Friday, October 20, 2006
ConsCom okays farm restoration, resolves Wilkins error
After a summer of tough calls and occasional heat, Carlisle's Conservation Commission welcomed an un-complicated, and even promising, Notice of Intent at their October 12 session. The application filed by Estabrook Road resident Katharine Endicott proposed restoration of a 14-acre farm at 180 Prospect Street.
The plan described by Stamski and McNary engineer George Dimakarakos calls for removal of the deteriorating house and barns and their replacement as a functioning agricultural site. The owners wish to add a "farm pond" to the existing vista which, at a minimum, will include horses, goats and ducks. Since most of the open meadow contains sandy till with an intermittent stream running through, the commissioners suggested that the new owners do thorough soil testing to determine the best location for their agricultural activities.
Although some of the construction will take place in the 100-foot buffer zone of a wetland, Dimakarakos said the stream, which is not shown on the U.S. Geological Survey maps, is definitely intermittent. Also the commission was relieved to hear that a huge manure pile within the buffer zone is tagged for removal.
The "ground water" pond will probably be five to ten feet deep, depending on the season, and once firmly established will have a legal buffer zone of its own. In a final caveat, the commissioners recommended a fence to keep the hoofed animals out of the pond. The hearing was then closed and a standard order of conditions issued.
Wilkins Hill enforcement order answered
In the course of delineating the wetland boundaries on the proposed Wilkins Hill development between Westford and Curve Streets, Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard came upon considerable disturbance and rutting on an old cart path within a wetland buffer zone. The damage had been caused during soil testing operations performed by Stamski and McNary personnel, and on October 1, an enforcement order was sent to the owners.
Wasting no time in replying, the wetland engineering firm sent Dimakarakos to the commission's October 12 meeting where he first offered the conjecture that, "The wetland has apparently grown." He followed that by outlining the firm's plan for remediation, which proposed removal of, and/or capping of, protruding pipes and evening out of the rutted surface. The plan to cut and cap the pipes was accepted, but Commissioner Tricia Smith nixed the plan to use a small, rubber-tired tractor to remove the ruts. "I'd just leave it alone for nowThe cure might be worse than the violation," she said as she suggested waiting through the winter freeze to see if the site might cure itself by spring. Nevertheless, she did admonish Dimakarakos, as spokesman for his company, to avoid this type of problem in the future and inform the commission prior to undertaking activities in questionable territories.
© 2006 The