Friday, April 4, 2003
Shorts from the ConsCom, March 27
· Westford Street tennis court. The commission continued a hearing on a notice of intent presented by Barbara Chappell of Westford Street. Chappell's plans for a new tennis court, with associated grading, were approved.
· Hutchins/Robbins license re-newed. The commission has been reviewing license agreements with local farmers who use town land, and in this context John Valentine, who farms the Hutchins/Robbins field, appeared before the commission with a request for a two year renewal. He said, "They're wonderful fields. I have been farming there for years," and told the commission that when he started, Mr. Swanson had told him "You can use the land as long as you don't work on Sundays." Valentine got four cuttings of alfalfa last year, but because successive planting of alfalfa can build up toxicity in the soil, he plans an alternate crop this year. His license was renewed for two years.
·South Street wetland. Tim Fohl of South Street has an exisiting wetland with a buffer zone delineated on his property. This fact is recorded on documents pertaining to his land, but the buffer zone extends to an area off his property. Fohl wondered how this fact could be recorded. The commission suggested he send a memo to the board of health and the planning board summarizing his concern.
· Bedford Street carriage house. Ken Bedrosian of 44 Bedford Street wants to erect a carriage house on his property. The areas available are either on ledge, which he has been told he can't build on, or a wetland buffer zone, which he knows he can't build on. A 40-foot setback from the street and 20-foot setbacks from side property lines, compound the problem of where to put the structure. The commission was sympathetic, but since he had requested a discussion rather than presenting a proposal for approval, no action was required. Bedrosian was left with three alternatives: to seek an variance from the setback, which would necessitate claiming hardship, to investigate blasting and removing the ledge, or to reflag the wetlands. The commission also suggested that he contact building inspector Bob Koning for further input.
· Animal waste setbacks. A vigorous and thoughtful discussion of ConsCom regulations was stimulated by a request from the board of health for ConsCom's opinions on setbacks for manure stockpiles, compost piles and manure storage containers. Commissioner Tricia Smith said, "If something is in our jurisdiction, we want to take a look at it." The commission regulates animal waste in the buffer zone.
© 2003 The