Friday, May 9, 2003
Board of Health questions water supply at Lowell Street 40B site
At the April 29 meeting of the Board of Health (BOH), Engineer George Dimakarakos from Stamski and McNary presented the septic design for a comprehensive permit for eight two-bedroom housing units at 302 Lowell Street. Dimakarakos referred to Chapter 40B, the state law which allows a developer to build higher density housing than allowed by local zoning bylaws, provided that 25% of the development is designated as affordable housing. However, the development must meet all the state water, wetland and septic regulations. Local regulations require a well for each dwelling, but Dimakarakos sought to have one well for four units.
BOH consulting engineer Rob Frado reviewed the plans with only minor comments on the septic design, but felt the "wells should have a really good look." Board chair Martha Bedrosian pointed out that anything the board does on this permit will set precedent for other designs.
Tricia Smith of the Conservation Commission said, "I'm curious when we need to trigger a public water supply?" Dimakarakos answered that a public water supply is needed when more than 25 people are using a common water source. Technically, you can keep adding wells to prevent the need for a public water supply. In this design there are two condo ownerships with two septic systems and two wells. The condominium agreements will show clear ownership of each property.
John Brewer, an abutter at 280 Lowell Street, said that he was pleased that the Board of Health was giving the 40B project the scrutiny that it deserved. Brewer was concerned about the effect of nearby wells on his. He was pleased to hear that the 40B projects are not approved automatically, but can have conditions placed upon the design.
Developer Mike Kenny said he welcomed the scrutiny even though he could have gone ahead without approval of the town boards because of a technicality. (The Board of Appeals did not meet the state requirement to initiate a public hearing on the permit within 30 days.) Kenny offered to drill the wells to the depth of the abutters' wells and if there seemed to be any influence on the abutters' wells, he would case the well to a depth below that of the abutters. In addition each well would be provided 500 gallons of storage for domestic use and 5,000 gallons underground for landscape irrigation.
Board member Lisa Davis Lewis suggested that the board send a memo to the Board of Appeals, asking the applicant to do a hydrogeological study which can then be sent for DEP review. The applicant agreed to the study, but Dimakarakos worried that the state could take months to review as budget cuts are resulting in DEP layoffs. The board also asked the applicant to make minor revisions to the septic plan.
© 2003 The Carlisle Mosquito