Friday, October 22, 1999
Conservation commission listens to affordable housing plans
The conservation commission received an update from housing authority chair, Marty Galligan, on that committee's investigation of affordable housing options on the Conant Land, as authorized by the spring Town Meeting. Recognizing the hard work and dedication of the committee, commissioner John Lee offered to recuse himself from the discussion since his views in opposition to the proposed housing site are well known. Galligan asked that he remain and take part, because the presentation was informational only, and no approval was being sought at this stage.
Galligan located four possible building sites on a map of the Conant Land. Two have been dropped because of ledge and one for aesthetic reasons. Noting the authority's preference for a smaller number of units that could be built with no blastng and no septic system mounds, he foresaw a total of either five or seven units. This, he felt, could be accomplished unless fire chief Robert Koning insists that the roadway meet all Carlisle standards and then some blasting might be necessary.
The most likely site on the Conant Land is a three-acre parcel 300 feet long and 120 feet deep along Rockland Road where five units could be located. Commissioner Tricia Smith warned that there might be a problem with state department of environmental protection regulations requiring a public water supply, if there were more than three people to a unit.
Noting that the major impetus for the project appeared to be a fear of the state approving a comprehensive permit that would remove much town control over what is constructed in developments, commissioner Eric Jensen asked Galligan if he felt this project would afford protection. Because Concord gets about one such permit request every two years, Galligan estimated that were the town to complete this project, "This should help until after the year 2001."
Brief and low-key in his comments, Lee pointed out that widening Rockland Road to meet Carlisle standards would undoubtedly require blasting. In addition, he reported that recently, during rush hour, he had waited ten minutes to exit from Rutland Road onto Route 225.
Referring back to a comment from another commissioner that she knew the Conant Land was sacred to some residents, Smith remarked that the land was "a lot more than that." She called it a resource for the homes on one acre in the center of town and protection for their water quality.
Smith continued with a question to Galligan, "Would you consider putting the rest of the Conant Land in conservation restriction?" Galligan answered that this question had been asked more than once and his reply has always been, "I think it is well worth considering."
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito