The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 11, 2005


BOA OKs Sunset Rd. garage, pool

At their March 3 meeting the Carlisle Board of Appeals (BOA) had a respite from dealing with difficult 40B applications as they listened to Amy and J.J. Supple of 136 Sunset Road make their case for a special permit for a new garage and a variance for a swimming pool on their property.

The former house of an old-time Carlislean Clara Stearns is a small non-conforming structure (lacking appropriate setbacks) on a non-conforming lot (less than two acres). The Supples had already been before the board to add a second floor to their 1,600-square-foot bungalow, bringing it to 2,400 square feet. The town has a bylaw which says that structures cannot be increased by more than 50% of their size.

However, the Supples were not asking for a special permit to enlarge their house, but their garage. They intend to tear it down and rebuild it, extending it toward their house, and not increasing its encroachment on the property lines. The garage would have a new roof line, going from 16 feet to 22.6 feet in height, with additional heated play space under the roof line. The footprint of the garage would go from 284 square feet to 578 square feet.

Board member Terry Herndon said, "We treat a garage as a special case, and don't count it as living space." Hal Sauer commented, "If it is not living space, it doesn't follow the 50% rule."

Herndon said, "The board is generally sympathetic to small houses." Supple had the support of the abutters to build a new garage. It will improve the parking situation, as the current garage is not able to house their cars.

Abutters' concerns

The more difficult discussion involved the variance necessary to build a swimming pool on their property. The Prathers who live behind the Supples were concerned with the siting of the swimming pool and the 40-foot setback of the pool to their property line. Also behind the Supple property is an old unused road called Old Morse Road.

Terry Herndon gave the board a bit of history on these old roads. Carlisle had many of them, and they were known as town ways. If it is a town way, then the townspeople have a right-of-way on these roads. Back in the late 1960s or early 1970s, Carlisle made a list of all the roads that they wanted to accept and anything not on the list is not a town way. Old Morse Road did not make that list. Thus it is not a road anymore.

The objection by the Prathers is that the Supples have included a part of the Old Morse Road in their surveyed property, that the pool was close to the Prathers' lot line and that the pool lighting would be disturbing.

J.J. Supple said the lighting would be turned off at night, and that the required fence around the pool would be rustic and in keeping with Carlisle's rustic landscape.

Abutter Jim Miller, whose house is 850 feet from the applicants and who is also a pool owner, supported the Supple application.

The board voted to approve the variance for the pool, encouraging the neighbors to get along. Herndon said, "The information and concerns have been transferred [to the BOA]We don't want everyone fighting."

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito