The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 17, 1999


Conservation commission closes summer by reviewing five building plans

Enjoying the annual end-of-summer doldrums, the Carlisle Conservation Commission was asked to consider only five Notices of Intent to build and Requests for Determination in its last two meetings. The slow pace left some welcome time for orienting the three new commission members, Thomas Brownrigg, Eric Jensen and Carolyn Kiely, to their regulatory responsibilities. It also allowed one applicant, Jonathan Sachs, to do his judges a favor by settling a long-running source of minor confusion.

Off and on over the past several months a conscientious chair would glance at his/her watch and then at the clock on the Clark Room wall to determine if it were yet legal to open a public hearing, only to murmur, "The clock says it's legal, but my watch says we have to wait another four minutes. This time the technically astute applicant spoke up. "The clock is exactly four minutes fast. I know because I set my watch by the official time at the National Bureau of Standards."

Baldwin Road tennis court

With the timing indubitably accurate, the August 26 hearing got underway, as the commission took up a Notice of Intent (NOI) filed by Sachs and a potential new owner for his 42-acre property at the end of Baldwin Road. The buyer, Michael Marchese, was proposing to locate a tennis court partially within the 100-foot buffer of an extensive wetland, a project which would require moving part of a stone wall in a basically flat area. Commissioner John Lee asked if the court could conceivably be moved farther out of the buffer zone. Marchese replied that his plans also called for building an extension to the house along with a swimming pool, making relocation very difficult.

Commissioner Carolyn Kiely, who was unfamiliar with the area, asked about visibility from neighboring property, and conservation administrator Katrina Proctor reported that abutter Ralph Anderson had viewed the plans and had no objections. The board voted unanimously to close the public hearing and issue a standard order of conditions.

Curve Street new lot

Engineer George Dimakarakos of Stamski and McNary presented a request for an amended order of conditions affecting a lot on Curve Street originally owned by John Swanson and now part of a Miracle Building Company development. The new proposal would actually cut back on the amount of disturbance to a scenic knoll that includes an antique ice house and would minimize the amount of fill required. However, because both the house and driveway are completely within the buffer zone, commissioners were concerned that there be no further request for removal of major trees either now or in the future. Once reassured on this account, board members expressed satisfaction with the aesthetics of the new plan and issued an amended order.

Lowell Street new construction

Trees were also of concern to an abutter to a proposed house and well scheduled to be constructed off Lowell Street. The residence will be located directly behind the lot containing a house recently moved from Stearns Street by the Hilton family. Lee Perlman, a resident of Blaisdell Drive, was worried that clearance of what had been described as a very tight lot would leave no screening between his property and the new dwelling.

Commissioner John Lee said that the commission would like to see the house and well moved as far as possible toward Lowell Street and away from the wetland to save a maximum number of trees. The owner's engineer explained that the only approvable location for the septic system made this impossible, and also pointed out that the owners, Edward and Janet Gaffey, would also need a "screen" from Lowell Street. The Gaffeys confirmed that they, too, would wish to preserve as many trees as possible as a shield, even to the point of planting additional ones if necessary. Obviously not overly pleased with what Lee termed "a very tight squeeze," the commissioners recognized that any better solution would be prohibitively expensive and accepted the plan.

Fiske Street septic repair

Engineer Richard Hayward of Ross Associates presented a request from Bruce Newell of Fiske Street that he be permitted to replace an existing septic system with a new subsurface disposal facility without being required to file an NOI. Proctor informed the board that she had inspected the site and was content that the new proposal followed the original order, and the homeowner was allowed to proceed on condition that Proctor check the hay bale placement prior to commencement of work.

Red Fox Drive addition

The sole application considered at the September 9 session was a Request for Determination from the Andy Hajducky family of Red Fox Drive, represented by architect/landscaper Jeff Richards from the Sudbury Design Group. The work included addition of a detached garage and driveway, drainage improvements, stone retaining walls, terraces, landscape plantings and lighting. According to Richards, the work would be "three-quarters outside the buffer zone and within 50 or more feet of the wetland at its closest point."

Smith asked to be "walked through" the drainage specifications which Richards had described as "complicated" and informed the board that engineers from Stamski and McNary "experienced problems." Smith concurred, pointing out that the commission too had encountered washouts onto the common drive when the site was previously under construction. Jensen then asked, "What happens it these fancy drainage facilities are not maintained?" Lee followed with a request that the applicant submit an abbreviated NOI showing the full drainage specifications. Otherwise, he and other members saw the application as "the beginning of a very good plan."

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito