Friday, January 7, 2005
Board of Appeals reviews concerns about Maple St. 40B
The Board of Appeals (BOA) breathed a collective sigh of relief, as they asked the developer and were granted a postponement for their decision on the 40B development off Maple Street presently known as Carlisle Woods. The state had placed an initial deadline at January 13, which would have given the board three months to decide on this application. The developer, Massapoag Corporation, gave the board until the last day in January.
A continuing issue is that the access road to the property, currently an unpaved private road known as Carlisle Street which empties into Maple Street, lies mostly in Billerica. (See map, December 17, 2004 issue, available on the Web.)
The question of the developer's easement on this property returns frequently. The width of the easement is 40 feet. It has been town counsel's opinion that the developer has shown the necessary proof that the easement exists, with the rights to improve the paper road. However, improvements must be within the 40-foot easement. BOA attorney Richard Hucksam reiterated that if the property owners feel that the applicant has gone too far, and are intruding into the property of the land owners, it is up to them to take legal action. "The town board can't determine these thingsthey don't have the jurisdiction."
Town departments have concerns
Other town boards and departments have raised questions about the developer's plan, with most issues still unresolved.
Fire Chief Flannery has expressed major concerns about the fire protection needs of this development. One outstanding issue was the location of a cistern on the property. The chief has recommended that it be placed on the town right-of-way, along Maple Street. The tank, which is 10 feet wide and 60 feet long, could be of value to other residents along that street. The developer had proposed a crash gate for fire trucks on Estey Road in Billerica, but Chief Flannery is adamant in not accepting that plan, and instead insists upon a road with a turn around large enough for Carlisle fire trucks.
The Carlisle Public Schools were concerned about where the children in this development would be picked up. The bus would not go into the development but would pick up the children on Maple Street, at the end of the development road. The school said that the students would need a safe place for walking, and the developer agreed to add a sidewalk along the road.
Jesse Jackson, the engineer representing David Ross, the consulting firm that the town has hired to conduct a peer review of the project, reported on other outstanding issues. Still a concern was a wetland area lying within 100 feet of the access road, across the street in Billerica.
Over the question of storm water management, Harrington said that the information is pertinent to Billerica, because the access road is largely in Billerica, and that information would be provided to Billerica. Queried later by abutter Ed Rolfe of 916 Maple Street whether Carlisle would comment at all about the roadway, board chair Cindy Nock said, "The board would attend Billerica meetings to make them aware." Sauer commented that, "One fourth of the road is in Carlisle, and we have responsibility for that." Hucksam said, "This could turn out to be a situation if our requirements are not compatible with Billerica's. The developer might have to make changes."
Direct abutter Yan Chen of 926 Maple Street raised concerns about the safety of her property during construction, as Carlisle Street is presently her driveway and her daughter walks on this road to catch her school bus. In addition, the abutter claims that a bad run-off problem already exists that necessitated dumping 30 tons of crushed stone due to erosion and run-off on her property. Her third concern is the water shortage in the area, as her well water presently runs out in about 15 minutes.
Board members queried if this was a problem with her well or the general area. It was suggested that a hydrological draw down test be performed to determine the impact the new development may have on local wells, as was done at the 40B development on Lowell Street known as Laurel Hollow.
The application for this development, under Chapter 40B, proposes to build eight housing units on the 4.37-acre parcel, two of which would be affordable.
© 2005 The