Friday, December 17, 2004
Planning Board outlines concerns about Maple Street 40B
At its meeting on December 13, the Planning Board again reviewed the application for a comprehensive permit for the 40B development off Maple Street (See article starting on page 1). The Board of Appeals (BOA) asked the Planning Board for written comments on a list of waivers of Carlisle's zoning bylaws that the application requests.
A major complaint is that the application does not provide sufficient information to assure that issues of safety, drainage, and access can be adequately resolved. Board member David Freedman pointed out that the Board of Appeals is working with a tight deadline and the developer is not providing the information requested in a timely fashion. The BOA must act on the application by January 13.
Board members repeatedly expressed concerns about the proposed access road to Maple Street, a private driveway called Carlisle Street, particularly about the steep grade as it enters Maple Street. In snow season the slope makes it difficult for cars to stop before sliding into Maple Street. Since the developer only has an easement for access over carlisle Street, he can pave the road but cannot re-grade it.
A second major concern is that the application does not address adequate access for Carlisle fire equipment. Since Carlisle Street does not meet fire department guidelines, the developer has suggested placing a crash gate for emergency access at the end of Estey Road, which ends at the Billerica line. The details of this crash gate are not provided.
Abutter Yan Cheng of 926 Maple Street (Lot 17 on map) stated her concerns about water run-off onto her property from lot 18, as well as a dangerous traffic situation at the intersection of Maple Street and Carlisle Street (which is currently her driveway). "A few times I have almost had an accident. You have to address those safety issues," she said.
After discussing the waivers requested by the developer, the Planning Board suggested that the BOA incorporate the following conditions for the development:
• The plan must be acceptable to both the Carlisle and Billerica Fire Departments, and the Carlisle Planning Board, which has the responsibility for fire safety, should have a right of review.
• The developer must obtain a written agreement with the Town of Billerica on the location of the crash gate, as well as a turn-around for fire vehicles exiting through the crash gate. The agreement with Billerica must define responsibility for plowing and placement no-parking signs for fire safety.
• Sight lines are critical. Both towns must agree on creating and maintaining adequate sightlines and traffic safety.
• The developer must provide a landscape plan. The plan should identify all trees that need to be cut.
• The plan must show a school bus drop-off area that is acceptable to the Carlisle School.
• Since the entrance to Carlisle Street appears to be within 100 feet of Carlisle wetlands, the Carlisle Conservation Commission must be satisfied.
• Storm water management requires peer review. Since the developer cannot control the grade, he must demonstrate that the plan adequately addresses drainage.
© 2004 The