The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 9, 1999

Zoning bylaw change could be a hardship

To the Editor:

I am concerned with the selectmen's proposed rewording of Section 6.3 of the town zoning bylaw which addresses the addition of more than 50 percent to non-conforming use properties.

Summarizing the proposed draft changes to the simplest case, Option I would allow single-family residences that do not meet the current two-acre zoning minimum to be expanded by 50 percent or more. Option 2 would restrict such single-family residences to an expansion of 50 percent or less. Either option would still be subject to approval by the board of appeals.

To personalize the restrictive nature of the proposed Option 2 wording, consider my own small single- story home that presently has 1,100 square feet of living space. It exists on a town-approved subdivision and is conforming in every regard, at least as the town zoning bylaws stood in 1960 when it was built. Today, our home is considered non-conforming because it does not meet the minimum zoning acreage requirements: it has only 1.2 acres.

I am currently in the process of planning a complete end-to-end second floor addition to our home. When this extension is complete, it would represent a 100 percent increase in total living space, giving our home a cozy 2,200 square feet. The addition of our second floor would not increase the non-conformity of our property and would provide the needed space to bear raising a family.

If the proposed Option 2 amendment were enacted today, such a needed complete addition to our home would not be possible. I believe that if enacted, Option 2 will impose an undue and unfair hardship on everyone in town who one day finds themselves in a situation similar to ours. Consider carefully that perhaps one day, changes in the minimum acreage requirements in Carlisle may even render two-acre lots non-conforming. Proposed Option 2 of this amendment to the bylaw affects everyone.

I encourage everyone, who either now or who may one day plan to improve or renovate their conforming or non-conforming property, to appear on April 12 at the planning board's public hearing in Town Hall, 7 p.m., to discuss the proposed changes.

Edward G. Rolfe
Maple Street

Book donors, sorters needed

To the Editor:

Spring is here! Time to clean the shelves of books yearning to be read again. Pass them on at the May 1 book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Gleason Public Library. Donated books may be left at the Gleason Library when open. Please, no textbook, magazines, musty or damaged books.

Your help is needed as well: sorting books at the barn, transporting, selling, and distributing the remainders to charitable organizations. Sign up sheets are at the library or just come. Proceeds from the Friends Book Sale support the ongoing operations of the Gleason Library including museum passes, special events, upgrading of reference materials and, of course, books. For further information call 369-7082.

Janet Conover, president
Friends of the Gleason Library

Help gather fond memories

To the Editor:

We are sad to announce that, after more than 25 years, Uta Lemmerman is retiring from the Red Balloon.

In order to commemorate her extraordinary contribution to the school, we are asking all alumni to dig deep into the past and share with us your memories of Uta. We would like to see anything: a funny story, a poem, and of course we hope for many pictures. We will use your memories to compile a scrapbook as a surprise good-bye and thank you gift.

After you jot down your thoughts and rummage through your pictures, you can drop them off in the Red Balloon envelope, before May 7, at either the library or the post office; or you can mail them to Beth Platt, The Red Balloon, P.O. Box 139, Carlisle. If you have questions please call Beth Platt at 369-4982.

We look forward to hearing from you. Remember, we want this to be a surprise. Don't tell Uta.

Sarah Hart
Fifty Acre Way

Don't overestimate Y2K

To the Editor:

I recently noticed an ad in the Mosquito for emergency generator systems from someone named "Michael." The grabber was the line "Are You Ready for Y2K?"

Perhaps Michael would be so good as to write a letter to the Mosquito and explain why he believes we will lose power on 1 January 2000. The reasons that have been given to me involve something like the Quebec power company's invoicing systems being tied directly to their power generating equipment. Oops, the invoicing system mistakenly calculates that Boston Edison hasn't paid the bills, so off goes the power to New England. The other explanation is that Boston Edison's invoicing software will determine that individual customers have not paid their bills and turn off their power. If I'm not mistaken, this requires a person to come out to the pole and disconnect the power. That person is unlikely to do so.

What we constantly forget in this Y2K adventure is that intelligent human beings are almost always in the loop.

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Rutland Street

Endorses Ballantine

To the Editor:

My friend John Ballantine is running for re-election as a Carlisle selectman. In his 14 years in Carlisle, John has participated tirelessly in many volunteer positions, including selectman, member of the finance committee, and on the board of Carlisle Communications. John's friendly, open manner combined with his genuine interest in understanding all facets of an issue have allowed him to participate constructively in the many challenges associated with Carlisle's recent growth. John's background in banking, academia and managing a high tech start-up complement his dedication to our town government. Because I value the quality of life here in Carlisle, I am endorsing John for the position of selectman.

Catherine J. Galligan
South Street

With deepest thanks

To the Editor:

The emergency personnel in Carlisle had, over the years, gotten to know our mother as well as anyone, and they were a source of strength and understanding for her the many times they found her disabled and hurting.

They were there when the call came, and they knew what to do and were good at it too.

There were so many times, all commendable. It's difficult to point to just one specific call for help, for we owe so much to all of them. I trust our gratitude and thanks will not be diluted for all the others if I point out one specific time, but I feel I have to let our townspeople know just what we have here!

It was a raging blizzard all day and it was three or four a.m. when the call came from Lifeline that my mother needed help. The weather was the same as before, terrible, as I made my way to her home, picked her off the floor, put her into bed, and I was certain she was alright to leave. As I opened the door, I was utterly shocked and speechless to see this tall EMT coming through the heavy drifts towards me. I had said I would go to her and would call for help if needed, but Lifeline called this man too. We searched each others' eyes as I assured him she was fine and expressed my apology and thanks.

Know why this time stands out? It was Christmas Eve. This man left his bed, his home and his family to answer our mother's call for help, that's why. Again, our gratitude and thanks.

Fred and Ellie Bentley

Brook Street

Selectmen thank Peterson

To the Editor:

This past week, the town of Carlisle completed the transfer of the O'Rourke Farm to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. This accomplishment was the result of a great deal of hard work and the dedication of many individuals. We, the board of selectmen, wish to recognize one of those individuals without whose support and assistance this achievement might never have been possible. Greg Peterson, of the Carlisle Land Trust, has volunteered countless hours to the cause, beginning with the difficult acquisition of the property from the O'Rourke family and culminating with the closing this past week. He has worked tirelessly for many months, building relationships between the landowners, town officials and the representatives of the federal government. Despite many tenuous circumstances, Greg has never strayed from our original commitment to the town to preserve the property in as cost-effective a manner as possible. With the initial payment of $1.78 million and the potential contingent amount of $115,000, the town will be fully reimbursed for our purchase price and related expenses. In addition, we have reserved extensive water rights and provided access to many trails that connect the eastern corridor of Carlisle. Greg has been instrumental in all of these negotiations and has worked diligently for the benefit of the town. We, as town officials, recognize his efforts and thank him for his dedication to the preservation of land in Carlisle. Please join us in expressing our most sincere gratitude to Greg.

The Carlisle Board of Selectmen
Vivian Chaput
Douglas Stevenson
Michael Fitzgerald
Burt Rubenstein
John Ballantine


1999 The Carlisle Mosquito