The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 21, 2010

Board of Selectmen memo regarding Foss Farm controversy

The Carlisle Board of Selectmen on May 10 approved the following memo, to be sent to the Conservation Commission and residents of 1036 Bedford Road:

Over the last several months, the Board of Selectmen have received several verbal and written complaints from Chris and Cynthia Adamchek of 1036 Bedford Road regarding continuous dog barking relating to sled dog activities at Foss Farm.

Over the course of this time several attempts have been made to arbitrate this situation with the Adamcheks, the individuals engaging in the sled dog activities, and the Carlisle Conservation Commission who has authority over the Foss Farm.

In addition, representatives of the Board of Selectmen have met with the Adamcheks, the Conservation Commission, the Carlisle Police Department and Town Counsel relating to this matter.

Unfortunately, the issue has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the Adamcheks and they have reiterated their complaints.

Therefore, after consideration of the matters involved the Board of Selectmen have made the following determinations relating to this matter:

1) The Conservation Commission has the authority and responsibility to regulate activities at Foss Farm with respect to the covenants and restrictions outlined in the purchase and conservation restrictions on the land. In this sense the Conservation Commission has the authority and right to establish guidelines and rules for activities on the land.

2) The Board of Selectmen do have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that the town’s bylaws are enforced. Having reviewed the town’s bylaws relating to this issue, we determine the following:

a) We do not believe that section “for having bitten or attacked or threatened the health and safety of any person when said dog is on property other than that of the owner or keeper” applies in this case. We believe that this is intended to apply when a dog directly threatens or harms an individual in close proximity, i.e. a dog attack.

b) We do, however, believe that provision “for continuous outdoor barking for more than 15 minutes in a residential neighborhood” does apply in this situation. As do all Carlisle citizens, the Adamcheks have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their property and they enjoy the protection of this bylaw provision. To that extent, if a continuous barking situation were to occur in the future we would expect the Carlisle Police Department to investigate the situation and if there is determined to be a violation the Police Department will be expected to enforce the bylaw.

3) The Selectmen would encourage the Conservation Commission to work with the participants in any and all activities on Foss Farm such that these activities can be accomplished in compliance with the town bylaws.

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