The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 11, 2004


Digging and filming resume at This Old House

As passing cars and interested spectators noted, the crew for This Old House resumed filming on the afternoon of June 10. Last month, Carlisle Building Inspector Bob Koning had frozen all work at the site, at 730 Concord Street, as the producers of the TV series had not obtained a building permit.

Initially, Koning had allowed some work to take place, but had withheld the permit for a variety of reasons, especially the fact that the Carlisle Board of Health (BOH) had not approved the project plan. The BOH routinely reviews the site plan before signing off on the building permit application. By the time the board received a plan, however, excavation had already begun. Then BOH consulting engineer Rob Frado found that the proposed new foundation for the house would encroach on the 10-foot setback from the septic tank, a violation of a Massachusetts Title 5 requirement.

"The reason for the 10-feet from the foundation," said BOH Chair Martha Bedrosian, "is that if something does go wrong, there isn't sewage going into a basement."

Revised plans submitted to the BOH call for crushing the old tank and installing a new tank considerably further from the house. The new tank will cost about $2,500 and digging and placement costs will depend on the ground area. Bedrosian noted, "Most people would opt to move or replace the tank rather than change the floor plan." The BOH approved a permit to replace the tank on Friday, June 4.

Concord Building Inspector John Minty, acting on behalf of Carlisle during Koning's vacation, reviewed the BOH approval and site plans. He found about six issues still pending, including the location of fire detectors, and decided to issue a building permit restricted to the "foundation only."

"It's not unusual," said Minty when asked about issuing a "foundation-only" building permit. "We use the two-stage process with about one third of our permits in Concord." After the foundation is built, the building inspector has the opportunity to review the final setbacks before framing begins. Upon his return, Koning will have the opportunity to clarify the outstanding issues before further construction can take place.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito