Friday, August 13, 2004
BOA dismisses Maple Street 40B application
The clock has finally run out on the Carlisle Woods affordable housing project proposed by Massapoag Real Estate Development, at least for now. The 40B application of the land-locked 4.37 acres off Maple Street was dismissed by the Board of Appeals on August 5. The applicant had been given more than 60 days to supply a new accurate site-approval letter and did not. Chairman Terry Herndon said, "The situation has changed entirely from where it had started. It should be done properly facts as presented were not true, and it's time to start over again. Please give us the information we need in the future and do it accurately."
The initial approval for the development by the Mass. Housing Finance Authority was based on inaccurate information regarding the location of the property lines. Herndon reviewed the most recent history of the application. Approximately 75 days ago, the board met with the applicant and discussed the fact that the town line was not where they said it was. At the prompting of the board, the developers resurveyed the land and found that the frontage of the land lies entirely in Billerica, and the access through a paper road lies half in Billerica and half in Carlisle. This complicates the application, and forces the applicant to proceed through the appropriate committees in both Carlisle and Billerica.
It was agreed at the last meeting, said Herndon, that a new site approval letter was necessary, and the law gives the applicant 60 days to correct the error in the application. Herndon said time has passed and they have heard nothing.
Town attorney Rick Hucksam told the board that a "basic jurisdiction requirement" is an accurate site-approval letter. Lacking one, the developer has no right to file. Hucksam said that the attorney for the developer, James Harrington, acknowledged that they needed a new letter and said they were getting one. The 60 days had expired July 16.
The attorneys for the development, James Harrington Sr. and Jr., arrived at the meeting late, at 8:10, and told the board that the hold up had been due to Billerica's request for more time, and gave the committee a letter detailing the situation involving Billerica.
Attorney for the town Hucksam said that, "None of these documents address the problem of site approval. The Carlisle project needs a new site approval letter." He also said that with a new site approval letter the applicant could refile.
Attorneys Harrington told the board that if the board dismissed their application, "We will appeal." They requested another 30 day extension so that they could get the site approval letter, but also said that it was up to Mass Housing whether or not they would issue a new letter to Carlisle.
Although the board was not required to dismiss they were clearly concerned about the lack of timeliness of the necessary documents, the fact that a certified survey had still not been submitted, and the inadequacy of an escrow account which according to the chairman was $8,000 in arrears.
The motion to dismiss passed unanimously. However, there is no penalty involved in a dismissal, as there would be in a denial. The chair stated, "A dismissal is as though is hadn't occurred."
Special permit denied
A request for a special permit by Bonnie Jacobellis to board up to three horses at her barn at 164 Fiske Street, was denied by the board of appeals. Ms. Jacobellis has a 4 1/2 acre property on which she already has a barn with two of her own horses. In 1985 Jacobellis received a special permit for one year for a similar operation. At renewal time the following year in 1986, abutters spoke against its continuation in terms of visual and auditory disturbances, flies and noises.
One of the same abutters, Ruth Toscano of 129 Fiske Street spoke up again. She complained of the "Callus attitude of the applicant, with her riders coming on my property without permission." Another abutter, Marcy Guttadauro, 158 Fiske Street, said that her home was directly in front of the property, and complained that, I would abut a business." Other abutters also were present, and expresses their displeasure at granting the special permit.
In deciding Chair Terry Herndon said, I tend to grant these special permits with heavy conditioningThey are granted throughout Carlisle, and we see if they work. A riding stable is consistent with small rural towns." Board member Hal Sauer, "The original reason for denying still holdsneighborly complaints 20 years ago, and now alsoThe property is not amenable to boarding of horses."
In light of the opposition, the board voted unanimously to deny the special permit.
© 2004 The