The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 29, 2010

Planning Board considers new regulations

In opening the public hearing on the Planning Board’s proposed revisions to their subdivision regulations on January 25, Chair David Freedman said, “It is part of a natural progression that began out of the work the Planning Board did over the course of about a year on behalf of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) with the support of the Board of Selectmen in relation to revising the ZBA Rules and Regulations for Comprehensive Permits in response to changes in the state guidelines for 40B projects.”

Developments built under the state law Chapter 40B may bypass most local zoning regulations and seek a Comprehensive Permit from the ZBA as long as the development includes a minimum amount of affordable housing.

Freedman said that the concept evolved to “add to or revise the regulations of the land-use boards, namely Planning Board, Board of Health and Conservation Commission such that there would be what was termed ‘horizontal alignment’ across the land-use boards and the ZBA. The purpose of this horizontal alignment is to reduce the likelihood of a successful challenge to the ZBA’s 40B regulations on the grounds that these regulations treated a 40B applicant differently than an applicant would be treated for a standard development that did comply with local regulations and bylaws.”

Little comment was received as the three Attachments, now common to all land-use boards, were discussed. Attachment A sets forth standards for development projects with emphasis on Carlisle’s sensitivity to water resources. Attachment B is a policy statement regarding the use of town advisory groups when conducting reviews of proposed development projects. Attachment C is a form to be signed by the developer (petitioner) agreeing to reimburse the town for legal, engineering, consulting and incidental expenses related to the project.

Building Commissioner John Luther challenged Attachment D, which sets forth the requirement for a Construction Management Plan for every development of four or more residences, or a subdivision of land into four or more lots, or a non-residential development. He agreed that it was a good idea to require a Construction Management Plan but noted that in its present draft form it states, “The Construction Management Plan shall be enforced by the Building Commissioner.” He said, “I have neither budget nor authority for such an activity. I get involved only after the lot is released (by the Planning Board).”

The public hearing will be continued on February 8. ∆

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