The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 6, 2000


BOH continues to grapple with deed restriction policy

Requests to the Carlisle Board of Health for deed restrictions, once fairly unusual, have risen lately to as many as 4-5 requests per meeting, according to chair Steve Opolski. Continuing a discussion from the previous meeting, at their September 26 meeting board members moved closer to developing a more formal policy on granting homeowners permission for these restrictions.

These restrictions on the deed to a house limit the number of rooms that can be used as bedrooms, and can sometimes allow builders and homeowners to avoid the expense of enlarging the septic system.

"We granted deed restrictions more liberally in the past, because most of the additions involved were one or two rooms, usually someone finishing a basement or an attic space. Now people are adding a whole floor, and asking for a deed restriction. We need to ask ourselves, "Is this the right thing for Carlisle?'" Opolski said.

Developing a formula

Opolski and member Lisa Davis Lewis each devised preliminary policies incorporating factors such as number of rooms/bedrooms, maximum percent increase in square footage, age and type of the septic system and use of a garbage grinder.

As the board grappled with creating a system to quantify many of these factors, a question arose from the audience. "What about larger houses? If there are more than nine rooms, is the number of bedrooms still assumed to be half the total number of rooms?" To which Opolski replied, "That's what we're working on. We know that large (septic) systems are not always efficient, so we don't want to require a ten-room system for a twenty-room house."

When pressed about when a citizen could get a deed restriction approved, Opolski responded, "We're developing a policy here. No DRs will be granted until we are done.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito