Friday, January 23, 2004
Counsel says Carlisle Woods has easement for access
The Board of Appeals (BOA) had one major question when they opened the hearing in December on the proposed 40B development known as Carlisle Woods. That question was whether there was some legal access or right-of-way to this land-locked property to which the developer has rights. That question was answered by Town Counsel Richard Hucksam on January 15 with a definitive yes.
Although there is no legal frontage for the proposed eight-unit development on 4.37 acres adjacent to 926 Maple Street, Hucksam confirmed that Walter Eriksen of the Massapoag Real Estate Development Corp does have an easement to this property, known as the Queensland parcel. Hucksam said that his investigation of documents supports the developer's claim that he has a 40-foot easement which includes improvement rights.
What is still unclear is where this easement lies — mainly in Billerica, as a Conservation Commission survey contends, or in Carlisle as the developer claims. To decide this, the developer has agreed to put $5,000 into an escrow account so that the town can hire an independent surveyor to settle this dispute. The town intends to hire David Ross and Associates to review all survey material, and perform an additional survey to finally decide on the boundaries of this easement. Developer Eriksen assured the board that he wanted to "co-operate and did not want an adversarial relationship with the board."
A number of people in the audience suggested that there were other surveys done, and the board asked that any information, such as past surveys, be sent to them immediately. Town Counsel Hucksam reminded the audience that, "The board can only make decisions on what is on the record."
If the proposed development is given the green light by the BOA, it probably will not be called "Carlisle Woods," as proposed. Among other concerns, the town Fire Chief has said that the name is too similar sounding to other names in town, and that would be a safety hazard.
Shorts from the BOA
• 84 South Street. The board voted to extend the special permit to H. Larue Renfroe at 84 South Street, Assurance Technology, for five more years. This business has been operating under a special permit for 25 years, and employs 70 people.
• 734 Lowell Street. The board voted to approve the special permit requested by Francis and Karen Sargent of 734 Lowell Street. The Sargeants own a very small house which faces Wolf Rock Road, a dead-end road with minimal traffic. Their lot is non-conforming, as is their house, with only a 29-foot setback from Wolf Rock Road. Their renovations would increase the 1,268-square-foot house by 700 square feet, which is more than the 50% enlargement permitted by town bylaws. Also, their renovation would bring the house to within 10.9 feet of the road. There was no objection to this plan by the nearest neighbor. The board approved the request due to financial hardship and topography of the land, but indicated that this special permit was granted only because the road on which the property fronts has such limited access.
© 2004 The