Friday, November 30, 2001
Town Forest articles withdrawn as boundaries and use restrictions remain unclear
"Many expected that this would be the feature presentation of the evening," began selectmen Tim Hult, as he proceeded to withdraw Article 7 at the Special Town Meeting on Tuesday night. The Article, which had been placed by the board of selectmen, had asked for funds for an engineering study and site analysis to prepare a plan for multiuse of the land.
One week before the Town Meeting it became apparent that the portion of the 70-acre town-owned parcel, the 46-acre Town Forest, is under a Chapter 97 conservation restriction which would prohibit many of the anticipated "multi-uses", including affordable housing. A further complication was the confusion as to the exact boundaries of the land under the restriction.
"While the selectmen believe there is a strong need for affordable housing and athletic fields, we also have to respect conservation land. We have to know the facts first," said Hult.
Selectman John Ballantine added that "archival research" will be needed to determine which acreage falls under the restriction.
Tom Nigro, spokesman for the Friends of the Town Forest, the group that placed Article 8 on the Warrant by petition, then withdrew the article. "It was our intention to ask the town to use and preserve the Town Forest as it is now," he said. "Chapter 97 provides that protection." He thanked the 150 people who had signed the petition for their support.
© 2001 The Carlisle Mosquito