The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 2, 2001


Designing Carlisle 2020 Municipal Planning Day is Saturday, February 10

The signs are already there. Over the next 20 years, industrial growth will accelerate along the I-495 corridor, with corresponding pressure for residential development in communities sandwiched between Route 128 and I-495. Recognizing this reality, the Carlisle Municipal Land Committee (CMLC) has been asking the question, "What kind of community do we want Carlisle to be in the future, and how can we get there?" In preparing to answer this question, the committee has developed a preliminary vision for Carlisle in the year 2020, analyzed land needs to meet that vision, and identified land that is currently available, or potentially available in the future. However many strategic questions remain.

On Saturday, February 10, from 9 a.m. to noon, the committee will host a Municipal Planning Day at the Town Hall to which all Carlisle residents are invited. The major land issues for the next 20 years fall in the categories of school, recreation, housing and conservation. The committee will present their analysis of municipal land need and supply, and then ask the participants to discuss priorities, specific goals and the means to achieve them.

A vision for Carlisle 2020

The CMLC, currently chaired by selectman John Ballantine, and composed of representatives of all town boards and committees, has developed a draft "Vision" for Carlisle in the year 2000, which recognizes the pressures of continuing regional growth and reflects its residents' shared values in how that growth should occur. The following are excerpts from the draft "Vision:"

· The town will be a semi-rural residential community, with a population of about 6,000, residing in approximately 1,800-1,900 housing units. This is close to the estimated build-out under current two-acre zoning regulations.

· There will be elderly and affordable housing units in a number of locations throughout the town.

· Recreational facilities will be linked together by pathways and trails compatible with the semi-rural feel of Carlisle.

· The expanded center of town will include additional facilities and places to gather and educate town citizens.

· The town will continue to exhibit a strong conservation ethic, reflecting the value of maintaining a "green area" within the I-495 belt.

· Carlisle will be an open and diverse community, welcoming all citizens.

· Taxes, controlled growth, and affordability will continue to be actively debated and attentively managed.

Strategic questions

While the vision is a valuable guiding light, in order to achieve it a large number of strategic questions and priorities need to be addressed. With limited land and finances, land planning is about making hard choices. Examples of issues that will be raised at the meeting include:

· What town services will we need to expand? A new school, town offices, fire, police, transfer station, water resources, cemetery? Where should we locate them?

· Where should we locate affordable and elderly housing units, and how can we afford them?

· What guidelines should we follow for acquiring additional conservation land as it becomes available?

· What recreational facilities and services will we want to develop?

CMLC members hope the planning day events will not only provide townspeople with some understanding of the committee's work up to now, but also to stimulate creative thinking.

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito