The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 12, 2004


ConsCom and friends discuss Parcel A over coffee

The March 9 Conservation Commission Coffee, a monthly public meeting that conducts no business and has no agenda, was taken up by a discussion of the proposed town purchase and future development of the Benfield Parcel A off South Street.

Carlisle Conservation Foundation (CCF) Chair Art Milliken distributed three maps to the approximately 20 town officials and residents, showing the 45-acre Parcel A in relation to the Estabrook woods, the proposed housing development and conservation land in the town of Acton, Spencer Brook Reservation, and the 100 additional acres the Carlisle Conservation Foundation (CCF) has saved. (See maps at

Possible housing on Parcel A

To demonstrate possible land usage, 26 units were sketched on the plan, sited in the woods near the back field. Each of the two-bedroom units was assumed to be 1,000 square feet, 500 square feet on each floor. These units could be starter homes for sons and daughters of town residents.

According to Milliken each block of four units would have its own well and septic system and a total of 26 units would use approximately 4 acres. "It seems to be a lot better use of land rather than 5 large houses." he said. Anne Chase Ballantine, in the audience, commented that a recent Audubon study, "Losing Ground," demonstrates there is far less impact on the environment with the use of cluster zoning. "This is counterintuitive to what is the current belief," she said. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard acknowledged that a typical conforming lot in Carlisle can have 10,000 square feet taken up by a house and a pool. "There is a difference between controlled and uncontrolled growth," she said.

Priorities for ball fields

Milliken said that CCF has asked the Recreation Commission to prioritize potential sites for ball fields in town, including the Banta-Davis Land, Foss Farm and Benfield Parcel A. Foss Farm does have room for one or two fields which would not conflict with the community gardens or the Pony Club. Conservation Commissioner Roy Watson pointed out that for a ball field one needs room for 24 — 30 cars and space should be laid out for off-street parking. Town conservationist Ken Harte suggested that the front field on Parcel A, on South Street, could be left open so any development would be unobtrusive to the neighbors.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito