The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 9, 1999


Homeowner expansions get board of health stamp of approval

Carlisle families that outgrow their living space prefer to expand their house rather than to move. At least that appears to be the emerging trend.

More and more people are coming to the Carlisle Board of Health (BOH) with plans to add an office or a family room. As this type of addition does not increase the waste disposal load, the board feels comfortable enabling homeowners to seek a deed restriction limiting the number of bedrooms, rather than forcing them to increase the size of their septic systems.

Board chair Steve Opolski noted, "It's pretty common in Carlisle for houses to have 12 rooms and only four bedrooms."

The board requires routine pumping of the septic system before issuing deed restriction paperwork. It does not, however, require Title 5 certification, even though many of the older systems would fail the state requirements set in 1995. Almost everyone in Carlisle will eventually need to replace their septic systems because of higher Title 5 standards, according to board member Jim Slattery.

The tolerance of the current board has enabled families, like the Morgans at 123 Ember Lane, to go forward with plans for additions that might not pass in other towns. The Morgans obtained a deed restriction for three bedrooms from the BOH to add a family room and expand their house to nine rooms. The house only has one-and-a-half baths.

"If the existing systems are working fine," said Slattery, "I do not believe it is our job to impose additional expense on a homeowner with a blanket application of rules."

Fiske Street repairs

The board approved revised plans for a septic system repair at 143 Fiske Street. The plans from VTP Associates require:

· a deed restriction preventing the use of a garbage disposal

· a waiver for the groundwater offset from five feet to four feet

· a waiver as the system components will lie within the 100-foot buffer to wetlands.

The new septic system will require a seven-foot mound, which will be visible from a neighbor's driveway. Opolski and Slattery listened to abutter concerns, but concluded that the repair plan was the only practical way to fix the system on this particular property with its very high water levels.

New construction news

Board members reviewed two sewage disposal system plans. They approved a revised plan for Lot 1A Curve Street but denied a plan with visible errors for Lot 3 Concord Street.

Homeowner Larry Moschini at 99 Judy Farm Road consulted with the board on his plans to expand his garage. The board concluded he would have to go with a smaller design, that wouldn't require a side-lot setback waiver, or a completely different plan, that would require moving the septic tank in front of the house.

The board of health looks favorably on expansion by property ownersas long as you don't require waivers.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito