Planning Board Supports Carleton-Willard Village Bylaw Change Request

By Meredith McCulloch

At a hearing before the Planning Board on September 12, Carleton-Willard Village requested board support for three changes to the bylaw governing nursing homes. The bylaw was written when the Village was founded and is the only property that it applies to.

Thomas Swaim, from the architectural firm GPR, presented three changes that would allow the Village to add 12 more independent living units. Three parcels at 56, 62, and 66 Old Billerica Road have been purchased by the Village to allow for this expansion.

Specifically, the changes are

  • to raise the population density from 8.5 to 10 persons per acre, or total population from 414 to 441;
  • to increase the maximum of independent living units; and
  • to change the amount of wetland allowed as open space from 50% to 75%.  Since the bylaw was written the number of acres of wetland on the theoriginal property has risen from 11 to 18 acres.

The plan includes replacement of portions of stone walls on Old Billerica Road that had been removed to provide driveways on the new properties.

Shawn Hanegan, Chair, asked about access to the trails.  The answer was that one path would be off Old Stagecoach Road and a second from the 56 Old Billerica Road property.  Carleton-Willard agreed to welcome standard trail markers and to provide parking for one or two cars.

In addition to the bylaw change requested at Special Town Meeting, approvals must also be sought from the Conservation Commission, the Selectmen, and the Massachusetts Legislature.

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