The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 10, 2000


At last, one Swanson Lane lot approved

When we last left David Erickson and his attorney Alex Parra, they had failed in their attempt to amend a common driveway special permit to allow two more houses on Swanson Lane. Erickson had submitted an ANR (Approval Not Required) plan for two additional lots on the common driveway, but town counsel decided that the ANR could not be endorsed because the parcels were deriving their frontage inside of the common driveway easement. The planning board voted against the common driveway amendment on February 14, but decided to keep the public hearing open until the February 28 meeting so that they could draft an opinion on why the amendment was denied. This also left the door open a crack for one last counter-proposal by Erickson and Parra.

Submit a counter-proposal they did! Erickson already owns one of the three approved lots on Swanson Lane. Houses have been built on the other two lots and are presently occupied by the Rainville and Kovach families. Joe March of Stamski and McNary unrolled a sketch of a revised ANR plan and explained the new proposal. Erickson's approved lot (on the right side of Swanson Lane, going in) would be combined with one of the two unapproved lots (on the left side) to create a wrap-around porkchop lot of six acres with legal frontage on Kimball Road. This leaves Erickson's second unapproved six-acre porkchop lot with an additional 40 feet of frontage on Kimball Road so that it no longer derives its frontage inside the common driveway easement. The net result is a total of four houses on Swanson Lane, as opposed to Erickson's original plan calling for five. He still plans to donate 3.9 acres of open space abutting the McAfee land to the Carlisle Conservation Foundation. "I ask you to reconsider your decision," concluded March.

The board members were thrilled and voted 5-0, with two abstentions, to reconsider their earlier decision. Member Michael Abend even went one step further by recommending that they no longer require the installation of a 20,000-gallon fire cistern. "It's an unfair burden to require a cistern with only one additional house," reasoned Abend. "There's another cistern within 2,000 feet as required by the bylaws." Fire chief Bob Koning, who was not present, has long been a critic of the narrow access bridge to Swanson Lane and originally requested the cistern for better protection of the Swanson Lane homes.

Member Michael Epstein moved that the board amend the common driveway special permit to allow one additional lot on Swanson Lane, conditioned on receipt of an acceptable ANR plan including the fire cistern and subject to a revised maintenance agreement. However, Abend was not about to abandon his opposition to the fire cistern and moved to delete the cistern requirement. "The requirement of a cistern for an ANR lot is a heavy price to charge somebody," pleaded Abend. Epstein was not sympathetic and stated that the cistern requirement is entirely due to the narrow bridge.The board then defeated Abend's amendment, but Epstein agreed to modify his original motion and call for a cistern "if required by the fire chief."

Much to the delight of Erickson and Parra, the board then voted 6-0 to approve the common driveway special permit amendment, with Kate Reid abstaining because of her recent leave of absence. The public hearing will continue at the March 13 meeting.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito