Friday, October 8, 1999
Officials see town dollars coming from Costello development
On September 27, developer Bill Costello appeared before the planning board once again for a review of his preliminary subdivision plan for Carriage Way, located at 314 East Riding Drive. Costello proposes to build seven houses (plus two existing) on a cul-de-sac and provide the town with a tenth lot suitable for building. The town owns a previously inaccessible 2.43-acre lot and Costello has offered to donate a 1.75-acre parcel to create a buildable four-acre porkchop lot. Joe March of Stamski and McNary displayed a map of the subdivision and explained that nothing has changed since the last meeting.
Selectman Vivian Chaput expressed the town's interest in the donated parcel and stated, "We are pleased that Mr. Costello is willing to work with the town." Member Mike Abend said he sees the value of the property as a way to raise funds for other purposes. Chaput agreed and disclosed that one of the uses of the funds might be the purchase of the old Saint Irene Church. Member Louise Hara alerted everyone that a cellar hole on the property might be a historic remnant, but no one believed that to be an impediment to the sale.
Member Dan Holzman, who has previously expressed doubts about the town's ability to manage property, asked, "What is the mechanism to sell the property and who decides how the money is used?" Holzman was assured that the process is clearly defined by town counsel and requires a Request for Proposal (RFP), submission of proposals by interested parties, acceptance of an offer, and a Town Meeting to approve how the money is used.
The discussion quickly descended into the gutter to decide whether granite curbing or Cape Cod berm should be installed on Carriage Way. This was prompted by the recent squabble between Costello and residents of Tall Pines. Holzman kicked off the debate by declaring that he has seen various sites with Cape Cod berm and none of it looks good. "If you're going to put in curbing, make it granite," he stated in no uncertain terms. "On the other hand, I'd agree to have no curbing at all."
Costello admitted that granite will last forever, "but it won't be in the place that you put it," implying that it's eventually dislodged by plows and trucks. Joe March is a fan of Cape Cod berm and offered to show Holzman several nice examples in neighboring towns. "I like Cape Cod berm because it looks less city-like," said March. "Granite curbing belongs more in Boston." Abend suggested that if Cape Cod berm is used, it should be used throughoutnot the way it was installed in the Tall Pines subdivision.
From the gutter, conversation was elevated to the Carriage Way sidewalk and Costello's request that it be waived. Board members were well aware that Kristine Bergentheim of the bike/pedestrian safety committee was still seated in the audience listening to the discussion. Abend tossed out an olive branch. "The roadway is 18 feet wide with two-foot shoulders. Let's put a five-foot shoulder on one side and two-foot shoulder on the other. The five-foot shoulder provides a place to walk." Bergentheim smiled.
March, anticipating a request by fire chief Koning, wrapped up the review by adding that there will be a fire cistern in the front corner of the second lot on the right. Regarding concern about the appearance of septic systems, March said that the sandy soil is ideal for leaching and he foresees no "mounds." Chair Bill Tice recommended that no further action be taken on the preliminary plan until they receive input from the fire chief and police chief. The review will be continued on October 12.
Later in the meeting, the board decided against further action on the Tall Pines curbing dispute. By doing this, no vote was needed and the curbing will be installed according to the original plans. A request has been submitted for input from town counsel so that the board will have it for future reference.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito