The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nitsch Engineering selected for Benfield Farms peer review

At the January 27 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) Chair Ed Rolfe introduced the two finalists to perform a peer review of NOAH’s application for a 40B comprehensive permit for the Benfield Farms project: Places Site Consultants and Nitsch Engineering. After approximately a 45-minute interview process during the public meeting, the candidates were excused and an open discussion ensued with board members, NOAH representatives (Toby Kramer and Mark Beaudry) and the public participating. Places got points for local experience, being located in Littleton, but that was balanced because Nitsch has provided substantial engineering support to the Carlisle Planning Board. Neither has a wetland scientist on staff and each would hire consultants as needed. Board members agreed that either organization could provide the expertise needed but decided that Nitsch could better provide what the ZBA most desired – a totally objective assessment of the project plans. Sandy Brock, engineer with Nitsch, said, “We don’t care if this gets built. Our role is technical. We want to be sure that the project can be built with concern for the impact on the land itself.”

Board member Kent Gonzales will relay the board’s decision to both candidates. Rolfe will move forward on the contract for Nitsch with Town Administrator Tim Goddard.

Council on Aging input

Verna Gilbert read a letter to the ZBA from Marje Stickler, Chair of the Council on Aging (COA). Stickler urged that progress be made as quickly as possible on the Benfield affordable housing. The letter continued, “As a geriatric care manager, I enter many senior residences, assisted living facilities and nursing homes – none have covered accommodations for vehicles. However, the input we most imparted was for more closet space, [and] enough washer/dryers to accommodate laundry of 26 apartments. A consideration must be given to seniors needing a hired person during the day to do laundry; thus three or four such facilities would be better than one or two. We have had input on width of doors to allow for walkers or wheelchairs, handicapped-accessible units, an elevator, a spacious enough communal room with a kitchen, a covered entry to allow people to enter the building out of the weather, and a screened porch for enjoying the lovely vistas.”

Site visit planned

At its February 9 meeting the board will select a date for a site visit with NOAH and the peer review team. Abutters and the public can join the site visit. ∆

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