The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 12, 2003


Questions remain on access for Carlisle Woods 40B

The clock has begun to tick on the Carlisle Woods application for a 40B Comprehensive Permit. Walter Eriksen of the Massapoag Real Estate Development Corporation gave his opening presentation to the Carlisle Board of Appeals on Thursday, December 4. With approval by the Massachusetts Housing Finance Committee in hand, the developer presented his plans for an eight-unit development on 4.37 acres, adjacent to 926 Maple Street.

Last winter, Eriksen presented his conceptual plans to the Carlisle Selectmen. At that time, his plan was for three buildings, with four units in each building, one quarter of which would be affordable housing. The affordable two-bedroom units would be priced at $165,000 to $175,000. The other units would be priced at market value.

The current concept presented is for eight units only. However, there appear to be a number of unanswered questions about this property, which is located between Carlisle and Billerica. BOA Chair Terry Herndon told the Mosquito that, "The first question that needs to be answered is one of access to the property." There is no legal road frontage on this land-locked property, although the builder claims access via an easement to Estes Road in Billerica. In addition, there is lack of agreement on the location of the town line between Carlisle and Billerica on this property.

In the application, the 18-foot-wide right-of-way from Maple street to the property is shown to be in Carlisle. However, the Carlisle Conservation Commission had this land surveyed a number of years ago, and their survey indicated that the right of way lies mostly in Billerica.

The board asked Town Counsel Rich Hucksam to review the application, and counsel found it essentially complete. However, according to Herndon, Hucksam was not persuaded that the applicant had demonstrated by use of legal documentation, that they own the right of way. Counsel requested proper documentation, and the applicants provided documents for Town Counsel to review.

Additionally, the BOA produced a letter from the Billerica town engineer which claims the road is inadequate to access the property in question.

About 12 neighbors and abutters from Carlisle and Billerica, some of whom had already purchased copies of the application, attended the meeting. George Vendura of Maple Street expressed concern about wetlands on the property and the "secrecy" surrounding the application. Abutters of the proposed right-of-way were not notified of the plans, he said.

The Chapter 40B state law stipulates that in towns with less than 10% of the housing classified as "affordable," developers may bypass local zoning requirements, provided at least 25% of the housing units are affordable.

The hearing is continued until January 15.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito