The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 18, 2005


BOA approves Maple Street 40B with extensive conditions

With a state-imposed deadline before them, the Carlisle Board of Appeals (BOA) voted unanimously to approve the 40B application by Massapoag Real Estate Development to construct an eight-unit condominium, including two affordable housing units, on four-plus acres off Maple Street. With many questions and safety concerns unresolved, the board attached an extensive list of conditions for the development.

The property, located in Carlisle, is complicated as it has no frontage in Carlisle, and an access road, known as a "Carlisle Street," lies almost entirely in Billerica. The developer claims he has a 40-foot easement on Carlisle Street which connects the property to Maple Street.

Massapoag must also gain the approval of the Billerica Board of Appeals before they can proceed.

Unanswered concerns

The Carlisle Fire Chief has outlined his needs for emergency vehicles access to the development, mainly a 50-foot radius turnaround at the Estey Road (in Billerica) end of the project roadway.

Abutters have been persistent in voicing their concerns about water run-off onto their properties, the poor sight lines as Carlisle Street intersects with Maple Street, and general screening of the project structures which are not consistent with Carlisle developments. They had also supplied the board with much research regarding the many business interests of developer Walter Ericson, and at the last meeting, they had hired a lawyer, Peter Fenn, to attempt to stop the development.

Highlights of conditions

The following are highlights of the conditions specified in the BOA decision:
No work can begin until detailed construction plans have been submitted to Carlisle Department of Public Works, Carlisle Fire Department and Carlisle Building Inspector, and have been approved.
The BOA shall hire a licensed civil engineer at the applicant's expense to inspect the property.
The BOA's peer review engineering firm shall review the design and construction of the entire roadway to assure the safety of the public and the residents of the project.
The applicant shall construct a turnaround with a 50-foot radius at the Estey Road end of the project roadway, or smaller, if approved by the Fire Chief.
The applicant shall install a pathway or sidewalk along Carlisle Street.
A water cistern shall be required.
The Applicant shall provide vegetative screening between the Rolfe property and the fire cistern.
The BOA, and not the building inspector, will approve the final detailed lighting plan.
No work shall begin until applicant submits to the board for its approval a formal landscape plan, prepared by a registered landscaper.
Wells may not be used for irrigation purposes.
The applicant must obtain approval of Fire Chief for the street and/or project name, and street numbering. (The Fire Chief has said that "Carlisle Woods," the name of the project on the application, cannot be used as it is too similar to other street names in Carlisle.)
A deed rider shall be attached to the two income restricted units, so that these units be restricted in perpetuity to persons or families not earning more than 80% of the area medium income.

There shall be local preference for applicants for these two units.

What is Chapter 40B?

Chapter 40B is a state statute which permits developers to build higher density housing than allowed under local zoning bylaws if at least 25% of the units have long-term affordability restrictions. While local zoning bylaws, such as two-acre zoning, may be disregarded, state regulations, such as the Wetlands Protection Act, Title 5, and all building codes, remain fully in effect under the 40B comprehensive permit. Developers must restrict their profit to a maximum of 20%. If the developer believes that the BOA conditions make the project uneconomic, he may appeal to the State Housing Appeals Committee, which can overrule the local decision.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito