Friday, March 7, 2003
Shorts from the ConsCom, Feb. 27
· Westford Street tennis court. Barbara Chappell of 565 Westford Street presented a Notice of Intent (NOI) for a proposed tennis court, half of which would be in the buffer zone. The area has been wetland flagged within the past four months but it is also in the Carlisle Flood Hazard District. The hearing was continued until March 27 to give Chappell an opportunity to speak with town building inspector Bob Koning and secure his approval. Chappell was advised to indicate the flood district on the plan. ConsCom plans a site visit before March 27.
· Maple Street expansion. William and Jane Hamilton, 491 Maple Street, presented a NOI for the expansion of two existing rooms, grading the land in the construction area and regrading their driveway. The project is within the 100-foot buffer zone. The flood line was determined by elevation, since FEMA and town assessor maps do not agree on the location of the flood line. The Hamiltons' request was approved.
· Bedford Road lighting. Francene Amari-Faulkner, 43 Bedford Road (at East Street) presented a NOI for installation of lighting and an electrical conduit between her house and barn, part of which would go through a buffer zone. ConsCom members advised her that she could avoid wetland regulations by running the conduit out of the 50-foot range. Their suggestion was accepted and the commission had a negative determination on her request.
· Sunset Road septic. John Supple, 111 Sunset Road, made his third appearance before the ConsCom for approval of a septic system repair, a proposed driveway and a porch addition. This hearing was continued to allow him to prepare a requested engineering plan for the proposed driveway. The plans were accepted and his NOI approved.
· Curve Street driveway. Mike Marchese, currently living on Curve Street, made an unscheduled visit to the ConsCom to "get a sense of the commission" on problems that might concern them with property he might possibly purchase. He was advised that a wetland replication would be needed and that there could be problems with the driveway. He left saying, "I get a feeling that this is doable."
Land use plans reviewed
The commission has a number of agricultural license agreements with farmers who work on conservation lands. The following plans were reviewed:
· Bisbee Land. George Fraser reported that his crop is hay and he gets about 100 bales per acre. He fertilizes based on a soil test program. His agreement was renewed for one more year after this year. He mentioned that the bluebird boxes that ConsCom had put on the property are deteriorating and was assured, "We've got replacements coming."
· Fox Hill. Dick Shohet reported on his haying operation at Fox Hill. "This year may be our swan song," he said, because proposed board of health animal management regulations will require him to pay $40 a head on his cattle and pay for a water test every year (See story on page 1). He plans to do one cutting this year and will cut all the brush up to the stone wall. ConsCom warmly endorsed his plan, since cutting keeps buckthorn and sumac down, something they would otherwise have to pay for.
· Foss Farm. Mark Duffy has leased the fields at Foss Farm for many years planting corn. He was unclear about this year's crop because of uncertain soil conditions after this winter. He said he sprays corn once a year and, in accordance with the law, will post a notice on the Foss Farm bulletin board before spraying.
· Cranberry Bog. Mark Duffy also leases the Cranberry Bog. He said, "Things are improving very slowly," referring to his multi-year bog improvement and replanting project The bog yielded approximately 100,000 pounds of cranberries last year. He has sought grants to help develop the bog, including work on the Chelmsford dam.
· Foss Farm garden plots. Bob Dennison oversees the garden plots at Foss Farm. He says the plots were oversubscribed last year and is considering adding more space this year. The fee for a plot is $5 for the season. When asked how he thought the money should be used, Dennison said it would be needed for replacing stakes and parts for the well. He hoped for a new gate but said that if the gate lock is replaced he will have to spend $150 for new keys. He is ready to receive applications for plots for this year. "Politics is not involved," he said. "I get the check and you get your plot."
· Towle Field. ConsCom administrator Sylvia Willard said she had applied for a grant from the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) which is under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grant would cover of maintenance of the field, including restoration of grasslands habitat favored by the bobolinks that nest there. Acid rain makes liming the field a necessity, but the recommendations are to do it only once in five years. The ConsCom agreed to put down as much lime as they could afford.
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