The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 20, 2002


Cheese-making and Lowell Street development discussed at board of health

Martha Bedrosian of Bedford Road is now the new chairman of the board of health, succeeding Steve Opolski who had served as chairman for many years. Susan Whalley is the new assistant for the board of health office, helping out board of health agent Linda Fantasia.

Food plant license

Tricia Smith and Mike Holland of 43 Indian Hill Road appeared at the board of health meeting to request a food plant license from the board of health. Smith intends to run a small business from her home making goat cheese from as many as four goats. All of the cheese processing will be done in the home at a proposed expansion of the Smith/Holland Deck House. There will be no retail sales of cheese.

"Right now we're actually pursuing a food plant license," Smith explained. The food plant license is different from a food retail license and doesn't have the board of health inspections required by a retail license. The controlling authority from the state is the department of public health which is different from the environmental protection (DEP). After three months of research, Smith had determined that the department of public health was the controlling authority, and was at the meeting to present her plans for the board of health's approval.

"Do you envision having employees?" asked board of health member Lisa Davis Lewis. "No," replied Smith. She is currently operating with two milking goats producing about 10 to 12 pounds of cheese a week. Smith does all the milking and goat care, as well as the pasteurization of the milk and the processing to cheese.

The expansion will consist of a below-grade "cave" which will be used to keep the cheese cool - there are no Title 5 septic requirements specific to cheese-making, so calculations have been made of the additional flow due to dishwashing and handwashing required in the business. Holland explained that the only waste product from the food plant would be whey, which he learned as a civil engineer was not to be placed in a septic system. The whey would be composted instead. Holland suggested a one-year septic inspection to see if dairy products were present. The board of health members agreed on this plan.

Holland and Smith will follow the federal pasteurization ordinance to the letter in the design of the food plant system.

303 Kimball Road

Builder Phil Heidke presented an extensive addition to the Wu household in the Tall Pines neighborhood seeking a deed restriction on the septic system. The addition consists of a swimming pool and a big greenhouse atrium, which is all enclosed, using a glass roof, and is insulated and heated. This puts the room count at 13 to 14. By the current Title 5 rules, this would require a septic system bigger than the five bedrooms for which the 1998 system was designed.

Board of health engineering consultant Rob Frado said that, with "the nature of the structure, I find it hard to call it a bedroom, and we should be able to deed restrict in this instance."

Lot 11 Hutchins Road

Jean and Geoffrey Judson appeared before the BOH to answer the complaint that the engineer on the new septic system never called for a final inspection, which is now way overdue. The system design was approved in October 1995, and extended for one year in October 1998 and started in May of 1999. The Judsons are currently living in the house, having released the builder thinking that everything was okay.

"I don't see any benefit, public-health-wise, holding up these people," commented Steve Opolski, referring to the Judsons. Frado said that doing the inspection after the fact would not be a big deal, promising to send a letter explaining exactly what has to be done. The board explained that the Judsons would have to pay for Frado's expenses.

Library well head

Mary Cheever of the Gleason Library Trustees appeared at the board of health meeting for a discussion of the well head in the front of the Gleason Library. While the landscaping is nearing completion, the DEP requires that all well heads be 18 inches above ground. The casing is in an area that was to have grass. The alternative of digging another well is unacceptable with the sensitive water-system issues in the center of town. The historical district commission would like a solution without an above-ground protrusion.

A design similar to that employed by the Carlisle Congregational Church, using an underground well head with a water tight manhole cover, was discussed. Board of health agent Linda Fantasia felt that the change could be handled by just a phone call to the DEP. Cheever felt happy that the situation could be resolved quickly and the library would not have to reschedule the landscaping.

Comprehensive permit proposal for 302 Lowell Street

Mike Kenny presented a 40B project proposal for a development on Lowell Street. The project would fall under the state's comprehensive permit proposal, whereby the builder could bypass some local regulations as long as some of the units were made affordable housing.

Kenny, who talked very fast, explained that the development would have eight structures using an innovative alternative septic system, involving three tanks and a distributor and heater, providing micro-nutrients which would absorb the nitrogen to meet the state's nitrogen-loading criteria. Kenny has state approval of this system for pilot projects but has yet to appear before the zoning board of appeals.

Roy Watson, a member of the audience, explained that comprehensive permits require the zoning board to rule line-by-line as to why each rule has to be waived, and the town can require that the applicant pay for all studies. In addition, the zoning board has the right to establish a time line for this work and the town is not required to give blanket permits.

The board took no action on the permit at this time.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito