AMESBURY — When Mickey and Lynda Koplove moved into their Pleasant Valley Road home in 2010, they were presented with two addresses — one for the Victorian era shipwright’s home itself and one for the deteriorating wooden deck across the street.
“We wanted to live on the river,” Mickey Koplove said. “(The deck) was not terribly appealing. It was terraced and you could walk down. (The previous owner) did have a dock but that was really in disrepair. So we had to do something.”
An avid boater, Koplove, 65, wanted to improve the dock but the wooden platform deck had to go. Hoping to keep the riverbed and the aesthetics intact, Koplove called landscape architect Jack Tremblay.
“‘Can we do this?,’ was the comment from Mickey halfway through our first meeting,” Tremblay said. “‘Sure,’ I said, not having a clue if it could be done.”
The idea was to build the infrastructure of a 25-by-35 deck with a custom-made 12-foot octagonal cedar and mahogany gazebo with steel I-beams so that the deck would appear to float above ground. One-third of the work would be on the deck, and two-thirds would be for planting.
Koplove and Tremblay brought their idea to the city’s Conservation Commission in late 2011, and after meeting with conservation agent John Lopez, the process of turning the dream into reality began.
“John was very good at seeing the place, seeing what it could be,” Koplove said. “It was a case where we really could turn a lot of this back to a more natural state. But we didn’t know what we could do. It was easier to negotiate than I thought it would be. (The Conservation Commission) were willing to negotiate.”
Consisting of volunteers, the Conservation Commission serves as the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s local representatives to review proposed projects.