Friday, October 3, 2003
Plan shows 13 homes on 178-acre Benfield lot
At the Planning Board meeting on September 29, Frank M Stewart, president of Northland Residential Corporation, presented a "limited, low-density, approval-not-required plan" for development of the Benfield farm off South Street, West Street, and Pope Road. Greg Peterson of the Carlisle Conservation Foundation (CCF), who has worked on the conceptual plan with the Benfields and Northland, asked for the board's support, noting that 121.86 acres of the 178.15 acre total area would remain protected.
Thirteen new homes planned
The plan is for thirteen new homes to be sited in three clusters, each cluster with a common driveway. Parcel A south of South Street would contain five homesites averaging 6.12 acres, with fourteen acres kept as open space. Parcel B between South and West Streets would contain five sites of an average 9.62 acres. Parcel C which is west of West Street and north of Pope Road would contain four sites averaging 6.08 acres with thirty-two acres of open space. Two other parcels, D containing sixteen acres, and E containing 12.5 acres, would remain open space. An additional 46.72 acres is unbuildable, resulting in a total protected area (open plus unbuildable) of 121.86 acres.
Stewart pointed to the Benfields' "long history of environmental steward-ship" and noted the family's goal was to "support the current neighborhood and protect the current streetscapes" which he characterized as "fields, a farmhouse, and extensive wooded areas." Under the terms of the agreement between the Benfields and the CCF the parcels could not later be subdivided.
Peterson noted the protected lands could be tied into the existing Spencer Brook trails and conservation area. Steve Tobin asked about tying into the trails in the Spring Hill conservation land in Acton, and Peterson said an area between is not yet under a conservation restriction, but may be in the future. About twenty residents had appeared to hear the presentation, but there were few questions or comments. Chair Louise Hara complimented the plan noting, "It's the most comprehensive and detailed we've seen." According to Stewart, the preliminary engineering work is complete and the plan will be presented to the board of health soon.
© 2003 The