The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 5, 2001


Planning board asks selectmen to judge Tall Pines roads 'defects'

Twenty-eight residents of the Tall Pines subdivision, exasperated by perceived planning board stalling on approval of their roads, faced the board again on Monday night. After a short debate, the board voted unanimously to send a letter to the board of selectmen stating that there are potential "defects" within the town's right of way. All members concurred that determination of any defect is the responsibility of the selectmen.

The right of way of a roadway in Carlisle extends beyond the paved surface in order to accommodate utilities and other public needs. The Tall Pines roadways are paved to a standard width of approximately 25 feet and the right of way extends another 15 feet on each side. The board had noted earlier that there are six or so structures within the right of way, including stone walls and granite mailbox posts, which may pose "potential hazards to town safety."

Previously, town counsel's advice had been interpreted to mean that any defect opens the town to significant liability. At this meeting board member and attorney Phyllis Zinicola clarified that town counsel was "paraphrasing, not giving an opinion on what determines a defect. Whether the [existing] structures rise to any level of concern will require the selectmen to go back to town counsel," she said.

John Solomon of Hutchins Road questioned the board's "bringing the issue up to the selectmen at all." Chairman Michael Abend repeated that "the selectmen determine any defect prior to acceptance. To do otherwise would subject the town to considerable expense should the town have to take down the structures after the fact."

This "laying out of roadways" by the planning board is required before the selectmen can place a Warrant article before the Town Meeting to consider roadway acceptance.

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito