Friday, May 21, 1999
Opposition vocal on Berry Corner changes; snag surfaces in Ice Pond trail
What promised to be a relatively routine Notice of Intent to widen, resurface and provide drainage for a gravel road attracted the largest audience in months to the conservation commission's May 13 meeting. Prospective neighbors along Berry Corner Lane opposed owners Michael and David Valchuis' plan to convert Berry Corner Lane to a roadway that could win the approval of the planning board as an official town road.
The current residents' concern was that the new, wider drive would spoil the quiet, country lane that lends atmosphere to their neighborhood. Heald Road homeowners, for their part, worried about increased drainage onto their properties from the very wet terrain involved.
As for the Valchuis family, they need the frontage that an official town acceptance of the lane would offer in order to build on their 13-acre lot; thus the importance of meeting planning board specifications. To complicate, or perhaps clarify matters, Valchuis' lawyer gave the commission an easement document, apparently signed by all lane abutters in 1996, that purports to give his client the right to improve the lane for purposes of constructing a house. The board will consult town counsel as to the legal status of the document.
Since the conservation commission's main concern is for the well-being of the extensive wetlands abutting the roadway, commissioners questioned Stamski and McNary's engineer Jody Minkle closely about wetland delineation. The plans, as presented, had been laid out using previous wetland flagging, and Minkle was asked to reflag the resource areas and mark all trees over six inches in diameter that were scheduled for removal.
The commissioners scheduled a site visit for Thursday, May 20. Meanwhile the hearing was continued to May 27.
Ice Pond trail
Commissioners expressed some skepticism about the final status of a reported agreement among Aberdeen Drive residents to construct a boardwalk which would cross a wet area along the town's trail easement toward Great Brook State Farm. Ice Pond Estates developer Brian Hebb had donated $3,000 for surveying the trail which has been flagged. However, conservation administrator Katrina Proctor and board of health agent Linda Fantasia have since determined that the trail crosses a strip of private land that is part of a 40-acre tract currently being considered for removal from Chapter 61A. Percolation test holes have already been dug on the land owned by Betsy Gould. Last week Town Meeting approved acceptance of Ice Pond Road with the understanding that the trail issue had been resolved.
White house restorations
There followed a more harmonious meeting with a representative of the estate of Gloria White and purchaser Ken Bedrosian, who plans to restore a 204-year-old house on Bedford Road as an antique. The duo presented plans showing the leaching field moved back to clear the neighbors' property. The proposed new driveway would be 25 feet from the wetland and would lead to a two-car garage. The applicant agreed to return with a completed plan, including a footprint of the future garage, once the anticipated board of health approval has been obtained.
A Nextel Communications consultant told the board that 1 River Road, the site chosen by the firm as a cell tower location, had proven more "complicated" than expected and asked to return with a complete plan, probably in six months. Significantly, that time frame would coincide with the end of the six-month moratorium on cell tower siting voted at last week's Town Meeting.
In a related matter, 1 River Road owner Larue Renfro appeared to discuss the impending removal of two 1,000-gallon fuel oil tanks, one of which is in a wetland buffer zone. There were questions from abutter Dana Booth as to the type of replacement tanks contemplated. Renfro replied that no decision has been made, but that he is considering changing to gas heat. The only condition imposed by the board was that Proctor be notified if there is soil contamination that would require removal.
Hartwell Road pool
In a second appearance, Mark Green of Hartwell Road received final approval for a swimming pool that will use new low-chlorine technology. The board thanked him for a complete and well-thought-out submittal.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito