Friday, March 20, 2009
ConsCom grants pony club permits, reviews wireless bylaw, wetlands filings
• Foss Farm Pony Club Programs. The commission issued permits for two Old North Bridge Pony Club programs at Foss Farm. Beth Platt of Peter Hans Road, District Commissioner for the club, explained their horse show on Sunday May 3, will involve up to 70 people in events throughout the day. She said this is their annual fundraiser and the event “raises funds that we put back into Foss Farm.” This will be the program’s seventh year at Foss Farm.
The pony club spring lesson series will be on Wednesday afternoons along with an occasional Saturday. The club provides an outhouse on the site from mid-April through October, available for general use. Platt also noted that the new dressage ring is working well. However the older one will soon need a new base, as they need replacing about every ten years. She also noted that both horse riders and gardeners would appreciate additional water at Foss Farm.
• Wireless Bylaw Changes. Planning Board members Michael Epstein and David Freedman explained the conservation-related changes to the bylaw included among those to be presented at Town Meeting. These include eliminating the 900-foot setback from wetlands and rare species habitat and reducing the setback from vernal pools to 100 feet. This brings the bylaw in line with Conservation Commission jurisdiction under the Wetlands Protection Act and the Carlisle Wetlands Bylaw. Federal law requires allowing wireless facilities, thus 900-foot setbacks are extremely restrictive. The commission concurred, and also requested adding language requiring that when a facility is proposed within a quarter mile of the Concord River the SUASCO Wild and Scenic River Stewardship Council be notified. While the Council has no regulatory power it is responsible for promoting preservation of the characteristics of the river.
• 879 Concord Street. The public hearing on Joseph Topol’s request for approval of a wetland resource area delineation near Buttrick Pond continued. The Commission’s consultant, John Rockwood, had reviewed the flagged boundary and made a minor adjustment. A separate issue is whether Buttrick is a riverine pond (showing characteristics of unidirectional flow.) If so, a 200-foot regulatable riverfront area would exist along the pond. Rockwood reported that the frozen condition of the pond prevented this determination. After discussion with Rockwood and Topol’s representative, engineer George Dimakarakos of Stamski and McNary, the commission voted to approve the wetland boundary but specified that any proposed work within 200 feet of the pond would require further review and determination of the presence of riverine characteristics.
• Map 6 Parcel 1 off Berry Corner Lane. Applicant, David Valchuis, has requested a permit to build a single-family house. Dimakarakos presented the plan, which involves work in a wetland buffer zone. Following discussion about the location of the wetland boundary in an area of uneven terrain crossed by an intermittent stream, the commission decided to visit the site with the applicant’s wetlands consultant, David Crossman, of B & C Associates.
Willard noted: “This is not a buildable lot at this point.” Reached later by phone Planning Administrator, George Mansfield, explained that this is because the lot “is on a ‘small subdivision’ road created in the 1960s that limits the number of buildable lots to five, and the provisions of a settlement agreement reached in May 2007 have not yet been fully implemented.” (See “Berry Corner Lane feud nears resolution,” Mosquito, April 25, 2008.) The public hearing was continued to March 26 at 9:15 p.m.
• 389 River Road. In response to a letter from Stamski and McNary, the commission determined that proposed work on the Campbell property is a “minor activity” under the Wetlands Protection Act Regulations and can proceed without a formal filing. The project includes enlarging an existing patio and converting some of the present lawn to native plantings. All of the work is more than 50 feet from the wetland and 50 feet vertically above the river in a relatively flat, already-developed portion of the property.
• Covering Manure. Conservation Administrator, Sylvia Willard, reported that a letter had been received from the Board of Health (BOH) asking the commission to require that manure transported in vehicles be covered to prevent spillage on roads. She said the BOH had had complaints about spills when farmer Mark Duffy has carried manure along Curve Street.
Vice Chair, Peter Burn, pointed out that problems on roads are not within commission jurisdiction. Willard added that jurisdiction would apply only if manure reached wetlands. However, because he farms conservation land, Willard had talked with Duffy, who said that the pan beneath his spreader designed to catch spills does not function well when manure is frozen in winter, but that he would exercise more caution. Resident, Jack O’Connor, pointed out that in this economy farmers rely more than ever on available manure to provide nitrogen to their fields. Willard said that Duffy and two other farmers would attend the next commission meeting. Burn asked Willard to prepare a letter of response to the BOH “to express our sympathy but lack of jurisdiction.” ∆
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