Friday, May 19, 2000
Hart cluster gets okay from the planning board
Paul and Helen Hart obtained planning board approval for a definitive subdivision plan for Hart Farm Estates, adjacent to 893 Curve Street, along with a special permit for conservation cluster and common driveway. The 12-lot subdivision contains five lots with direct access to Hart Farm Road and six house sites, plus a bonus lot for the conservation cluster, on an 850-foot common driveway known as Daniels Lane. Sixty-five acres (Parcel X) will be donated to the town. In addition, the conservation cluster contains 13.54 acres of open space (Parcel Y), preserving a total of 78 acres out of the 115-acre property.
Hart's attorney Joseph Shanahan and engineer Joe March of Stamski and McNary have been seeking approval of the subdivision throughout Bill Tice's entire reign as planning board chair, and it would give immense satisfaction to all three if approval was forthcoming before Tice's reign came to an end that evening. But first there were some nagging details.
There will be no sidewalks along either Hart Farm Road or Daniels Lane. Even the 50 feet of sidewalk at the entrance to Curve Street for kids waiting for the school bus was removed for aesthetic reasons. This brought objections from bike/pedestrian safety committee chair Deb Belanger, but the board remained unswayed. They did request that a six-foot shoulder be provided along one side of Hart Farm Road for pedestrians, but the opposite side will be limited to two feet, as will both sides of Daniels Lane.
At the request of the applicant, Hart Farm Road will remain private in order to provide consistency between the maintenance contracts for the road and common driveway. A public easement, complete with parking area at the turn-around and signs pointing to the trail entrance, will be provided through the private way to ensure access to the conservation land. A thirteenth lot, owned by abutter Stephen Kirkland, will be allowed access to Hart Farm Road should they ever choose to build.
Fire chief Bob Koning requested three fire cisterns to service the 12 houses. This brought protests from some members of the board. At over $50,000 per cistern, this is becoming a major expense for each developer, but surprisingly, Shanahan agreed to provide the three cisterns, "just to get this hearing process completed." Town engineer Sandra Brock of Judith Nitsch Engineering warned again about the admittedly wet building sites. She envisions tons of fill being trucked in, a raised road with humps where houses and septic systems are, and water in between, if the grading is not properly managed. Brock was assured that the board of health would get to approve all site plans.
Member Louise Hara, also of the trails committee, continues to dream of a connecting trail between the Wang-Coombs land and the Cranberry Bog, complete with boardwalks over the wetlands. Shanahan reiterated a promise that his client will provide structural timbers to support the boardwalk, but Hara was looking for more. "Could you also supply the boards?" she coyly asked. Shanahan blanched at asking his client for more benevolence, but sensing victory he announced, "I'll donate the boards myself!"
It worked. Member Michael Abend moved that the planning board approve the definitive subdivision plan for Hart Farm Estates with various waivers and conditions accumulated during the course of the public hearing. The motion received unanimous (7-0) approval by the board, as did subsequent motions for approval of the conservation cluster and common driveway special permits. Bring on the caravan of trucks and let the filling begin.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito