The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 2, 2000


Acton Street developer takes ConsCom decision to the state

To the surprise of no one at the Carlisle Conservation Commission office, a form received there on May 22 announced that Cote & Foster, Inc. is appealing the commission's April 27 denial of their proposed project at 834 Acton Street. The appeal requests that the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issue a Superseding Order of Conditions allowing them to proceed with their proposal to construct a single-family home, to be accessed by an approximately 1,000-foot road that crosses a large wetland in two places.

The proposed construction is classified as a "limited project," because its completion would require the use of 7,800 square feet of wetland fill, considerably in excess of the 5,000-square-foot limit that normally applies. A local commission is empowered to deny an unlimited project, unless the owner can prove that there is no alternative route for reaching his undeveloped upland lot.

The present part-owner, Steve Cote, has claimed that the single-access "hardship" condition exists in this case. However, in two appearances before the board, he was unable to convince them that he had not subdivided a previously larger lot with a possible alternate approach. At the April 27 hearing, Cote described the history of his real estate transactions affecting the property as "a gray area." In its denial of the proposal, the commission cited the following objections: extensive wetland alteration, the large amount of fill required and a "hardship" claim that appeared to be self-imposed.

The appeal for reversal of the board's negative action came from Acton Survey and Engineering, Inc., acting for their client Cote & Foster. It declared that both their office and their client disagree with the commission's reasoning on all three counts. No further details are available at present, but the next step usually includes a site visit by DEP environmental engineers.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito