The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 22, 2005


Benfield playing field may encroach on wetlands

Benfield Task Force member Russell Dion appeared before the Conservation Commission on April 14 "to make them aware" of issues that had arisen in recent Task Force discussions, issues he said would be of concern to the commission. He pointed out that both proposed soccer field locations, near South Street (Plan A) or near the planned housing cluster (Plan B), come uncomfortably close to major wetlands. In fact, the field in Plan A practically touches the wetland flags, and Plan B is not a great deal better.

Dion suggested that there were a couple of theoretical solutions that had not yet been broached with the Carlisle Recreation Commission (RecCom). The first was to make one of the fields a little smaller than the Banta-Davis soccer facility and perhaps use it for practice sessions only, thus relieving the pressure on other town playing fields. A second was a question as to whether or not the chosen field has to be for soccer, since the Town Meeting motion only requires an "active recreation" usage. Again RecCom has not yet been consulted. Finally Dion mentioned that some Task Force members prefer to reduce the amount of land set aside for the buildings, perhaps locating the housing units around a central playing field, as has been done on a number of school campuses. He noted that soccer is played in a discrete time period in spring and fall and can become a community asset the rest of the year.

Commissioners agreed that the two (or perhaps three) committees need to come together in the very near future, before the planning goes too far. Also, at almost sotto voce level, the participants recognized that ConsCom cannot go too easy on a town project and then get tough on individual applicants. No date has been set for the joint meeting.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito