Off Cross Street 2 lots #317 (no name) Approved 1998
2 lots #129 & 131 (no name) Approved 2007
Off Cross Street 4 lots Trillium Way Approved 2006, amended 2010,
Off Rutland Street 4 lots Chestnut Lane Approved 2007
3 lots Twin Beech Road under construction
Off Hanover Road 5 lots Sorli Way Approved 2008
(Westford Street) 3 lots Gormley Way under construction
2 lots (no name)
268 Fiske Street 2 lots (no name) Approved 2008, not built
permit expired 2011
291 River Road 6 lots Elliott Farms Way Approved 2011
Special Permits - Conservation Clusters
Cross Street 15 lots Greystone Crossing Approved 2006
Rutland Street 7 lots Chestnut Estates Approved 2007
Special Permits - Personal Wireless Service Facilities
27 School Street Stealth installation Permit granted 2007, not built,
within church steeple permit expired
T-Mobile - Omnipoint
886 Lowell Street Stealth installation Permit granted 2007, not built,
within barn cupola permit expired
Finances Planning Board activities during 2011 generated a total income of $7,319.50 through application fees, all of which was paid to the General Fund. The Planning Board has no statutory mechanism to retain application fees, unlike many other Town boards, and is entirely reliant on Town Meeting appropriations to conduct planning activities. In 2007, the Board had reviewed and adopted a revised fee structure that increased application fees by more than 130% to benefit the General Fund. Since those fees are still in the high range of fees for comparable towns, the Board did not propose an increase this year.
Project review fees, which are held in special revenue accounts (“53G accounts”) and limited to payment of the costs of technical review of submitted plans and project construction oversight by engineering consultants, were received in a total of $20,007.04 for 2011. Any funds remaining in this account allocated to a particular project are returned to the applicant once the development is completed. As noted, none of these fees can be used for planning initiatives for the Town.
In 2010, the Planning Board had proposed a recurring warrant article to provide some funding previously covered under the Planning and Professional budget line item, eliminated in 2009 as part of budget cuts over the past several years. This article in the amount of $5,000 was approved at the 2010 Annual Town Meeting, and an equal amount was added at the 2011 Town Meeting. These funds can be used for Board initiatives such as the need to review and revise local bylaws or regulations to be consistent with new state stormwater regulations or to fund planning consultant services related to the needs of other boards. Examples of past projects of this nature are the development for the Selectmen of an RFP for Wireless Facilities on Town-owned land or rights of way, the revision to the Comprehensive Permit Rules and Regulations for the ZBA, and the preparation of LIP regulations for the Selectmen.
Overview of 2011 Board Activity Traditional measures of Planning Board activity in terms of permits granted, new lots or roadways created, development projects completed, or fee income derived do not reflect the majority of the business that the Board normally undertakes. The following categorized summary gives a more accurate picture of that work, much of which was generated by initiatives taken by the Board itself to support its permitting functions and Planning Board services requested by and provided to other Town and regional agencies.
Applications to the Board: Approval Not Required (Subdivision) Plans
Began detailed review of input toward second phase of amendments to Subdivision Rules and Regulations
Investigation of alternate or additional peer engineering review consultants and review of procedures regarding their selection
In conjunction with Carlisle Energy Task Force, developed draft of proposed Zoning Bylaw for as-of-right siting of solar facilities to help achieve “Green Community” status
Report to Town Meeting on Solar Photovoltaic Overlay District amendment
Continued investigation into noise bylaws/regulations in other towns, conferred with Board of Health and drafted and adopted Policy for Noise Control
Prepared and filed appeal to ZBA of Building Permit issued for second dwelling alterations at 389 River Road; presented arguments at public hearing
Continued review of 2010 Open Meeting Law amendments and implementation of PB compliance, including new procedures for posting meetings and meeting conduct
Staff attendance at seminars and training by American Planning Association, Citizen Planner Training Collaborative, and Mass. Association of Planning Directors
Research and evaluation of potential grant support for general land use planning activities
Planning Support Services Provided to Other Boards, Departments, Towns and Regional entities
Reviewed, at Conservation Commission request, the 2005 Open Space & Recreation Plan and submitted PB input for inclusion in amended 2012 Plan
Provided documentation of all approved map changes from 1/1/04 – 12/21/11 to OS&R Plan Committee to prepare for update of Town’s GIS data base
Review and provide to Building Commissioner PB file information regarding second dwelling units at properties on River Road, Brook Street and Curve Street
Review and provide to Selectmen and DPW PB file information regarding status of private ways
At request of Town Counsel, reviewed history and status of easements granted to the Town in the process of land development approvals
Reviewed, at request of Housing Authority, revised draft of Affordable Accessory Apartment proposed deed restriction and informational brochure
Review of and amendments to Town’s Commonwealth Capital Application
Reviewed and supported HUD Sustainable Communities grant application for MAGIC Suburban Mobility Transit Study, Phase II
Reviewed, surveyed and supported joint MassWorks grant proposal with Westford and Acton to extend Bruce Freeman Rail Trial through Carlisle to interim parking area
Reviewed and supported Mass. Land Use Reform legislation (CLURPA)
Annual budget analyses and projections at request of Finance Committee
Technology management, including but not limited to upgrades of office software and hardware
Staff and Board member certification of completion of State Ethics Law training
Membership In the 2011 annual elections, two 3-year positions were available. Neither Kent Gonzales nor Michael Epstein chose to run for an additional term, and no other candidates came forward at the Town Caucus or by petition. However, this unfortunate situation was resolved by the voters who cast about 200 write-in votes each for Jonathan Stevens and Michael Epstein, who both graciously accepted their “draft.” Unfortunately, the Board has gone through another year without any Associate Members as no one has stepped forward to be appointed. This continues to be a hardship for the Board and some of its special permit applicants, since there is no back-up in case a regular member is forced to miss a session of a continuing public hearing. With the Board’s 2011 reorganization, David Freedman was re-elected as Chair and also to serve as Clerk. Michael Epstein and Marc Lamere were also re-elected as Vice Chair and Treasurer, respectively.
Planning Board members continued to emphasize the importance of maintaining liaisons with other boards and committees. David Freedman serves as liaison to the Selectmen, to the Zoning Board of Appeals, and to the Conservation Commission. Jonathan Stevens is liaison to the Board of Health, and Tom Lane to the Housing Authority. Jeff Johnson is liaison to the Recreation Commission and Michael Epstein to Town Counsel and the Carlisle Energy Task Force, while Marc Lamere is liaison to the Trails Committee. Nathan Brown represents the Board as a member of the Historical Commission, Marc Lamere on the Conservation Restriction Advisory Committee, and Jonathan Stevens on the Banta-Davis Task Force. Jeff Johnson is on the Community Preservation Committee, Tom Lane is a member of the Long Term Capital Requirements Committee, David Freedman is a member of the Open Space and Recreation Committee, and Nathan Brown serves on the Highland Building Stabilization Committee. Finally, Jeff Johnson represents the Board and the Town on the Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (MAGIC).
Support The Planning Board benefits from high quality professional assistance, with several engineering consultants with a broad range of expertise available to assist in the technical review of the plans brought before the Board, work that is paid out of restricted special 53G accounts funded by applicants (with any unused funds ultimately returned to them). The Board uses the services of Nitsch Engineering, Inc., of Boston, LandTech Consultants, Inc., of Westford, and Places Associates, Inc., of Littleton. The Board also relies on the expertise of Town Counsel, Deutsch Williams Brooks DeRensis Holland, to help interpret zoning and subdivision law and to represent the Board in litigation. Currently, there is no outstanding litigation against the Board, and the terms of the 2007 Settlement Agreement that brought an end to years of litigation regarding development on Berry Corner Lane were finally implemented this year in their entirety.
The Planning Board's staff has continued to provide excellent service throughout the year. Planning Administrator George Mansfield has completed his sixteenth year providing professional support to the Board, and Gretchen Caywood, appointed as part-time Administrative Assistant in 2005, gives the Board the resources it needs to carry out its many duties. Ms. Caywood has also continued this year to perform the complementary role as part-time Assistant Town Clerk.
The Year Ahead
During 2012, the Board will continue to confront the challenges of the changing needs and resources of the town. The Board expects to complete the update of its Subdivision Rules and Regulations—including the revision of stormwater management guidelines—to reflect best engineering practices and sustainability in land development activities, as well as to provide a firm basis for the review of comprehensive permits, as described above. The Board also expects to continue to provide planning advice to others in their efforts to interpret and amend the Zoning and General Bylaws to meet the needs of the Town, and will collaborate with the Board of Health in a regional “healthy communities” planning initiative. While it is difficult to predict the level of new development activity in the current economy, with the Town’s ongoing long-range planning efforts, and with the expectation of continuing applications for affordable housing development and the build-out of approved projects—including the Benfield Farms 40B project, 2012 is expected to be another busy year.
In all matters, the Planning Board will, as in the past, be working with the Town’s other land development, public health, and environmental protection agencies. In this manner, the Board’s goal is to achieve cost savings through better coordination, as well as to preserve open space and rurality, provide affordable housing through a managed process, safeguard water quality and quantity, and control the fiscal and other impacts of new development upon the town.
Members: Associate Members:
David Freedman, Chair/Clerk Jeff Johnson Vacant (2 positions)
Michael Epstein, Vice Chair Nathan Brown
Marc Lamere, Treasurer Jonathan Stevens
RECREATION COMMISSION The Recreation Commission continues to develop and deliver a selection of fee-based arts & crafts, life skills and fitness programs to residents of all age groups. During the year 2011 there were approximately 1100 enrollments in combined winter, spring, summer and fall programs, which stayed consistent with the 2010 enrollments.
Operations ran smooth through 2011 with a staff of one, Holly Mansfield (Director).
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jeffrey Bloomfield for his years of service on the Recreation Commission. Jeffrey decided to resign from the board this past year. The board would like to welcome our newest member of the Recreation Commission, Kevin Smith. Kevin has volunteered to serve on the Recreation Commission and we are grateful for his support and interest in Carlisle Recreation. We would also like to thank Rick Amodei (Chair), Mark Spears Dave Moreau and Noreen Ma for their continued efforts and dedication in serving on the Recreation Commission here in Carlisle.
Need for Fields still exists
It has been evident for the past several years that in Concord and Carlisle there is a lack of adequate practice and game fields to meet the growing demand for safe and functional athletic fields. For many years, Carlisle has been able to capitalize on the goodwill of our neighbors and utilize fields in Concord. With the increasing ratio of Carlisle youth participants in the joint Concord/Carlisle a program, Carlisle is further out of balance in the number of fields contributed.
Banta Davis, Spalding and Benfield
All three of these locations remain possibilities to satisfy future recreational field needs. Below is an analysis of current field usage and future needs. For 2011, and due to the construction completed in Concord there has been a slight reduction in field requirements from 2010.
Existing Fields & Facilities
Currently the Recreation Commission schedules and maintains one 90 ft baseball diamond, two 60 ft baseball diamonds, two softball diamonds and two multi purpose fields. In addition, the Commission maintains an asphalt running track, two tennis courts, a tot lot playground, an outdoor winter skating rink and a fitness cluster. In the past year of a stressed fiscal budget, the existing field resources began to show signs of wear and ill repair. To correct this, the RECCOM graciously accepted donations amounting of $5,000 each from the Concord Carlisle Youth Baseball and Concord Carlisle Youth Soccer organizations. These moneys will be applied to restorative maintenance in the 2012 season.
Needed Fields & Facilities
It is projected that over the next six years there is a need for two additional 60 ft baseball diamonds, one additional softball diamond, three additional multi purpose fields, two additional tennis courts, two outdoor basketball courts, a cross country running course, two paddle tennis courts, a skateboard facility and a playground for ages 5 – 10 year olds.
The Recreation Commission is also committed to increasing user and spectator ADA accessibility to all recreational facilities.
The Recreation Commission is also beginning to investigate alternate facilities for the growing community educational programs and workshops. The programs currently use the Carlisle School and the Town Hall, and expansion over the next few years will likely require resources not available at either site. One possibility in the near term will be the Highland Building that will provide excellent resource space for several classroom oriented programs.
A five-year plan for fields
The plan for additional fields could be significantly reduced including the cost to maintain and support through the installation of an artificial surface at Banta Davis with lighting. This would likely reduce the need for two additional multi purpose fields and possible a 60’ baseball diamond. In addition, participants would enjoy a significantly expanded spring season (starting in early March) and fall season (through early December) along with a safer more comfortable playing surface.
NOTE: Existing facilities are in bold. (Proposed facilities are in parenthesis.)
1 + (1)
1 + (2)
1 + (1)
Multi Purpose includes soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, flag football, frisbee, etc.