construction sites to protect water quality in nearby water bodies from sediment erosion. 

Lake Tashmoo, like all wetlands in Tisbury, is governed under a wetland bylaw passed by town meeting in 1982 that protects town water bodies by controlling activities. The bylaw prohibits a person from removing fill, dredging, altering, or building upon or within 100 feet of any coastal wetland without proper permitting.

Varkonda requested a siltation barrier be installed onsite to help prevent sedimentation from entering the water.

On Wednesday, Varkonda told The Times the owners were not present for a site visit. “We are working on it,” she wrote. “Besides the tree removal, the work on the beach for building the revetment is problematic.”

The issue will be taken up at the conservation commission’s Oct. 5 meeting at 4:30 pm.

Friedmann and Anderson could not be reached for comment.


  1. Between Rosbeck tearing down the windmill house, they guy cutting down the tree on Ocean Park and now this, the local boards need to get ready for a lot more “just do it and pay the fine” situations.

    • Albert what makes you think these people worked hard ?
      They may very well have , but it’s actually more likely that they inherited the majority of their wealth or this particular piece of property.
      We don’t know, neither of us should assume….

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