The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 1, 2010

Housing Production Plan finalized

Over the course of the summer, members of the Housing Production Committee have rewritten, amended and passed around a 97-page document for review, articulating the history, planning process and goals of affordable housing in Carlisle. Committee members worked to iron out the procedural issues for 40B efforts in the Carlisle Affordable Housing Production Plan which would address development in the next five years.

The state requires that towns update their Housing Production Plan every five years. The committee drafting the document included representatives from the Planning Board, Selectmen and Housing Authority.

In a final review conducted over the weekend, the Planning Board isolated 17 final edits at their meeting on Monday, September 27, in preparation to present the document for final approval to the Board of Selectmen the following evening. Both boards needed to approve the document in order to meet the October 5 state deadline.

Most edits were minor in nature. However, member Michael Epstein stressed his concern that the document did not stress enough how the 40B mandate allowing “potentially very dense development” caused significant stress on the water supply and quality in a town like Carlisle.

Protecting the water supply

Epstein noted that a Housing Production Plan for Carlisle must protect every resident’s “fundamental right to clean water,” and articulated the following points:

• Dense development could draw water from existing resources and adversely impact surrounding homes causing them to lose certificates of occupancy.

• Blasting bedrock for large-scale septic systems could damage individual systems as well as change flow of water.

• Implementation of large systems could cause water contamination.

Epstein concluded by saying that it was important to ensure a 40B project has “sufficient funding to ensure sufficient and safe water for new residents to protect the environment and existing residents.”

The Planning Board concurred with Epstein’s points. The group discussed and included a section reiterating the Carlisle Board of Health Supplementary Regulations for Sewage Disposal Systems that adopted regulations stricter than Title V regulations in a section of the document aptly entitled “Obstacles to Development.”

The Planning Board unanimously approved the revised plan, as did the Board of Selectmen the following evening. Their approvals allow for minimal changes brought by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development. Extensive edits by the state to the document, although deemed unlikely by boards involved, would negate the town’s acceptance of the plan. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito