The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 30, 2009

Planning Board shorts, January 26

Affordable Accessory Apartment Special Permit. Section 5.6.5 of the Town of Carlisle Zoning Bylaws has provision for a homeowner to build an Accessory Apartment (AA) after receiving a special permit from the Planning Board. This was an initiative to expand the diversity of housing available. The bylaw limits the number of such permits to 75 for the town.

Responding to a review by Town Counsel of possible changes to its Rules and Regulations for the special permit to encourage even more diversity – Affordable Accessory Apartments (AAA) – the board recognized a divergence of objectives. Several of Town Counsel’s recommendations would result in reduction of the “paper” associated with the application – presumably to simplify the process. The board felt that the “road map” and related information not only did not complicate the process but actually made it more user-friendly for the applicant. As further incentive the board voted to waive fees for an AAA application.

Comprehensive Permits (40B Projects). Attending by conference call, Planning Board consultant Jon Witten, an attorney and certified urban planner reviewed draft material previously submitted to the board. The topic was suggested changes to the Board of Appeals Regulations that could facilitate management of future 40B developments. (See “Planning Board shorts, November 10,” Mosquito, November 14, 2008.) Under current state law, a developer can bypass usual zoning bylaws and can apply for a comprehensive permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Some key elements of his recommendations are: (1) Emphasis on Carlisle’s need to safeguard water supply because on dependence on private wells and septic systems. (2) Involvement of the Planning Board if a division or subdivision of land is part of the project. (3) Requirement of a complete application rather than piecemeal submission of items, (4) Requirement of a list of requested exceptions to Carlisle’s requirements (by-laws, etc.) and a written explanation of why failure to grant the waiver would render the project uneconomic. (5) Requirement of a detailed pro-forma financial analysis of anticipated expenses and revenues of the project with updates as the project progresses. (6) Sufficient fees so that the Board of Appeals can engage outside consultants and a stenographer as needed.

FY09 budget. Responding to a memo from the Selectmen to all department heads asking them to review remaining FY09 budgets, the board decided to cut its dues payment to Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (MAGIC). See “FinCom suggests trimming town budgets 2%,” Mosquito, January 16, 2009 for more detail on FY09 budget issues. Also the board decided to defer its planned purchase of a back-up computer hard drive. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito