The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 14, 2005


BOA opens 40B hearing for Coventry Woods

With the Board of Appeals (BOA), currently facing issues so critical to the future of Carlisle, having a complete, seven-member board present at Thursday night's meeting was cause for celebration. That moment, however, was short-lived as very real concerns surfaced about the current status of the board, it being "the lowest funded group," according to BOA member Terry Herndon. "There are changes coming to Carlisle, and we are looking for more help dealing with matters."

With a new 40B application at hand, BOA chair Cindy Nock said that even with complete membership, "this board is stretched. The amount of papers, the deadlines, is overwhelming." The board appeared cautiously hopeful that long-standing requests for a phone line and an answering machine would soon be fulfilled.

What is a 40B?

Chapter 40B, or the Comprehensive Permit Law, is a state statute that allows developers to build higher density housing than normally allowed under local zoning bylaws. In order to qualify, at least 25% of the housing units must be designated as affordable housing. Chapter 40B was enacted in 1969 to help address the statewide shortage of affordable housing.

Coventry Woods 40B

The 40B request for a comprehensive permit to build an age-restricted, 56-unit condominium development off of Concord Street, known as Coventry Woods, was received by the Town Clerk on September 15. According to 40B guidelines, a hearing must be opened by the receiving town within 30 days of receipt. This requirement was satisfied at Thursday night's meeting.

To manage their responsibilities more efficiently, the board decided to hold special Coventry Wood 40B meetings each month, the next meeting scheduled for October 17 at 8 p.m. at Town Hall. All non-40B hearings by the BOA will continue to be held on the first Thursday of each month, as presently scheduled.

Three of the seven BOA members will be managing and voting on the Coventry Woods 40B application: Cindy Nock, Steve Kirk and Ed Ralph, with Steve Hinton as an alternate. The board agreed to retain the services of a civil engineer to help review the 40B plans and make recommendations accordingly.

Coventry Woods continuance

Mark O'Hagan, representing the MCO & Associates, the developers of the Coventry Woods 40B, was prepared to present the scope of the development. Many Carlisle townspeople had also gathered to listen and participate, but the board decided to continue the proceedings until October 17 because of the hearings on which they needed to deliberate before evening's end.

Abutters to the 40B Coventry Woods development and parties of interest are encouraged to put their statements in writing and send them to the BOA to be entered into the public record.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito