The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 8, 2010

New building permit proposed to protect roads

A new curb-cut permit to minimize construction project damage to public roads was proposed by Building Inspector John Luther when he spoke to the Planning Board on Monday, September 27. Luther explained that this would apply to the building of a new home and would most probably apply to additions to existing homes as well. A homeowner’s association would cover work on a private way.

Issuing the permit would require the Building Inspector or his designee to visit the site, and take photographs of the public way at the proposed access point to the construction site. The proposed $100 fee would cover the town’s expenses in issuing such a permit. In addition, Luther suggested that an applicant put a $5,000 deposit in escrow as part of the permit process. The fees are similar to those issued in other towns; however, most run the process through the Department of Public Works (DPW). Luther explained that the Carlisle DPW is not as large as those in other towns, and he believed that it is appropriate that his department handle the new fee and its implementation.

Planning Board Chairman David Freedman wondered if defining the size of a project might prove beneficial in differentiating between a construction job that would require a large amount of excavation, versus a smaller project of an addition. He requested that the final proposal from the building department for the permit fee “show some flexibility.”

“I don’t want to scare any [one] away,” said Luther of the high deposit, but added that he felt it was needed to protect the town’s interests. He noted that it was difficult to collect damages after construction had finished. Various stakeholders – property owner, involved bank, and construction firm – all wanted the occupancy permit issued as quickly as possible. A broken curb might seem minor in comparison to the rest of a single project’s costs. However, the town could be left with a large bill to fix damage left by multiple projects. Furthermore, severe weather can cause further damage to a broken curb. Luther concluded, “We need to protect our streets.”

Luther noted that Town Treasurer Larry Barton was investigating financial implementation of the process. Luther is still drafting the plan for future approval by the Board of Selectmen. ∆

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