The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 18, 2008

With caveats, ConsCom allows new house near cranberry bog

The Carlisle Conservation Commission this week released its official Order of Conditions on John Ballantine’s application to build a second dwelling on his property at 268 Fiske Street. Issuance of this document indicates approval of the proposed infrastructure and associated utilities, but includes a requirement for further construction specifications for the house, garage and immediately surrounding landscape.

Reflecting the commission’s oft-expressed concerns about the second lot’s close proximity to the wetlands that serve the town’s Cranberry Bog conservation area and offer “outstanding wildlife habitat,” a prefatory paragraph includes this statement: “The Carlisle Conservation Commission finds that portions of this project may have significant adverse impacts on adjacent wetland resource areas, unless the owner demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that significant adverse impacts will not occur. The present site plan does not show sufficient detail to assess impacts to wetland resource areas associated with the proposed buildings and site development.”

This paragraph is followed by an Additional Submittal Requirement that calls for construction documents that include a house plan, garage plan, site-grading plan and landscape plan to be submitted to and approved by them prior to the initiation of work. In so doing they must demonstrate mitigation of impacts associated with these items, all of which may require filing a Request to Amend Orders of Conditions or providing a new Notice of Intent.

The five pages of conditions added to Carlisle’s standard order are among the most stringent and detailed seen in recent years; but according to Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard, they closely resemble those applied to two other recent filings, namely, the major Hanover Hill development off Westford Street and the Niels Larsen permit off Concord Street, both of which also involved rich wetland resources and sensitive wildlife habitat.

Turning to conditions that were the subject of some discussion at the June 26 meeting at which the Ballantine public hearing was closed (See “ConsCom nears decision on construction near Bog,” July 4), one of the items in the section on erosion control dealing with stockpiling of soil was resolved. The storage of soil on that site has been limited to that necessary to backfill the foundation and must be located on the Tenneco gas line easement near the garage.

The final version of another much discussed condition orders that all fencing proposed by the applicant and/or future owner shall mirror the requirements of the Conservation Restriction that covers nine of the ten acres that make up the property. That plan must be approved by the commission and by the Conservation Restriction Advisory Committee and shall be “wildlife friendly,” to allow for passage of such animals as salamanders and turtles.

Of particular importance are the four Continuing Conditions, or those mandates which are to be considered as permanent, and must be recorded as such in the final Order of Compliance filed at the Registry of Deeds. The first of these conditions states that the present and future owners may use only calcium chloride and/or sand as de-icing agents in winter. Second, any fertilizer within the 100-foot wetland buffer zone must be of the low nitrogen variety and may be used only in the spring. Third, no pesticides, herbicides and larvicides shall be used within the wetland resource areas or their 100-foot buffer zone. Finally, in order to assure minimal wildlife disturbance, any artificial outdoor lighting must be designed to prevent lighting the wetlands. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito