Friday, May 10, 2002
Shorts from the board of health
• Animal management regulations. A number of interested residents attended the board of health meeting on April 30 to hear the board's discussion of issues related to new animal management regulations that the board will draw up.
Board chairman Steve Opolski explained that the board had re-thought its position on defining an animal unit for the purposes of regulating the animal usage. Although the specific definition of an animal unit has not yet been decided, Opolski explained that the board needed to have some specific numbers in order to define "by right" regulations. These regulations would allow a person to be guaranteed a license if all the rules such as number of animals, setbacks and manure management plans are met.
Jackie Hamilton asked if "by right" was another term for grandfathering. There were a number of animal owners in the audience concerned about grandfathering. Opolski explained that grandfathering was another matter.
Another issue discussed was the placement of paddocks. Should they be allowed right on the property line or should a setback be enforced? Tricia Smith suggested this was micro-managing a non-issue. The board of health should visit properties before deciding if a setback is necessary. Most horse owners fence the property to allow the maximum room for the animals. If there were a setback regulation 95 percent of the town animal owners would need a waiver.
Board member Lisa Davis-Lewis commented that the board, or future boards, does not want to be continually in dispute resolution. Opolski added that a number of other towns have fence offsets which have been enforced by law. "You don't have the right to do anything you want to your land," Opolski added. He concluded by thanking the people for their help.
• North Road. Homeowner Minzi Ruan of 984 North Road bought a 4,000- square-foot house last September and appeared at the board of health meeting to ask for a deed restriction to add three rooms on top of a three-car garage. The current septic system, which was installed in 1980 and had its tank upgraded to 1500 gallons, has no room for expansion. There have been five test holes dug in various places near the leaching field and each hole has encountered ledge. The existing system apparently was placed in a pocket of earth surrounded by ledge. Board of health consulting engineer Rob Frado explained that the system is sized small for four bedrooms.
The current room count is 12 which under today's rules would require a 6 bedroom system before adding the additional three rooms. "What you have right now is a system for which we wouldn't grant a deed restriction now. This is a tough situation with all the ledge," explained Opolski. "I feel terrible, but don't know what we could do," echoed Davis-Lewis.
Ruan was certain that her engineer had calculated that the system could support 7 bedrooms, but could not supply the data. The meeting concluded with thesuggestion that Ruan bring her engineer to a future meeting with data to support the extended system.
• Hartwell Road. The board approved a deed restriction for the property at 32 Hartwell Road which restricts the residence to four bedrooms. The deed restriction was necessary for a failed septic system.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito