The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 4, 2000


Treibick's Maple Street lot presents unique challenge

Theodore Treibick, on behalf of the Laura Jon Realty Corporation, submitted a Notice of Intent to build a ten-foot wide driveway across a wetland to access a proposed single-family house located off Maple Street. This 2.09-acre lot also abuts "Carlisle Street" and initial thought was to gain access from there rather than fill 630 square feet of wetland on Maple Street.

According to information provided by Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard, "Carlisle Street" turns out to be a private drive for a house built in the 1700s, the former residence of owner Sally Bull. The landowners who abut this private drive have deeded rights for use of this driveway to access their land. Carlisle Street, so named by Billerica, is actually a dirt road along the town border with grassy center and shrubs and saplings encroaching on the wheel ruts. Beyond the Bull residence, it leads into an area known as "Queensland," which is property broken up in 1942 into parcels ranging in size from 1.7 acres down to 0.2 acres.

The driveway is not an acceptable street and cannot provide frontage. The only way an official access can be gained is for the road to be brought up to subdivision standards. The applicant would have to apply to both the Billerica and Carlisle planning boards and all the property owners along the way would have to agree to the project. Since the parcels in Queensland are in Carlisle and unusable due to their size, there is no incentive for Billerica to be involved.

Once everyone agreed that the only practical access was across wetland from Maple Street, the next hurdle was replication. If the filled wetland exceeds 500 square feet, which this does, it must be replaced by one-and-one-third the amount of lost wetland. But the long narrow neck of land that provides access to the house location has no room for over 800 square feet of contiguous new wetland. Commissioner Steve Spang finally hit on an idea that might solve everything. "Reduce the filled wetland to less than 500 square feet by using a box culvert bridge, he suggested. "Then you won't have to replicate the wetland." It sounded good to the applicant who agreed to look into it and return at the next meeting.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito