Friday, October 6, 2000
September 28 ConsCom hearings
Kenneth Bedrosian appeared to have quite a bit of explaining to do as he approached the Carlisle Conservation Commission September 28 to tell why a July 24 request for an amended Notice of Intent (NOI) had not been filed. His answer was complex and at times downright dramatic.
The homeowner's transgressions as listed on the agenda involved filling and grading beyond a haybale line meant to protect a nearby wetland, removal of some of those haybales and a change in the location of a water line from the well to the house. All this had taken place on the former White property on Bedford Road adjacent to the Gleason Public Library.
Waiting for the library
Bedrosian began by informing his attentive audience that he had postponed filing the amended plan because he was waiting for the library construction to be completed before proposing final changes. The revised NOI will propose locating a garage on the side of the house to block the headlights. shining directly into the Bedrosians' bedroom, he said.
As for the haybale issues, Bedrosian explained that the library construction crew had asked to move several trees that had been gifts to that institution onto his property temporarily. In addition they had requested permission to put "some dirt" on his property. In both cases he had agreed, only to arrive home and find a huge pile of soil nearly blocking his driveway. When he protested, the crew graded down the pile and in so doing buried the haybales, which he had later replaced.
A "man-made wetland"
The dirt was not the end of Bedrosian's troubles. "Our main problem concerns a natural versus a manmade wetland," he contended. Noting that water from the library flows down onto his property, he cited a retention basin at the back of that building as the main culprit.
According to Bedrosian, whenever there is substantial rainfall water from the library roof fills the basin, which then overflows and runs over onto his yard. He assured the commission that he and his wife are going to try to work with the library for a solution, but at this point the outcome is unknowable.
Conservation administrator Sylvia Willard had inspected the site. She told the commission that in her opinion the grading, which seriously exceeded the commission's original order of conditions, needs to be addressed before winter because it extends to the very edge of the wetland.
Commissioner John Lee recalled that when ConsCom conditioned the library construction it was expected that the water would flow to the detention basin and hence directly to the wetland. Chair Carolyn Kiely suggested bringing in the Gleason project engineer to explain his view of what is happening. Lee went a step further and proposed that the commission make a site visit during a rainstorm.
He warned that, if Bedrosian's description is accurate, water from the basin and driveway might also run down onto Bedford Road and cause a potential wintertime icing hazard. Under this scenario, not only the library engineer, but the building inspector and supervisor of the Department of Public Works might have to become involved.
As for ConsCom's jurisdiction, no certificate of compliance can be forthcoming for the library project, and no amended NOI approved for Bedrosian, until the scope of the problem is determined and a resolution found.
Miracle building on Cross St.
Engineer Joseph March of Stamski and McNary sought an amended order of conditions for construction of a house and driveway off a common drive across Cross Street from Bingham Road. Miracle Building Company is proposing a smaller house than that shown on the original plan, situated as far as possible from the wetland. A suggestion from Lee that would reduce the amount of impervious area within the buffer zone was shot down politely by March on the grounds that it would require a total redesign of the house, which includes a living area over the garage.
Neighbor Susan Stamps was concerned that a 4200-square-foot house was to be built entirely within the wetland buffer zone "This is still a big house," she commented. However, March pointed out that the haybale line was the same as the one that appeared on the previously approved NOI. An amended order was duly issued with the proviso that the haybale line be reinforced.
Log Hill Road
March was again at the long table to present plans for a septic system replacement for James White of Log Hill Road, on what he himself described as "a very difficult site." Since the original septic system was very close to the wetland, the new one had to be put on a raised area above what had been the driveway. This "best solution" put the system fifty feet from the wetland, which March described as a significant environmental improvement. Agreeing with Lee's assessment that alternatives were practically non-existent, the board issued a standard order of conditions.
More on Cross Street
The next applicant, Manuel Crespo, again represented himself, in a hearing continued from September 14. His Cross Street site also lies completely within the buffer zone, but chair Carolyn Kiely pointed out that the proposed garage and addition were all within an area that had been severely disturbed when the original house was built. She considered the present proposal a decided improvement. Lee agreed but noted that a specific plan for runoff from the roof was needed. Crespo proposed that the water be directed to an existing culvert. That solution seemed to satisfy the commissioner, but he asked that the homeowner present a specific plan for handling runoff before construction is started. The standard order of conditions included that proviso.
Forest Park Drive
The final applicant was David Verrill of Forest Park Drive, represented by Jeff Hannaford of Norse Environmental Service. His NOI also involved replacing an existent septic system and installing a new well. The upgrade plan would take the leaching field, which is presently at the level of the water table in Spring, out of the wetland buffer zone. The well would be within 50 feet of the resource area.
Hannaford reported that the Carlisle Board of Health (BOH) had suggested the system be enlarged a bit to permit an added bedroom in the future. The engineer felt that he could follow that advice without adversely Verrill addressed the board himself to indicate a number of unstable trees shown on the site plan, which he would like to remove for reasons of safety. The request was granted with the condition that the roots be preserved. impacting the buffer zone.
Kiely noted that the site qualifies under the state's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, and their approval is required. A standard order of conditions will go into effect upon receipt of approvals from the BOH approval and the state.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito