The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 9, 2005


ZBA, abutters walk the Coventry Woods site

About a dozen abutters and Zoning Board of Appeals members braved Saturday's brisk weather to walk the 22.6-acre parcel of land off Concord Street known as Coventry Woods, a proposed 40B development. Mark O'Hagan of MCO Associates, the 40B applicant, led the group over a stream and stone walls, up and down the densely forested terrain, pointing out the location of water and sewage testing pits while verbally painting a picture for the group as to the position, height, and expanse of the proposed development.

The Coventry Woods development presents an unusual option for affordable housing in Carlisle. MCO & Associates, Inc. propose to develop the parcel into a 56-unit, age-restricted town-home community. Fourteen (25%) of the 56-units will be affordable under the state's Chapter 40B laws. Each of the affordable units will have approximately 1,800 square feet of living space: two bedrooms with a master suite on the first floor, 2.5 baths and a one-car garage. The price tag on these affordable homes is targeted at $163,000 and the units would be interspersed throughout the development.

Abutters voice concerns

Abutters on the walk expressed a long list of concerns. The tall pines behind their backyards would be significantly clear-cut and their forested views will be replaced with the sights and sounds of someone's back deck. Heidi Kummer and April Stone, both long-time homeowners on Spencer Brook Lane and abutters to the proposed 40B Coventry Woods development, expressed their anger at how closely the development would encroach upon their homes. "[The location of the development] couldn't be any worse for us," said Stone. O'Hagan concurred, stating that they would try to "establish firm limits for clearing."

A major town and abutter concern is the possible impact of the large development on water quantity and quality. Because basements are planned for each unit, blasting may be required. Abutters fear any blasting may cause structural damage to their wells and septic systems as well as to their homes.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito