Friday, November 19, 1999
Planning board considers Swanson Lane, Carriage Way and other matters
On November 8, the planning board postponed a decision on David and Kristy Erickson's application for an amendment to the common driveway special permit for Swanson Lane. The applicants last appeared before the board on November 9, 1998 with an informal conceptual plan for subdivision of 16 acres located off Kimball Road and Fiske Street. Joe March of Stamski and McNary described the new subdivision, which would raise to five the number of houses on Swanson Lane. Erickson has carved out three new lots of 5.4, 5.0, and 2.7 acres. In addition, 3.8 acres abutting the McAfee conservation land would be donated to the town.
Board members zeroed in on a ten-foot-wide wetland crossing about which fire chief Bob Koning had voiced concerns. To limit wetland filling, the 16-foot-wide Swanson Lane driveway abruptly narrows to a one-lane ten-foot-wide bridge with a concrete abutment and steel railing along each side. Any vehicle that continues straight ahead along either side of the pavement will crash into the concrete abutment. Koning is concerned that stringing fire hoses over the narrow bridge will impede fire apparatus and he requested the installation of two 20,000-gallon cisterns, one on either side of the driveway. The ensuing discussion was hampered by too sketchy details of the surrounding terrain. Finally, board members decided to individually walk the site during the next three weeks and voted 6-0 to continue the public hearing on November 29.
Although the preliminary plan for Carriage Way was approved on October 12, there is still the issue of shoulder width and bike/footpaths. Developer Bill Costello requested that the board discuss the relative merits of four sidewalk alternatives proposed by Joe March of Stamski and McNary. Deb Belanger of the bike/pedestrian safety committee was present to plead that the pathway be separate from the road and five feet wide to qualify for eventual federal funding.
Member Michael Abend provided some anecdotal evidence that even if a sidewalk is provided, which he believes is unnecessary for this short dead-end street, that "95 out of 100 will be walking down the middle of the street." Belanger countered that if the sidewalk is not provided, suitable funding should be donated to the Carlisle Pathway Trust. After a meandering discussion that wandered around trees and across front lawns, the board decided that a combination of two sidewalk alternatives might suit everyone's needs. March gave a long-suffering nod of approval and went off to figure out the final plans.
Member Louise Hara, also on the trails committee, proudly announced, "Ice Pond is finished." A boardwalk has been built through the wetland and pedestrians now have access to the Great Brook Farm State Park from Ice Pond Road instead of risking trespass via private Aberdeen Drive.
An Approval Not Required (ANR) plan from Theodore Treibick was presented once again for 138 East Street, even though the board had decided not to endorse it at their last meeting. In the interim, R. Wilson and Associates had made some minor modifications to the plan in hopes that the board would look more favorably on the unusual boundaries. Several abutters showed up to point out errors in the drawings, but Treibick did not attend for unknown reasons. Board members uncovered other technical flaws in the irregular lots and decided to stick with their decision not to endorse the plan.
Reversal on Tall Pines markers
The meeting continued past midnight and it was Tuesday when chair Bill Tice noticed one person remaining in the audience. David Freedman of Hutchins Road introduced himself and referred to an article in the Carlisle Mosquito revealing the board's decision to substitute concrete for granite boundary markers in Tall Pines. Freedman had driven through other developments in town and noted that they all had granite markers delineating intersections, easements, and rights of way. He held concrete boundary markers in disdain and besides, "The plans specifically call for granite."
The board members, who had already reversed one decision that evening, had no enthusiasm to rehash the relative merits of concrete and granite. Eschewing another public hearing, the board decided to reconsider their decision and return to granite. Nobody volunteered to call March and inform his survey crew that the back-breaking boundaries are back.
The next scheduled meeting of the planning board is November 29.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito