Friday, March 26, 1999
Is there any interest in preserving two Pine Meadows lots?
Developer Bill Costello appeared before the planning board on March 22 with an interesting request in regard to his Pine Meadow subdivision. When the planning board issued its approval of the subdivision plan, it took advantage of the opportunity to set aside two lots as park land "for the purposes of providing light and air and/or recreation" for a period of three years. The lots so designated were lots 1 and 2, which comprise most of the open field on Maple Street, now at the northerly intersection with Davis Road.
According to terms of the approval, these lots may not be built upon without further planning board approval until after October 15, 2000. If one or both of these lots are to serve as open space or fulfill recreation needs beyond that date, the town (or some appropriate private entity) would have to acquire the land before this restriction expires. Costello would like to build on the lots now to take advantage of the current market.
If the board were to approve this request, it would cut the period of reservation in half and preclude any opportunity to preserve this land for park, recreation, or open space purposes. Planning administrator George Mansfield sent a memo to the board of selectmen, recreation commission, and municipal land committee explaining this situation. He asked for recommendations no later than April 20 in order to respond in a timely manner to Costello's request.
Mansfield emphasized in his memo that "no matter what our response to this request is now, after October 2000 the land will be developed for housing unless the town or another party acquires it from the developer." Both Costello and the board members held out little hope that the town, in its present fiscal state, could afford to buy the property. Member Michael Epstein, being as tactful as possible, suggested to Costello that he might find some way to reward the town if the reservation period were cut in half. "Sounds reasonable," replied Costello.
Costello also requested a possible amendment to the Tall Pines definitive subdivision plan that would eliminate requirement to install granite curbing outside the wetland buffer zone. This was met with opposition from neighbors who deplore its replacement with an asphalt "Cape Cod" berm at a savings of $75,000. What's a Cape Cod berm? "It's not the molded asphalt curb you see (in shopping centers)" explained member Kate Reid. "Monument Farm in Concord has a Cape Cod berm. It's attractive."
David Freedman of Hutchins Road posed a reasonable question. "Why did you require granite in the original plan?" Mansfield dug through his copy of the board's revised rules and regulations and quoted item 5 under roadways, which states, "Curbing, if used, shall be sloped granite" Tall Pines was approved prior to the revision, however, so the question was still unresolved. Acting chair Bill Tice recommended that Costello return in May, after Town Meeting activity has subsided, with a better road profile and estimate. Epstein requested input from the town consultant at LandTech and suggested that Costello do some outreach with the neighbors.
Woodbine Road lot
Timothy Teabo submitted an ANR plan to combine two parcels into a 4.67-acre pork chop lot on Woodbine Road. This land is familiar to anyone who has followed the Heartbreak Ridge trail in the Great Brook Farm State Park past Wolf Rock and Tophet Swamp to exit at the Woodbine cul-de-sac. Teabo's pork chop lot is behind the Bonne house on the left and has 65 feet of frontage on the cul-de-sac with a 30-foot easement for the park trail. Although there was some question as to whether the Bonne driveway was located on Teabo's land, this was not relevant to the planning board decision. They proceeded to endorse the ANR plan by unanimous vote.
Temporary board member needed
Member Kate Reid announced that she will be accompanying her husband to Germany for six months beginning this July, thus requiring a temporary replacement on the board. The next meeting of the planning board is scheduled for April 12.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito