The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 9, 2009

Reservations voiced on Benfield housing

“Basically I’ve objected to everything the Housing Authority has done since they’ve put the [Request for Proposal] RFP together,.” says Alan Carpenito, an abutter to the Benfield Land, who for several years has voiced concerns about the town’s plans for creating affordable housing on the site. A member of the Board of Selectmen, he has recused himself from his official capacity when in discussions relating to the project at town government meetings. He recently spoke with the Mosquito about why he objected to the Benfield developer selection process (see Housing Authority picks Benfield developer.) He stressed that he was speaking as a private citizen and not a Selectman.

Carpenito felt the executive session meetings with the developers should have been public meetings and has spoken to the District Attorney’s Office about it. Carlisle’s Town Counsel did approve the closed-door sessions.

He also disagreed with the way the RFP was not released as a public document while it was being drafted and was not sent to other town boards for their input. “It would have been a courtesy to the Planning Board to ask for input at the RFP stage,” at which point any suggestions about things such as the height of the buildings could have been incorporated into the RFP. He added, “The only review there is going to be is when this project will go before the ZBA [Zoning Board of Appeals].”

Carpenito had no issues with the builders: “The Housing Authority hired consultants and they said that they were all capable developers.” Asked about his overall impressions of the housing plan, he said, “I guess my greatest concern is the close proximity to the road.” ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito