The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shorts from the Conservation Commission, December 4

• Removing granite from conservation land. Selectman Alan Carpenito, representing the Honor Roll Committee, appeared before the commission requesting Conservation Commission (ConsCom) approval to allow several pieces of granite to be removed from an abandoned cellar hole on conservation land. The granite would be used for construction of the new town Honor Roll. Carpenito explained that the granite in question is old, some of it hand cut, and would stay “in theme” with the Town Common. He also noted the obvious cost savings if the Honor Roll Committee could avoid buying new granite.

The ConsCom was reluctant to approve such a removal. Member Tom Brownrigg stated, “That cellar hole is beautifully constructed.” Warren Lyman of the Carlisle Land Stewards added, “This sets a bad precedent. It tells other people in town that we can dismantle old historic sites.” Land Steward Lynn Knight agreed. “As land stewards, we feel that conservation land is to be preserved. We tell everyone not to take anything: not plants, not stones from stonewalls. This could be a historic site on conservation land – we would like to learn more about it first.” Noting that the Honor Roll Committee is on a tight schedule, the ConsCom agreed to get an official recommendation from the Land Stewards at the next ConsCom meeting. From the audience, Mark Duffy added, “It may be historic, but we need to remember this is for people who have given their lives.”

• Cranberry Bog House repairs. Lyman, speaking for the Carlisle Land Stewards, presented a list of proposed repairs for the 103-year-old Cranberry Bog House on Curve Street. Repairs ran from major structural issues such as replacing support beams and support posts to more common repairs such as replacing interior doors and pumping the septic tank. The repairs were separated into two lists. Items on one list would be the town’s responsibility while those on the other list would be the responsibility of the licensee of the property. Lyman explained, “Items on the ‘town side’ are those that are more difficult and expensive – to make sure that the expertise is there.”

ConsCom member Tricia Smith stated that she would like to abandon the idea of “in kind” service. “I would like to use rent[al income] to hire qualified licensed professionals. We have had trouble getting work done.”

Lyman suggested that CPA money could possibly be used to make the repairs. The commission asked Lyman to prepare cost estimates for the next meeting, since the deadline for CPA applications is January 9.

• Dog-sled training. The commission had received a complaint concerning noise related to dog-sled training at nearby Foss Farm. The commission noted that Foss Farm has been used for this purpose since at least the 1990s and that it is considered a standard use of the property. The commission agreed to ask the Land Stewards to further investigate and to report back with their assessment.

• 383, 389 River Road. The commission continued a hearing on a Notice of Intent related to work done on the property at and near 383 River Road. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard provided written background on the ongoing dispute. During the summer of 2008, a stone wall was installed, a private driveway was paved and understory, shrub and herbaceous-layer vegetation was removed. Heavy rains during construction resulted in significant run-off from the disturbed soil across the common driveway and into nearby wetlands. Sometime after construction began, it became apparent that part of the stone wall and some of the new landscaping were actually on the adjacent property, owned by David Campbell. Hay bales, needed to prevent further erosion into the wetlands, are currently located on the Campbell property.

In addition, there was some disagreement as to whether trees had been removed from the work area. Luciano Manganella of 383 River Road, provided a series of photographs that he had taken of the area in question, reiterating that no trees had been removed. Campbell provided other photos to indicate the deteriorated condition of the property.

Willard noted that several required reviews and approvals had not been obtained prior to beginning the work. When Manganella asked what he could do at this point to rectify the situation, Smith responded, “You disturbed the understory on both your and the Campbells’ property. We would like you to negotiate with your neighbor. How will you renaturalize the condition on your neighbor’s property?” ConsCom Chair Tom Schultz stated that the hearing would be continued until January at which time he expects a resolution. In the meantime the commission will perform a site visit. “This issues from an enforcement order,” Schultz said. “I want to make sure that there is no further damage.”

• Bruce Freeman Trail. Wetlands scientist Amy Ball appeared before the commission, seeking approval of the current delineation of the wetlands boundary adjacent to the railroad bed in the west side of Carlisle. This area will be crossed by the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail bicycle path. The segment of the path that lies within Carlisle is small – only several hundred yards long. The commission accepted the description of the wetlands boundary, agreeing that the resource delineation seemed to be accurate, but noted that the area lies within a priority habitat and will therefore require an appropriate filing before work is to begin.

Certificates of Compliance

• 267 East Riding Drive. By unanimous vote the commission issued a Certificate of Compliance for a home addition.

• 287 Russell Street. The commission voted unanimously to issue two Certificates of Compliance (CoC) for projects that were each initiated at least ten years ago. One CoC was issued for the build-out of a new lot including a driveway crossing and wetland replication area. The second CoC was for paving done on an existing cart path on the same property.

• 24 Bingham Road. The commission issued two CoCs. The first was for build-out of a new lot. The second, for work on a single-family lot, was issued with conditions.

• 129 Cross Street. The commission heard from Frank Cappucci, who wished to install pole lights along a 650-foot driveway at the property. Seven eight-foot-high lights would be installed using the same trench as the electrical and cable utilities. The lights will be on timers. Although the lights were not on the original plan, the ConsCom agreed that the change was minor and there was no need for formal approval.

• 328 Concord Street. The commission heard a request to install underground utilities (electric, cable and water) from the street to the garage on the property and to allow an additional connection to the septic system. A fence on the property will also be moved slightly back from the road to allow better sightlines for vehicles exiting Bingham Road. The commission accepted the proposed changes in plans as minor field revisions but noted that a copy of the updated plans must be submitted and that the BOH must approve the extra septic connection. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito