The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shorts from the Conservation Commission, August 27

Fire Department Cistern. Fire Chief David Flannery and Deputy Chief Jonathan White met with the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) regarding a Request for Determination of whether a permit is needed for a 40,000-gallon water tank to be located between the Town Hall and the Fire Station. The project also includes removal of a large sugar maple and two saplings at the back left corner of Town Hall (to increase air flow) as well as paving the area adjacent to the fuel pumps behind the Station. All of the proposed work would be in the buffer zone of a bordering vegetated wetland. The concrete cistern would be underground, with water supplied by the Fire Department well.

White explained: “This is a very important project for the Town of Carlisle in its long-range plan to protect those areas of town that do not have adequate fire protection.” He indicated the cistern would give coverage to Rockland Road, part of Westford and Concord Streets to beyond the monument in the Town Center. (White had presented a plan for a system of cisterns at Town Meeting a few years ago.) White, who has served as project manager for a dozen other cisterns in town, indicated that because of the age and proximity of older structures in the center they want to exceed the national capacity standard of 30,000 gallons.

Commissioner Tricia Smith pointed out that, according to the plan, the cistern is proposed to be located in the area designated for stormwater management when the Town Hall was built and that the plan seems to indicate there will be fill there. White said that the plan was drawn incorrectly, i.e. the elevations shown are wrong, and that after the work the present elevations would remain unchanged.

Smith also noted that the plan from Stamski and McNary Engineering gives no indication of the limit of work, and was not stamped (as having been prepared by a registered professional engineer). Smith said; “I think the Town deserves better from the people we hire as professionals.”

The Commission asked for a revised plan, properly stamped and showing correct grading elevations and the limit of work, as well as a restoration plan if the stormwater management area is damaged. The public meeting was continued to September 10 at 9:15 p.m.

Pathways. The ConsCom discussed a request to extend the 2006 permit to build a public pathway along Cross Street (the approval is valid for three years). Running from South Street almost to Bingham Road, the pathway was required as a condition of the Planning Board’s approval of the 15-lot Greystone Crossing conservation cluster. Its construction is a town project funded by developer William Costello. ConsCom approval was required because the project is in the wetland buffer zone and also includes a number of boardwalks over wetland. (See “Greystone Trail Takes Shape,” Mosquito, October 20, 2006.)

Prior to granting an extension until 2012, the ConsCom addressed a number of concerns. Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard said there is an area where water has been running off the road, then through and along the pathway – thus washing it out. She fears that once the final surface has been laid down it will quickly wash away. The ConsCom directed her to write a letter to Costello and Superintendent of Public Works Gary Davis summarizing this and other concerns, as well as urging them to do what they can to facilitate use of the pathway. Contacted later, Willard indicated that the entire pathway has been roughed out, a gravel base now covers most of its length and the boardwalks have been completed.

Concord Street resident Jack O’Connor initiated a discussion about the Concord and East Street Town pathways. He indicated that in one area of Concord Street a retaining wall was damaged by the project and needs to be repaired. The commission noted that siltation barriers placed along wetland areas during construction require maintenance in some areas and grass needs to be planted along the edge in others. The ConsCom decided to write a letter to the Bike/Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee pointing out these concerns.

119 Estabrook Road. Orders of Conditions under the state Wetlands Protection Act and the Carlisle Wetlands Bylaw were issued to homeowner Kevin Wells for restoration of a bordering vegetated wetland and landscaping in a portion of the wetland buffer zone. The ConsCom had previously issued an Enforcement Order stopping unpermitted work on the property that included filling of wetland and the 100-foot buffer zone.

304 Russell Street. Approval was given to homeowner Elizabeth Thibeault for replacement of a failed septic system. Willard had observed on the site visit that fallen leaves had been deposited in an extensive area of wetland – as it turns out, for decades. This is considered wetland fill and the homeowner agreed to abandon the practice. The leaves will be left to degrade and the wetland vegetation will ultimately return.

Other Wetlands Projects. The ConsCom approved permits to replace a garage and add a 10-foot wide gravel pad to park a horse trailer and other equipment at 646 South Street; and for a garage extension, conversion of a porch to living space and addition of a deck at 312 Autumn Lane. The board also signed off on a septic system repair at 29 Bingham Road. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito