The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 5, 2008

Planning Board Shorts, November 10

Board recommends Carriage Way. Two residents of Carriage Way (Elmer Lai and Has Li) attended the Planning Board Meeting and expressed surprise that Carriage Way was not already an approved Carlisle road. Chair Greg Peterson explained the process for such approval: until a Town Meeting vote accepts a subdivision road as a public road, maintenance, including snow plowing, is the responsibility of the developer or the residents (depending on the agreement between those parties). Before it is brought to a Town Meeting vote, the Selectmen ask the Planning Board if the road meets all required construction standards and if its present condition, including drainage and landscaping, satisfies the Planning Board’s Rules and Regulations that were in place at the time that the subdivision was approved.

Subsequent to the last Planning Board meeting, the developer’s landscape firm replaced the two trees in the road right-of-way that were suspected of being dead. This relieves the concern that if Town Meeting accepts the road as a public road, the town would have to replace the trees. The board voted to recommend that the Selectmen add acceptance of Carriage Way as a public road to an upcoming Town Meeting Warrant. Lai and Li asked if that could be done for the January Special Town Meeting. Peterson said that it was at the discretion of the Board of Selectmen and suggested that they contact the Selectmen.

FY10 budget issues. Guidance has been received from the Finance Committee to trim items within budget requests in order to accommodate any salary increase for support staff without any increase in total budget from FY09. A 2.5% cost-of-living increase is proposed. Having sustained cuts in prior years, the board sees no option but to cut planning and professional development allocation, presently $3,400.

Member Michael Epstein acknowledged the present difficult economic times and that everyone, government and residents, “are having to make do with less.” “But,” he said, “I’ve noticed a trend over the last several years. The town expects to have its elected boards perform their functions. However, no budget for boards changes the balance of power. For everything that the Planning Board wants to do, it has to approach the Board of Selectmen hat-in-hand.” Epstein then enumerated two ongoing and two future projects that the Planning Board deems essential: consultant services to propose revision of zoning bylaws, and the Board’s Rules and Regulations responsive to better management of future 40B projects (see “Planning Board Shorts,” Mosquito, November 14), and a Request for Proposal for wireless facilities on town-owned land (a potential source of revenue for the town). Updates will be required to the Housing Plan and to the Open Space and Recreation Plan.

FinCom member David Verrill, who was attending the meeting, said, “I hear you.” He asked that these concerns be brought forward at the time that budget hearings are held with the FinCom. ∆

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