The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 5, 2010

Historical Commission shorts, October 26

Temporary school play area. Carlisle School Building Committee member Lee Storrs and architect Laura Wernick of HMFH Architects came before the Historical Commission on October 26 for permission to use mulch on the ground of the temporary play area on school property to be used by students during the renovation project. This part of school property on the corner of Church Street and School Street lies within the historic district. Architect Wernick explained that they would leave trees standing, but clear the brush to allow children the freedom to run around. To protect the ground, and children from tripping over rocks, mulch would be spread a couple of inches high. Storrs stressed that after construction of the school site is completed, the play area will be cleaned up and refurbished.

They also informed the commission that a green fence would be placed 60 feet in from the two streets to keep the children safely within the play area.

Commissioner Geoffrey Freeman asked, “Are you planning to use wood chips or mulch? We would prefer pine bark mulch.” Architect Wernick replied that they would use pine bark mulch.

Commissioner Nathan Green made a motion “that we approve application #10-05 put forth to us by Lee Storrs of the School Building Committee as described in application with the note that they use pine bark mulch in wooded area and not wood chips.” The motion passed unanimously.

Wernick and Storrs also provided an update on the plans for the fire lane construction from Church Street to the buildings; the fire lane goes through the historic district. Wernick stated that the surface has to be impervious to support the fire trucks, and will thus have to be a bituminous surface. It will be gently graded for the trucks, plowed in winter, and can be used as a walkway.

Vent termination approved. Elisabeth Carpenter of 46 Concord Street returned to the commission to seek approval for a vent termination pipe that sticks 30 inches above her house’s chimney. Carpenter was at last month’s meeting to gain approval for the pipe, but was advised by the commission that since this was a hardship case, to return this month for a formalized hearing.

Chair Sylvia Siller recused herself, as she is a neighbor.

Carpenter quickly summarized her case, reminding commission members that she and her husband had converted their home’s heating system from oil to natural gas, which required that the vent termination pipe run up the chimney flue. After the conversion was made and the tests were done, it was determined that the pipe needed to be 30 inches higher above the installation point. The contractors stated that this was the only reasonable option.

Commission member Neal Emmer made the motion “to approve application #10-06 for the new furnace at 46 Concord Street including the vent termination that is required by the design specifications as recommended by the manufacturer.” The motion passed unanimously.

Energy Efficiency Task Force. Dan Cook and Steve Hinton approached the commission and reiterated from last month’s meeting that the task force is trying to qualify Carlisle as a “Green Community” in order to take advantage of an opportunity to tap into $8 million in state funding offered to towns that satisfy the Green Communities Grant Program. The requirement that the task force is currently addressing is to develop a by-right zoning bylaw that would permit alternative energy production activities, limited to a by-right zoning overlay district for photo-voltaic energy.

In last month’s meeting, task force member John Luther informed the commission that the task force may want to consider using the roof of the fire station, which lies within the Historic District. However, on October 26, Cook stated, “We are not considering the fire station anymore. We’re focused on the transfer station land.” Upon hearing that statement, commission members asked why the task force had come to the meeting. “We are looking for your blessing and support at Town Meeting in May,” replied Cook.

“Our consciousness has been raised,” replied commissioner Peggy Hilton. ∆

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