PEPPERELL — The Board of Health last week signed off on plans for Beaver Creek Circle, a seven lot subdivision off Julia Lane Extension in Hadley Estates, last week. The decision came with a recommendation that all the lots be connected to sewer lines.
As submitted, the subdivision plan calls for building a septic system in the largest of the lot, a 13-acre parcel that lies at the end of a cul-de-sac. It abuts 23 acres of land that has been flooded by beavers. No one representing developer Robert Hicks Inc. was present.
The driveway to the 13-acre hammerhead lot is to pass over an Elliott Street culvert blocked by beavers, said Health Agent Edward Wirtanen, and the flooded 23-acre lot is a concern of the Conservation Commission.
Last year, town meeting voters extended a sewer overlay district to include the Julia Lane extension. Because Beaver Creek Circle is an extension of Julia Lane, Wirtanen said the health board felt it would also be on town water and sewer.
Board member Holly Bradman said the 13-acre lot is one more than originally planned.
The lot has a high-water table, said Wirtanen, and the board could rule that a septic system there is not conducive to public health.
”It would be nice to have the whole lot part of open space,” Wirtanen said. “The greatest protection would be to connect it to sewer. It’s rather ironic that (Robert Hicks Inc.) pushed for sewer lines (last year) then switched to septic on this one lot.”
It is not impossible that the proximity of the beaver-flooded lot could represent a hardship for the developer, he said. The property owner can ask the board for relief from the beavers, with Conservation Commission approval, to see if an emergency exists. Beavers, as a protected species, can be trapped and relocated if their activity causes an emergency.
The Board of Health does not conduct remedial action, Wirtanen said, nor does it make a hardship determination. The applicant can approach the Department of Fish and Wildlife with an issue that the health board can acknowledge. The Conservation Commission regulates the diversion of water.
In other action, the board directed Wirtanen to develop language he suggested be included in the draft Open Space Residential Development Plan. It would protect public water supply wells by developing permits to examine requests to build extraction or injection wells in the aquifer.
Wirtanen also suggested prohibiting certain things such as irrigation wells.
Finally, after much discussion, the board took no action on a proposed mixed-use bylaw written by the developer interested in purchasing the former Pepperell Paper Company mill and co-generation plant. Members encouraged participation in the April 10 continuation of a hearing about the bylaw before the Planning Board.