Dear Wayland Voter,
Two town boards have written to the Board of Selectmen about their concerns over the selectmen's actions involving the proposed Danforth housing project in Framingham near the Wayland line.
Also in this newsletter:
-- The postcard-worthy First Parish Church is asking approval for an addition that could significantly change the appearance of the Historic District landmark. The Historic District Commission will hold a public hearing on Feb. 21.
-- The Board of Health will hold a public hearing on Feb. 25 about regulations to control pollutants discharged through floor drains.
BOARDS WANT TO BE CONSULTED ON DANFORTH
Roy MacDowell Jr. and his sons have pressed the Wayland Board of Selectmen for the past year to abandon the town's 2005 $1.45 million mitigation settlement agreement applicable to the redevelopment of the former New England Sand & Gravel property at Old Connecticut Path & River Path, Framingham.
On Jan. 22, against the advice of concerned residents and by a 3-2 vote, the selectmen approved the first of two actions -- signing a memorandum of understanding that calls for reducing the mitigation commitment to Wayland to $760,000 while retaining a requirement to install traffic lights at the West Plain/Old Connecticut Path intersection.
Step two of MacDowell's request (not taken yet) calls for Wayland selectmen to sign a new agreement, voiding the rest of the 2005 mitigation agreement if Danforth Green, LLC receives project approvals in Framingham. This would leave no provisions to protect Wayland's underlying settlement agreement in the event MacDowell does not build the project. See WVN newsletter #483:
The selectmen's January vote was taken at the urging of the town administrator and without consulting either the Department of Public Works or the Board of Health. Both departments have written letters to the selectmen reminding the selectmen of their interests.
The Board of Public Works wrote on Feb. 4: "The Board of Public Works unanimously approved a motion during its 1/22/2013 meeting to request the Board of Selectmen, prior to executing any agreement altering the Town's rights under the 2005 Danforth settlement, provide copies of any draft agreement and consult with the Board of Public Works, Board of Health,and Conservation Commission...While the Selectmen may vote to alter this agreement, it is the Board of Public Works water and highway divisions, the Board of Health, and the Conservation Commission and their staff departments which will be affected by these changes over time."
In a memo dated the same day the Board of Health director cites a BoH letter of Sept. 27, 2002 that outlines several areas of concern within BoH jurisdiction regarding development of the Danforth property including ".....sewage disposal, protection of water supply wells, and potential contamination from the proposed activities." The memo notes, "BOH input should be obtained prior to any decisions being made to change the Town's rights."
MacDowell has told Wayland selectmen he needs to reduce mitigation in order to make his proposed housing project "more economically viable." MacDowell purchased the 170-acre property in March 2012 for $500,000, with financing from Bernardi Lending, 134 Upland Road, Waban, MA., an LLC formed two months before that purchase.
MacDowell's sons, Todd and Roy III, formed Danforth Green, LLC and in November 2012 began seeking permitting at Framingham town boards to build 120 condos and 240 apartments at that location.
The developer's hearing last week at the Framingham Zoning Board of Appeals met with neighborhood opposition.
To make the project viable, MacDowell told Framingham, he needs to concentrate all 36 affordably-priced units in 240 rental apartments. That amounts to three times the rentals allowed by the zoning established by Framingham voters for the Planned Unit Development property. That and a request to exceed building height limitations require zoning variances.
MacDowell's high-visibility real estate ventures were profiled in Boston Business Journal in 2011 after he put his 25,000-square-foot Wayland house on the market at $21.8 million. The asking price for property at 45 Waltham Road has dropped to $11.8 million. That property is the subject of a legal notice in the Feb. 14 Wayland Town Crier in which the Massachusetts Land Court addresses MacDowell as a trustee of the Stonehedge Farm Nominee Trust. The court informs him of a right to oppose foreclosure if he meets requirements involving prior military service.
Details of what the magazine calls "MacDowell's recent legal woes" are at:
-- WVN Staff
FLOOR DRAIN REGULATION
The Wayland Board of Health has announced a public hearing for Monday, Feb. 25 at 7:35 p.m. in Town Building for its proposed Floor Drain Regulation.
The Department of Environmental Protection is on record asking the Town to adopt a floor drain regulation, and the agency has provided model language for the town's consideration. The purpose of the regulation is to be more protective of our drinking water supplies by making sure contaminants are not discharged inadvertently into groundwater.
A collaborative effort of health department officials and Waylandwells.com has been working to address Wayland's lack of compliance with DEP regulations discovered by the former Wellhead Protection Committee. See
pages 12 and 44. Also
Information about Wayland's proposed regulation is posted on the health department's website:
Free copies are available in the library.
Adoption of these regulations should bring Wayland closer to compliance with environmental regulations and could improve the town's chances for future state grants.
-- WVN Staff
FIRST PARISH SEEKS ADDITION
The Historic District Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7:45 p.m. on a proposal by the First Parish to add a one-and- one-half story connector addition between the 1814-15 meeting house/church and the 1983-84 parish house. The proposed 45-footl-long connector would block the view of the old garage/stable building from Route 27. The plans are available at the Selectmen's Office and the Library.
MEETINGS - Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held in Wayland Town Building.
-- Wednesday, Feb. 20: Library Trustees, 8:30 a.m. (morning), Raytheon Room, Library
Finance Committee, 7 p.m. Discussion of budget templates and article write-ups for the April town meeting warrant.
-- Thursday, Feb.21: Historic District Commission, 7:45 p.m. Public Hearing for proposed changes to First Parish Church
-- Monday, Feb. 25: Board of Health, 7:35 p.m. Public Hearing for proposed Floor Drain Regulation
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Wayland Voters Network
Michael Short, Editor