Friday, November 3, 2000
Planning board defends safety, aesthetics
The planning board tackled several plans and petitions at their October 23 meeting, focusing on traffic and fire safety as well as visual aesthetics
Joe March, engineer for the Congregational Church, explained that all requested revisions to the site plan had been made, except the request for a 100-year storm design. According to March, "We would need to double the drainage size and remove a lot of trees. It's appropriate to design for the 10-year storm." Engineer Sandra Brock of Judith Nitsch Engineering, retained by the planning board, suggested that they enlarge the emergency spillway.
Of greater concern was the configuration of the front driveway, a small circular road separated from School Street by four small islands, designed as a passenger drop-off for the handicapped, the elderly and weddings. Concerns were expressed about inadequate sight distance for cars entering and exiting the driveway from the street. More seriously, the drive could make the building inaccessible to fire equipment, according to Carlisle Fire Chief Bob Koning. March suggested that the whole circle could be designated as a firelane, as it is at the school.
The board also questioned landscaping plans, having heard earlier from abutters concerned about the visual impact. "With one wispy honey locust tree planned per each of the four islands," board member Louise Hara observed, "it still looks pretty barren." March reassured them that there will also be low plantings and shrubs.
In the end, the planning board agreed to the drop-off spaces while March promised, "I'll prove you can get a fire truck in." Chair Michael Epstein promised to wrap this up at the next meeting.
The board dampened the hopes of Richard West who plans to build a house on land gifted by his in-laws, Dick and Carolyn Shohet. West requested an amendment to the permit for the existing common driveway off Bedford Road. Board member Michael Abend advised, "You need to meet the current requirements ....I think it will be a significant investment."
Koning expressed his concern that the drive was too narrow, too overgrown. "If [the surface] is muddy or not plowed, then we're really in trouble. The town would need certification that the land could support a 40-ton fire truck." He also pointed out that the existing pond at 299 Bedford Road was an inadequate water source.
Abend suggested that West meet with Koning and planning administrator George Mansfield and decide "the best way to handle the issues to make a better situation. If it is extremely costly, we can look for ways to adjust it."
Tall Pines completed -- almost
Attorney Rich Gallogly, representing developer Bill Costello, requested a release from a tri-party agreement and for a certificate of completion for the Tall Pines subdivision. Gallogly explained, "We think we've completed all the work required. We seek a reduction in security."
Mansfield pointed out, "Aside from slope hydroseeding, there is one other thing outstanding: structures built in the right-of-way -- stone walls. There are also other substantial structures in the way -- gateways, a stone bench."
"This could happen at any time," objected Gallogly. "It is obvious this is an issue that needs to be identified and addressed at some time.'"
Finally, the board voted to release all but $10,000 of the $100,000 security funds to Costello and extend the subdivision until April 30, 2001.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito