The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 14, 2008

Planning Board shorts, November 10

Revision of Zoning Bylaws Contemplated. Representatives from many town boards and commissions attended the November 10 meeting to hear a presentation by Planning Board consultant Jon Witten, attorney and certified urban planner. The presentation and discussion focused on items that could facilitate management of future 40B developments. Under current state law, a developer can bypass local zoning bylaws and apply for a comprehensive permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Referring to Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) recently revised and promulgated regulations, Witten said, “The regulations are not town-friendly and some are hostile to cities and towns.” Chair Greg Peterson interjected with one example – the regulations may allow non-residential components in 40B projects (perhaps a convenience store as part of a 40B development within a strictly residential area).

The Planning Board had asked Witten to assist in proposing “a comprehensive set of regulations and bylaws that are horizontally consistent with each other and vertically consistent with the Town’s land use vision.” For discussion purposes five categories were presented: Zoning Bylaws and Board of Appeals Rules and Regulations, Planning Board Rules and Regulations, General Bylaws (related to Historic District), Board of Health Regulations, and possible State Legislative Petition (to enable authority to regulate protection of private drinking water supplies).

Material distributed by Witten made the following assessment: “Although Carlisle’s current regulations pertaining to 40B applications . . . are reasonably thorough, DHCD’s new regulations purport to strip the Board of authority with respect to numerous areas, including its ability to examine project financing and the applicant’s preparedness to undertake the project. In light of the likely increase in comprehensive permit applications in Carlisle’s future, strategic revisions to the Board’s regulations targeting DHCD’s changes are critical to maintaining control of the comprehensive permit process.”

Witten was asked to prepare draft material on specific recommendations for further joint discussions with town boards and commissions after the first of the year.

Wireless Application. Attorney Brian Grossman, an associate at Prince, Lobel, Glovsky and Tye, submitted an updated special permit application for a wireless communication facility by Metro PCS. The proposed new “stealth” wireless antenna will be at the lowest location (136 feet) within the previously permitted 189-foot monopole, owned by Bay Communications. LLC, at 871 Bedford Road (Map 11, Lot 1). The whip antenna that had been installed at that location to accommodate Fire Department communications will be repositioned at a slightly lower level. A single GPS antenna will be located on the “ice bridge” (a cable enclosure running from the monopole to the water-proof equipment cabinets).

The board determined that the application was in order but had concern with the proposed bond. This is for an amount of money that the town can access in the event that the equipment has to be dismantled and removed by the town. Chair Greg Peterson asked that “evergreen” language be included – an automatic renewal of the yearly bond.

The public hearing will be continued at 8 p.m. on November 24 when the board will review its “findings and conditions” and expects to vote on this special permit application.

A “Road Block” on Carriage Way. The Selectmen had requested a Planning Board recommendation on the proposal to accept Carriage Way as a public road. At a prior meeting, Planning Board member Marc Lamere reported that two small oaks along the roadway were not doing well. At that time the Board requested Planning Administrator George Mansfield to ask the developer Bill Costello whether he intended to replace the trees. Mansfield reported: “The developer’s landscape contractor feels they are okay.” The concern is that if Town Meeting accepts the road as a public road the town will have to replace the trees in the future if they are not viable. No decision was made. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito