Friday, October 8, 1999
More questions, more delay for West Street conservation cluster
Chris Fleming returned for a continued public hearing on his plans for a conservation cluster and common driveway to serve five lots at High Woods located at 662 West Street. Fleming has been making regular appearances before the board, with little progress.
The latest issue involves the lack of drainage calculations. Joe March of Stamski and McNary did not propose a drainage system for the four-lot conservation cluster. A consulting engineer for the town, Dale MacKinnon of Earthtech, attended the meeting to argue that common driveway regulations require that drainage system design calculations, including watershed maps, be provided.
March believes that a drainage system is not required under Massachusetts Stormwater Management policy for a subdivision of four or less lots. He does propose a 12-inch culvert in one section of the driveway. MacKinnon is concerned that no calculations were provided to demonstrate that the rate of stormwater runoff to West Street will not increase due to the construction of the common driveway. March countered that common driveway regulations do not specifically state that the applicant is required to control peak rate of runoff. March assured the board that spot grades have been provided so that runoff from the common driveway will not exit onto West Street.
Member Dan Holzman spotted the proposed name of the common driveway — Powder Mill Drive. "The fire chief has a problem with names, and there's a Powder Mill Road in Acton, Concord, Maynard...." The board plans to solicit input from both the fire chief and police chief before final action.
Anne Marie Brako of West Street worried about where the school bus would stop at the common driveway entrance. "It's a tricky spot on West Street," she warned. This brought a chuckle from member Michael Abend, who assured Brako that, "The school bus stops smack in the middle of the road and nobody can get by." Barry Hoffman of West Street would like to see some screening along the common driveway to provide privacy for his adjoining property. Board members jotted down each issue for consideration when the final motion comes up for acceptance.
Chapter 61A presents another delay in Fleming's plans. He requested on September 1 that 9.3 acres be removed from the agricultural status tax shelter, but the town of Carlisle has 120 days for first refusal to purchase the land. Planning administrator George Mansfield explained that the selectmen typically ask all the town boards for recommendations before they act. "The planning board can't approve the preliminary plans until the town exercises its first right of refusal," Mansfield informed the applicant.
John and Katherine Forelli have purchased Fleming's house and are waiting to move in after selling their house on East Street. But if Fleming removes the house and lot from his proposed development, it won't leave enough frontage for the proof plan needed to create the conservation cluster. Meanwhile, Fleming's family has moved out of state while he remains behind to wrap up the details. The board voted to continue the public hearing on October 12, leaving Fleming to ruminate on the efficacy of taking two steps back for every one forward.
The next scheduled meeting of the planning board is on Tuesday, October 12 (Monday is Columbus Day).
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito