Friday, May 18, 2001
Board of health hears unusual septic requests
41 Orchard Acres
At their May 8 meeting, architect Rob Carson presented the board of health with an interesting plan for replacing a current house with a larger one. The existing house will be torn down, but the owner wishes to live in the house while a new house is being built, using the current septic system in what Carson calls phase one.
The new house will consist of six rooms on the ground floor and three rooms on the second. Carson's proposal is that the owner live in the current house which occupies a space different from the new one, until the main floor of the new house is finished. Then the old house would be removed and the current septic system connected to the main floor of the new house. In phase two the owner would then move to the new house living only in the ground floor while the second floor and a new septic system are completed. The owner understands that he will have to come back for another building permit and submit plans for the new septic system. The April high water test was missed this year so that plans for the new system cannot be completed until the high water tests are done next April. In the meantime, however, construction could begin for phase one.
After a short discussion the board granted permission with the only provision that the new sewer line from the old septic system to the new house needed to be inspected before occupancy.
Lot 4 Hutchins Road
Attorney Richard Gallogly related the story of this Tall Pines lot which had built a septic system, and later discovered that the permit had expired in November 2000. Chairman Steve Opolski pointed out that the permit expiration rules are set by the state title 5 and the local board has no power to overrule or waive these rules. Opolski explained that the board requires completion of a system 90 days after the system is started. Since the system was started so late in the year, the board allowed 30 days in November of 1999 and then permitted the system to wait until March 2000 to resume construction. At which time the system should have been completed in May.
The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which supervises these matters has written a response which holds the local board responsible for the expired permit and suggests the board seek legal council. The DEP did not give any guidance or help and appears to not want to deal with the matter. Gallogly is worried because the house is scheduled to be completed and sold within 60 days and he does not want further delays. Opolski promised to try to expedite the town counsel's response.
Some discussion was held as to what to do if the board decides the system is not valid. A new system could be built, but the rules have changed since the original permit was granted in 1995. The board has a policy of not granting any wavers on new construction, and the lot is tight with little room for a larger system. Board of health consulting
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