Friday, March 24, 2000
Planning board reviews nine-lot plan for Rutland Street
Red Sox spring training is in full swing as another baseball season approaches. This also heralds the building season when developers begin pitching the first subdivision plans of the season to the planning board. Great Brook Estates was stretching for a triple at the March 13 meeting with a definitive subdivision plan, special permit for a conservation cluster and common driveway special permit.
Albert Gould and Betsy Goldenberg are the applicants for a 27.16-acre Great Brook Estates subdivision with nine lots on a 1,000-foot cul-de-sac at 195 Rutland Street. Gary Shepard of David Ross Associates presented a map of the proposed development with the expectation that a tenth lot will be added as a bonus for the conservation cluster. They plan to leave 3.88 acres of open space along the State Park boundary to preserve an existing horse-foot trail. The nine lots are broken out as follows:
Lot 1 - 2.20 acres, bordering the property of Rutland Street residents Richard and Christine Puffer
Lot 2 - 2.02 acres, with existing house and pool
Lot 3 2 acres
Lot 4 4.60 acres
Lot 5 4.15 acres
Lot 6 2.13 acres
Lot 7 4.00 acres
Lot 8 2.03 acres
Lot 9 4.03 acres
A conservation cluster must have ten or more acres, and Shepard identified lots 4, 5 and 7 as the qualifying lots with a total of 12.75 acres. Open space needs to be greater than 30 percent of the three parcels (3.825 acres) and the proposed 3.88 acres meets that requirement as well. The nine-lot definitive subdivision plan must be approved by the planning board before the developer is qualified to apply for the conservation cluster and common drive special permit. He can then earn the bonus, a tenth lot, as a reward for preserving the open space.
The subdivision road, known as Great Brook Path, will provide direct access to five lots (1, 2, 3, 6, and 8). The remaining lots will share a common driveway originating at the end of the cul-de-sac. Great Brook Path will follow an existing driveway at 195 Rutland for about 200 feet before angling off to the right. The remainder of the old driveway, which follows the rear boundary of the Puffer land, will be replanted with a "Puffer buffer" of trees to shield their house from headlights on the new subdivision road. The existing house will then gain access via Great Brook Path.
Chris Puffer questioned Shepard about the fate of wetlands that will be traversed by Great Brook Path. Shepard admitted that some fill is required and the road level may be raised by as much as eight feet on the north side. This will require a retaining wall most likely constructed of "Versa Lock" concrete blocks. "We will replicate the wetland and one-third more, as required, along the existing wetland bordering the Blanchette property," explained Shepard. Puffer was dismayed by the mention of concrete blocks and asked for more details of the building material. Planning board member Dan Holzman offered little solace when he referred Puffer to a nearby construction site that features a Versa Lock retaining wall. "Unfortunately, it collapsed and there's a law suit pendingbut it was higher than the wall being proposed here," was his less than encouraging reply.
Dick Blanchard of Rutland Street was more worried about drainage. His pond drains through a culvert under Rutland Street into the wetland between the Blanchette property and proposed Great Brook Estates. If the subdivision alters the run-off pattern, it could cause his pond to back up and flood. "We designed this project to be run-off neutral," replied Shepard, assuring a skeptical Blanchard that he will see no change in pond level due to the subdivision. No other concerns were forthcoming from the audience and chair Bill Tice asked that the public hearing be continued on March 27.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito