Friday, August 13, 2010
Selectmen okay new utility pole; formalize approval of Ferns seating
The Carlisle Board of Selectmen (BOS) unanimously granted permission at their meeting on August 10 to allow installation of a utility pole on School Street in response to a petition by Lee Storrs, Chair of the Carlisle School Building Committee.
Building Inspector John Luther explained that the need for a utility pole emerged when the school building committee discovered that the trench being run underground could not house electrical and the fiber-optics communications transponder wire per state regulations. Luther articulated the committee’s request to run the electrical wires underground as planned while grouping the transponder, cable television and telephone connections together to run on a pole above ground in the same general location.
While the BOS endorses putting all cables underground wherever possible, Chair John Williams explained that running the communications cables underground at the next junction would require an additional “100 feet of trench work” and costs would prove “prohibitive.” The proposed communications cable will run at least 13.5 feet above ground to allow for passage of fire trucks, but Luther said he expected the actual height to reach about 15 feet.
Selectman Bill Tice pointed out that he approved of the pole as a cluster of 25-foot tall trees near the point selected for installation of the pole would shield the visual impacts somewhat for neighboring houses. Selectman Doug Stevenson acknowledged the memory of former board member Vivian Chaput by adding that placement of the pole within school property would accommodate any future Pathway work near the road, one of Chaput’s key considerations in approving any construction near a public way.
Given the lack of any opposition during the public hearing, the Selectmen approved the request to “locate, erect, and maintain the pole, wires, cables and fixtures” on School Street at a point approximately 834 feet south from the centerline of Church Street.
Coincidentally, Verizon recently replaced an existing utility pole on South Street. Williams had noted earlier that the Verizon work did not require a public hearing because it was a direct replacement, rather than a new pole.
Ferns site plan modification
Goddard also noted as part of his Town Administrator’s report that he had provided the Selectmen with documentation of the modifications made to the site plan for Ferns Country Store to allow indoor seating, as approved at the June 8 Selectmen meeting in a 3-2 split decision. Selectman Peter Scavongelli questioned the need to sign the modified document as the group had already voted on and approved indoor seating at Ferns. Goddard responded by saying he felt the board signing a one-page Modification of Certificate of Decision was “prudent” as it would provide a record of the revised site plan documentation.
The page includes the following statement: “On a motion made by Mr. Stevenson and seconded by Mr. Tice, it was voted 3 yes and 2 no, that according to Section 7.6.8 of the Carlisle Zoning Bylaws, it is determined that the Site Plan review approval process shall include indoor seating for Carlisle Center Ventures, LLC upon approval of the Board of Health.” All five Selectmen signed the page. The board deemed the site plan modification did not require a public hearing in this particular case.
The next BOS meeting is planned for Tuesday, September 7. ∆
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