The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 18, 1999


Developer, abutter plan conventional lots on East Riding

The long-awaited return of developer Bill Costello resulted in a collective sigh of relief at the June 14 meeting of the planning board. The town has been waiting six months for the other shoe to drop in Costello's plan to build affordable housing on East Riding Drive.

Costello had proposed a 16-lot subdivision on 14.5 acres at 314 East Riding Drive via the Local Initiative Program that could exempt him from all local zoning regulations. The lots varied in size from one-half to one-and-a-half acres, shared a common septic system, and had individual wells. The four-bedroom homes ranged in size from 2,600 to 3,400 square feet and featured three-car garages. Four of the units were going to be sold for $100,000, considered "affordable" in Carlisle, while the remaining 12 were to be sold in the $500,000 range.

Brian Anderson of 349 East Riding Drive was one of the more vocal opponents when Costello first proposed the project. Anderson recently bought a house abutting the proposed "affordable" housing development and was threatened with a row of houses all along his back yard.

Nine conventional lots

How times have changed. Costello and Anderson teamed up and now propose a 21-acre development on the East Riding Drive sitewith one major difference. Gone is the affordable housing and in its place are nine conventional lots, including two existing housesAnderson's and the original house at number 314.

The informal conceptual plan presented to the planning board features a 950-foot road that meanders through the property, to follow contours of the land with minimum cutting, according to Costello, and ends in a cul-de-sac. Seven new house lots will be created, six with two acres and a four-acre pork chop lot. Two of the seven new lots are carved out of Anderson's five-acre property and the remainder from the adjoining land purchased last year by Costello.

With the controversy over the affordable housing over, board members relaxed and chatted with Costello about such mundane things as curbing, swales, 16- versus18-foot road width, and a fire cistern. The subdivision road will be built to highway standards in hopes that the town will accept it as a public way.

Affordable housing possibility

One interesting possibility emerged. The town owns a two-acre parcel of land, acquired many years ago through tax default, in back of the proposed 21-acre development. Costello offered an easement along the property line between two house lots to allow access to the property. This prompted suggestions of using the lot for affordable housing or swapping lots and putting an affordable house in the proposed development. This may be pursued further by the housing authority.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito