The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 25, 2003


Planning Board supports Laurel Hollow, with several caveats

After listening to a presentation from the developer of a proposed eight-unit condominium project on Lowell Street on April 14, the Planning Board recommended that the Board of Appeals (BOA) support the project, as long as several conditions and suggestions for amendments to the plans are made.

4 acres, 4 buildings, 8 units

The project, dubbed Laurel Hollow by developer Michael Kenney, consists of four buildings situated on four acres along a new road off Lowell Street near the transfer station. The total living space of each of the four buildings will be between 4,000 and 6,000 square feet. Duplex-style townhouses, each with a two-car garage and 2,000 to 2,800 square feet of living space, will comprise each of the four buildings. Each of the eight units will have two bedrooms. Six of the units will be sold at market rate, for about $650,000. The two smaller units will be designated as affordable housing, and sold for about $175,000. In order to qualify for affordable housing, a buyer's income must be no more than 80% of the median income for the region, or approximately less than $60,000 per year.

The location and capacities of septic systems and wells, the adequacy of the new roadway to meet traffic, parking, and pedestrian needs, and the grading and landscaping requirements of the site were all issues of concern to the Planning Board at its meeting on April 14. In its April 17 letter, the Planning Board recommended that independent technical reviews of the plans, as well as certain conditions and changes to those plans be made before the BOA grants its approval to the proposal.

Carlisle currently has 18 units of affordable housing, mainly at senior housing projects at Malcolm Meadows and on Church Street. Those units make up about 1% of the total housing stock in town, a far cry from the state-mandated goal of 10% of affordable housing in every city and town.

The board will discuss the issue again at its next public meeting, on April 28.

Planning Board Recommendations

1. Review of the plans by an independent engineering firm, specifically to assess the drainage, grading, traffic, and landscaping elements of the plan. Costs for this review to be borne by the applicant.

2. Analysis of surface water hydrology and of the capacity of the existing storm drain culverts.

3. Widen the cul-de-sac for additional parking, and prohibition of parking on the north side of the roadway.

4. Installing wooden guardrails on the north side of the road for safety.

5. A requirement in the master condominium deed that snow is to be removed offsite.

6. Easing the gradient angle of the new roadway to meet town by-laws. This is a particular safety issue where the roadway meets Lowell Street.

7. Since the intersection is likely to be a school bus stop, it should be widened to 20 feet at the entrance, with additional shoulder space.

8. The applicant should grant the town a grading easement, shown on the plans, to accommodate a future footpath along Lowell Street.

9. Master deed should include a provision prohibiting adding more living space within the dwelling units.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito