The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 29, 2008


Planning Board reviews Hanover Hill, considers wind turbines

At the February 25 meeting of the Planning Board, George Dimakarakos (Stamski & McNary), attorney Paul Alphen and developer Rob West discussed the Definitive Subdivision Plan for Hanover Hill, the proposed 35-lot subdivision off Route 225.

Alphen stated that several items have been clarified with the Carlisle Conservation Foundation: a bounds agreement and three permanent conservation restrictions. Granite markers will be installed approximately 18 inches above grade supplemented by 4-inch by 6-inch metal signs mounted on trees to define the boundaries.

When associate member David Freedman asked if any of the decisions being made could preclude the possibility of affordable housing on the site (a 40B development), Alphen demurred: “Affordable housing is too speculative at this time.”

Cuts and fills and road grades for the two subdivision roads and the proposed private common driveways dominated the rest of the discussion. Chair Michael Epstein reported on a recent tour that the board took of a range of subdivision and development roads in town. The intent was to familiarize the board with typical road widths and grades from the standpoint of appearance and safety. He said, “I was uncomfortable with some of the 8% to 12% grades that we saw.” Board member Ken Hoffman expanded the point by saying that the grade must also be considered in context with curves at or near the road grade.

There was some support for the applicant’s desire to have common driveways wider than the board’s usual requirements. However, Freedman spoke in opposition, quoting from Section B of the Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land”: “Design and construction of a Subdivision shall minimize, to the extent possible, the following: volume of cut and fill; area over which existing vegetation will be disturbed,,,,.” Freedman was particularly solicitous of areas near the four potential vernal pools.

The board concluded the meeting by assuring Dimakarakos and West that strict adherence to the Subdivision Rules and Regs could be waived where it made sense to do so. With this guidance the board expects to view substantially more detail in the plans at the continued public hearing on March 31 at 7:45 p.m.

Wind turbines

Given the recent interest in town in wind turbines (see “Selectmen propose, then pause on wind turbine regs,” page 1) board member Greg Peterson observed that a recommended design feature is to have the bottom of the turbine blade at least 30 feet above the nearest obstruction —“ in Carlisle that is likely to be a 60- or 70-foot pine tree. Thus, the hub of 15-foot diameter blade configuration would be about 120 feet above grade —“ 40 feet above the top of the tree canopy. He noted that a frequent design feature is a lattice-type support structure, a design element that was specifically rejected by the wireless facility subcommittee as being too intrusive in a residential area. Recalling the amount of time and effort that went into developing the zoning bylaw enabling construction of a personal wireless facility by special permit, Freedman recommended serious dialog between the board and the Selectmen before even considering a wind turbine bylaw.

Wireless hearing continued

At the request of the applicant, Omnipoint Communications , Inc., the board voted to continue the special permit public hearing for a wireless communications facility at the First Religious Society to March 10. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito