The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 16, 2007


BOH asks ZBA: collect data before issuing Coventry permit

The Carlisle Board of Health (BOH) met on Thursday evening, March 8, to draft a memo to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) re-stating its position that before Coventry Woods is issued a Comprehensive Permit from the ZBA, more data is "necessary to properly evaluate the real impact of the project on the community, the environment (both above and below the ground surface), and to the abutters', specifically their wells."

The BOH noted that its position on the potential health and environmental impact of the proposed 41-unit 40B development on Concord Street is well documented, and listed 18 pieces of correspondence that the BOH has generated regarding the project between November 18, 2005 and March 1, 2007. The memo also reiterated key points made by member Jeffrey Brem at the March 1 ZBA hearing on Coventry Woods. The board's primary concerns include:

1. The potential impact from the discharge of sewage effluent in septic system C on the neighboring Epstein/Stone well water.

2. The constructability of system C and its conformance to Title 5, both of which have been brought into question due to septic system's layout and size.

3. The potential impact of the groundwater mound created by the septic system, which will develop below the discharge of the sewage effluent from system C, on abuttor wells.

4. The possible impact of the proposed "well field" and irrigation well on the water supply to eight private wells used for drinking water. If connectivity between the project's wells and neighboring private wells is determined, "the site plan may need substantial alteration and the board feels that this is a fairly strong possibility."

In order to address these concerns, the BOH stressed that more data is required "prior to proceeding with the issuance of any permit to confirm that the presented design and layout is truly feasible." Thus, the board maintains its previous recommendation that developer Mark O'Hagan conduct a hydro-geological analysis pre-permit to provide this data.

This analysis requested by the BOH, which the memo says is estimated to cost about $10,000 to $12,000, would include: groundwater mounding analysis, nitrogen analysis, and viral and bacterial transport analysis. This hydro-geologic study would provide data that will help determine the direction of groundwater flow leaving septic system C as well as the potential concentration of pollutants in that groundwater when it reaches abutting properties.

The BOH still recommends water supply well pump testing, which would analyze whether there is connectivity between the eight neighboring private wells and the project's drinking water and irrigation wells, but acknowledged that the ZBA has previously voted to allow these tests to be performed post-permit. However, the majority of the board recommends that the pump test should be conducted during July or August, "due to the board's significant concern that the proposed project may adversely affect abutting wells during the dry season."

The BOH memo was submitted to the ZBA in advance of its continuation of the Coventry Woods hearing on Wednesday, March 14.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito