The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 19, 2007


Planning Board reviews 25-acre Rutland Street subdivision

On January 8 the Planning Board held a public hearing for Chestnut Estates, a new 25-acre subdivision on Rutland Street. Engineer Peter Howe, representing the applicant, the John Raymond Brown Estate, presented three versions of their plans:

(1) Definitive Subdivision Plan showing two parcels, a 3.5-acre lot at 400 Rutland Street, and another with 22.5 acres called the Brown Parcel.

(2) A "proof plan" showing how the property could be developed as a subdivision with a 978-foot cul-de-sac roadway with five new building lots in addition to the lot at 400 Rutland Street.

(3) A conservation cluster plan showing Lot #1 (400 Rutland Street) and a private common driveway serving six building lots and approximately eight acres of conservation land that would be deeded to the town (see map on page 5). The common driveway (Chestnut Lane) ends in a cul-de-sac and serves three lots. A separate common driveway (Twin Beech Lane) splits off of Chestnut Lane and serves the other three lots.

The developer intends to implement the conservation cluster plan, pending approval of the required special permits by the Planning Board. A special permit is required for the conservation cluster and another for the private common driveway. The stated purpose of the conservation cluster bylaw is to "provide a method for the preservation of natural resources which would not otherwise be preserved when private landowners seek to divide their land into building lots."

Early in his presentation, Howe offered a disclaimer regarding specifics of the common driveway location, given that the wetland boundaries in two relatively small areas are still under discussion with Carlisle's Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard, Sandy Brock of Nitsch Engineering, and the developer's consultant. Howe showed the detail of one area of wetland crossing — a Lego-like assembly of pre-cast concrete blocks called Redi-Rock — and a bio-retention system intended to manage drainage on-site even in the event of a 100-year storm. The system involves locating vegetated swales having a trapezoidal cross-section and "engineered soils" (layers of gravel, sand and loam) to channel runoff back into water recharge areas.

Several abutters from Rutland Street and Aldershot Lane commented on the location of one of the house sites (Lot 6) relative to sightlines to the proposed conservation land and to existing trails. Howe indicated that there was some flexibility in location and as an accommodation to sight-line questions, subsequent plans will show location of abutters' houses.

Board Chair David Freedman suggested that Howe arrange a working meeting, prior to the next public hearing, with the fire chief and representatives of the board to discuss location of the proposed fire cistern that will be located near Rutland Street. The abutters, the board and the developer want to minimize the amount of clearing needed to install the cistern and the private common driveway.

Section 5.5 of Carlisle's zoning bylaws gives requirements for a conservation cluster special permit. Each lot must have at least 20 feet frontage and at least 2 acres. There is considerable detail on lot shape and house location. The advantage of a conservation cluster for the developer is that one "bonus" lot is permitted beyond that permitted as a regular subdivision. An advantage to the town is that conservation land accrues to the town. The public hearing will be continued at 9:15 pm on February 12.

Great Brook Estates on Rutland

At its prior meeting, the Planning Board conditionally freed the last lot in the Great Brook Estates subdivision on Great Brook Path off Rutland Street (Map 26, Lot 18-2) upon clarification of future road maintenance responsibilities and receipt of $70,000 to be held in escrow pending completion of the development.

The developer, Betsy Goldenberg (of Pine Brook Road), attended the January 8 meeting to announce that some progress had been made. The homeowners' association had contracted for snow removal and property bounds had been set and could be reviewed by the town's engineering consultant (LandTech) once an "as-built" plan is received.

In reviewing the release form drafted by Goldenberg's attorney the board suggested a few minor changes. The board and Administrator George Mansfield agreed that if agreement can be reached on the changes and the escrow check is received, at least four members of the board could be available in the next week to sign the release form.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito