The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 5, 2010

Planning Board to update Rules and Regs

It might sound dry, but it can have a financial impact: the Planning Board is currently revising the Rules and Regulations governing the subdivision of land, and has heard from a concerned developer.

On February 22 Chair David Freedman said that in addition to suggestions received from consultant Sue Carter (Places Associates), the board has received a series of emails from developer Rob West asking how the proposed changes might impact the Hanover Hill subdivision. Planning Board Administrator George Mansfield said he replied to West that once a subdivision comes to the board, the requirements in place at that time apply for the future of the subdivision. Mansfield said, “The subdivision is ‘grandfathered’ in.” However, he noted, property that is not part of the subdivision, such as Approval Not Required (ANR) lots, may be affected by the changes.

West also questioned whether the public hearings were properly advertised and wondered why coverage was not in the Mosquito. Mansfield said that he told West that the hearing was advertised in two consecutive issues: the January 8 and January 15 issues. The notice was also posted in the Town Clerk’s office on January 8. Articles appeared in the Mosquito on January 15, January 29 and February 12.

Revisions under consideration include relatively minor text revisions, inclusion of a typical roadway cross-section diagram and a new requirement to submit plans in a digital format. In addition, the board intends to adopt attachments consistent with those recently adopted by the Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Health and Conservation Commission.

Attachment A sets forth standards for development projects relating 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 agreeing to reimburse the town for legal, engineering, consulting and incidental expenses. Attachment D 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.

Freedman went on to say that many of the additional suggestions recommended by consultant Sue Carter, Fire Chief David Flannery, Building Commissioner John Luther, Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard, Land Stewardship Committee Co-chair Dwight DeMay and Deb Belanger (on behalf of the Pedestrian and Bike Safety Advisory Committee) were beyond the scope of the board’s present intent for revisions, but were worth consideration. (See Carlisle Mosquito, January 15, “Planning Board Shorts, January 11.”) Some of the suggestions would require Zoning Bylaw changes – clearly beyond present intent. Unlike the Subdivision Rules and Regulations, Town Meeting approval is needed for changes to bylaws.

Consensus was reached that, at some point in the near future, a “Phase 2” more comprehensive review should be made of the Rules and Regs. At present Freedman said that he would contact Town Counsel to determine whether what he termed “low hanging fruit” is within scope of what was advertised for the public hearing and could be incorporated into the present revision. Of particular interest were some of Belanger’s suggestions. She recommended that subdivision footpath construction conform to specifics established in the town’s standard specifications (without chip and seal surface treatment). She also suggested that the static $15-per-foot contribution in lieu of construction of a pathway be replaced with a prevailing rate or indexed value.

The public hearing will be continued on March 8 at 7:45 p.m. ∆

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