The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 5, 2000


Abutters express disbelief about possible tear-down

As land in Carlisle becomes ever more precious, the ingenuity of those trying to profit from it becomes ever more obvious. The latest example came before the planning board at their April 24 meeting. At the request of Timothy Blunt, the board was presented with an informal conceptual plan for subdivision of the land at 381 Cross Street. This is the former home and land of Marden and Cynthia Seavey. (The 2,200-square-foot home was sold last June for $497,000).

John Thunberg of Thunberg Consulting explained the proposal. The 7.2-acre parcel of land presently contains one house with the requisite 250-foot frontage on Cross Street. Thunberg would like to tear down the house, put a subdivision road several feet into the property, and then build a cul-de-sac with enough frontage for two houses.This proposal is legal under the existing bylaws.

While it may be legal, it won't be possible if neighbors have anything to say about it. There was no notice in the newspaper about this proposal, but by the size of the crowd, most of the Cross Street residents turned out to display their opposition. They expressed disbelief that such a project is allowable, dismay that the Seavey house can't be preserved for a more beneficial use such as affordable housing, and defiance that two potential mega-mansions will never be built in their neighborhood.

Thunberg quickly sensed that he was the most unpopular person in the Clark Room and the discussion came to a merciful end. Member Louise Hara commented later that such a proposal would not be possible if Article 25 of the Town Warrant is passed. This amendment to the zoning bylaws establishes lot regularity requirements according to a formula using lot area and perimeter. Whether this will discourage Thunberg from returning to further pursue this lucrative land cleavage remains to be seen.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito