The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 5, 1999


Greenough house demolition proposed

Although many townspeople believe that small houses in Carlisle should be considered an endangered species, the conservation commission presented a proposal to the selectmen on February 23 to demolish the 750-square foot house on the Greenough Land. This proposal is one of two alternative Warrant articles relating to the Greenough property, the other being a five-year lease.

The Greenough property, administered by the ConsCom, consists of the small house, a historic barn and surrounding land. The house is in need of substantial work to render it habitable, the most expensive of which involves removal of asbestos and lead paint and installation of a new septic system.

Several months ago, the ConsCom held a public hearing to determine interest in a three-year lease of the property in exchange for renovation of the house. The predominant response was that the lease term was too short to recover the cost of necessary repairs. The barn, which has a distinctive slate roof and does not require the same level of renovation, could be leased separately from the house.

The first proposed Warrant article would allow the ConsCom to lease the property for a five-year term, with a possible five-year extension, in exchange for rehabilitation of the house. Asbestos and lead abatement would need to be done before occupancy to avoid liability to the town.

Selectman Burt Rubenstein noted that the public education costs for a family in the house could outweigh benefits to the town under the lease. He also questioned whether the house could be considered affordable housing. Conservation commissioner Christine Bopardikar felt that the house would not be rentable until the end of the second five-year term when the necessary repairs, to be performed by tenants in lieu of rent, were complete.

The alternative Warrant article, which may end up being less expensive to the town in the long run, would allow demolition of the house at a cost not to exceed $18,000. The largest expenses of demolition relate to removal of asbestos and lead paint and pumping and filling the cesspools. Bopardikar noted, however, that without anyone living in the house the barn would be prey to vandalism.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito