The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 21, 2000


Resident questions requested pathways gift for conservation cluster

A strange thing happened between the first and second versions of the High Woods special permits for a conservation cluster and common driveway off West Street. In the second version, which is now official and final, the requirement that owner Chris Fleming contribute $5,000 to the Carlisle Pathway Trust for construction of bike/pedestrian paths somehow got dropped. Kristine Bergenheim of the bike/pedestrian safety committee brought this to the attention of planning board members as they were gleefully signing off the final documents on January 10.

It was too late to change the wording, so the board asked planning administrator George Mansfield to send a letter to Fleming asking for the $5,000 donation, even though it was not binding. This satisfied Bergenheim, but conservationist Ken Harte raised his hand in the audience and asked to speak. "I think it is unconscionable to extract money from someone who is putting in a conservation cluster! If they did an ANR [Approval Not Required], they would never be subjected to such a thing." An embarrassed silence hung over the room as the inequity of the contribution sank in. The board finally decided to still send the letter, but made note of the obvious injustice so that it doesn't happen again.

One reason that Ken Harte attended the meeting was to oversee the approval of an ANR that is a byproduct of Fleming's High Woods cluster. It separates out a small 0.956 acre parcel that lies in Acton and is part of the donated open space. The town cannot own property in another town, so it is being donated to the Carlisle Land Trust. The planning board unanimously endorsed the ANR.

Problem with Swanson Lane ANR

A public hearing continued for a common driveway special permit for Swanson Lane as requested by David and Kristy Erickson. Joe March of Stamski and McNary added a 20,000-gallon cistern at the location selected by fire chief Bob Koning. He also lengthened the existing turn-out in front of the fire cistern by ten feet, and installed a wooden guardrail at the end of each headwall on the narrow bridge. Everything finally seemed to be in order except for a ruling from town counsel on the legality of the two-lot addition to Swanson Lane.

"We cannot endorse the ANR," said member Michael Epstein as he read the letter from town counsel. "The parcel is not deriving its frontage outside of the common driveway easement," intoned Epstein as Erickson listened in shocked silence. To make matters worse, Erickson was denied a copy of the letter because of attorney client privilege. Epstein agreed to ask town counsel for permission to give Erickson the letter and the board will continue the public hearing at their next meeting.

Curve Street stone wall

John Willett of Altair Associates plans to build a house on one of the three building lots carved out of the Wang-Coombs land. He appeared before the board to request removal of a 16-foot portion of a stone wall on Curve Street, a scenic road. His two-acre lot will access Curve Street just south of the Swanson farm near the old red barn. The stone wall is considered to be in general disrepair and no one expressed any grief about its displacement.

Member Michael Abend was more concerned about sight distance because of a large tree near the entrance. Willett said he believes that an emerging vehicle can move beyond it for a full view in either direction before entering Curve Street. Abend wasn't so sure, but both agreed that the stone wall was the subject on the table and the tree could wait. The board voted 4-1 to allow removal of the stone wall, with Abend opposed in deference to the tree.

Tall Pines extension

Developer Bill Costello stopped by the board meeting to request an extension to March 15 to complete the Tall Pines subdivision. He felt that the March 15 date would allow time for the town to consider accepting the roadway during the spring Town Meeting. This made sense to the board members, who suggested that he add some wiggle room to April 15. Even if that were too late for Town Meeting acceptance, at least it would save his having to come back for another extension. The board unanimously approved the April 15 completion date. Buttrick Woods telephone pole

A telephone pole has materialized at the entrance to Buttrick Woods on Concord Street near the Concord line. Since the plans approved by the planning board clearly state that all utilities must be buried, this understandably raised a few eyebrows behind the head table. Members were informed that the developer chose not to dig up newly paved Concord Street, but rather decided to string power lines over the road. Once they reach the pole in question, power lines will be routed underground and buried thereafter. This made sense, but the board remained concerned that the pole is located at least 30 feet into the property and thus violates the intent of the plans.

The next scheduled meeting of the planning board is January 24.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito