The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 22, 2001


Conservation commission struggles with 'flexible' lot plans

Most of the Carlisle Conservation Commission (ConsCom) meeting on June 14 was devoted to four Notices of Intent (NOIs) presented by engineer Rick Haywood of David Ross Associates for developers Ira Gould and Betsy Goldenberg. The applications covered lots on Great Brook Path, a development off Rutland Street, and described four similar lots that raised almost identical questions.

Rutland Street cluster

The problems arose from the developers' decision to present lot plan specifications that located septic systems, wells and partial driveways accessing large "boxes" reserved for the dwellings, which could accomodate smaller generic house footprints that might be built anywhere within the boxes. The probable amount of work within the wetland buffer zone varied from lot to lot, but the uncertainty as to the precise location and size of a dwelling, which must meet a 4000 square foot contract minimum, made it difficult for the commission to craft an order of conditions. Goldenberg explained that the unusual approach had been taken because she and Gould were leaving the specifications and construction of the actual houses up to the individual buyers.

Moving target

Commissioner Jonathan Beakley was the most skeptical of the four commissioners present, explaining to Goldenberg that orders of conditions are written to minimize disturbance within the buffer zone, while at the same time working to accommodate the reasonable wishes of the individual owner. Trying to write specific orders and distances for a moving target made the task difficult.

The solution in all four cases was to insist that the haybale line marking the limit of work must end up at least 25 feet from the wetland and the foundation of the house at least 40 feet back. Since all four lots abut the open space area required for planning board approval of a conservation cluster, the order of conditions also called for granite boundary markers at the corners and boulders or a farmer's wall to separate town-owned land from private property.

Stearns and Patton

A separate NOI submitted for Lamonius Development Company by Jody Borghetti of Stamski and McNary, sought approval to raze an existing house, construct a new single-family home and replace a failed septic system on property at the corner of Stearns Street and Patton Lane. The house footprint was shown as 50 feet by 100 feet. An old haybale line approved last year for a previous owner, who had proposed getting rid of the septic system but had never accomplished the project, was accepted and included in the new order of conditions. Also specified was either a line of one cubic foot boulders or reconstruction of an old stone wall along said haybale line.

+YEAR+ The Carlisle Mosquito