The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 30, 2008

ConsCom weighs options for Fiske Street parcel

On May 22 the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) focused on a number of lingering issues regarding John Ballantine’s proposal to construct a second single family house on a ten-acre parcel at 268 Fiske Street abutting the Cranberry Bog. Commissioner Tricia Smith reiterated her concern about the unprecedented proximity of the driveway, house, garage, and utilities to the wetlands that surround most of the parcel.

Multiple variances may be needed

Smith asked whether Ballantine had sought a variance from the state sewage disposal regulations (known as Title 5) from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Title 5 does not allow elements of a septic system for one lot to be placed on another lot. A variance or an easement may be needed so the force main from the existing house to the septic field can remain where it is rather than be moved to a location along the wetland edge.

Engineer George Dimakarakos of Stamski and McNary, representing Ballantine, said they had not sought a variance because variances are only granted in cases of severe hardship, and he did not see this case as meeting the criteria. He agreed to call DEP.

Other outstanding matters include marking the boundary between the private and conservation land and lack of a final agreement with Tenneco relative to the placement of the garage over the gas pipeline.

The Conservation Commission’s two entirely separate mandates of natural resource protection through open space preservation under the Conservation Commission Act, and for wetlands protection under the state Wetlands Protection Act and the Carlisle Wetlands Bylaw, were again apparent.

Selectman Alan Carpenito complimented the Commission on its thorough wetland permit review process but emphasized the need to look at “the bigger picture.” He cited the need to protect the large conservation investment the town has made in the Bog parcel, as a house on this site would have a greater visual impact than any other single house in Carlisle, and that acquisition might be funded with Community Preservation funds. He expressed the hope that “something could be done to accommodate both John and the town.”

Land purchase suggested

Phil Dumka of Fiske Street indicated that the simple solution would be for the town to purchase the land. Alternatively a group of residents could privately fund the purchase. Ballantine said: “If someone came forward and wanted to buy it, that would be fine.”

The expectation of both the applicant and the Commission at the previous meeting that the public hearing would be closed was not realized. The hearing was continued until June 12 at 8:30 p.m. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito