243WVN Newsletter #224: New TC developer threat
- Nov 28, 2007Dear Wayland Voter,
The path toward a Town Center bustling with shops, offices and
housing continues to be full of potholes. As WVN reported
earlier, Twenty Wayland quietly withdrew its Final Environmental
Impact Report, which the state requires before approving the
mixed-use project. State agency comments indicate that
officials found the plan flawed. Another plan must be filed and
time allowed for public comment. Molly Upton examines those
comments in this newsletter.
Meanwhile, the Board of Selectmen squabbled with the Waste
Water Commission Monday night over the Town Center and the
developer again loudly threatened to abandon the project. How
heated was the meeting? A man arriving for an unrelated matter
next on the agenda joked, "I'm afraid to come to the table."
Finance Committee Informational public forum on budget:
Monday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m., Town Building. The Fincom, which
estimates a $2.6 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2009, plans to
explain the budget process and the causes of the shortfall.
Planning Board deliberates Town Center, Thursday, Nov. 29,
Raytheon cleanup meeting: Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m., Town Building,
Raytheon will update residents and answer questions about its
environmental cleanup of the Town Center site.
Voters have until Dec. 13 to submit petitioners' articles
for the annual Town Meeting on April 10. Ten certified signatures
are required to put an article on the warrant.
SELECTMEN, WASTE WATER COMMISSIONERS CLASH
Selectmen declared themselves "nervous," "stunned," "upset."
Three of them attacked the chairman of the Waste Water
Management District Commission, saying that the town might be
in "legal peril."
The commission controls a waste water treatment plant that has
served the 57-acre Raytheon site on Route 20 for decades. The
town is legally obligated to allow Twenty Wayland to discharge
45,000 gallons per day of waste water. The developer won't
need that much capacity until it builds something. Beyond that,
the commissioner and the selectmen don't seem to agree on
Commission Chairman Blair Davies explained that state
environmental agencies (DEP and EPA) control and license
treatment plants. The commission has hired consultants to
recommend options for meeting the needs of present and
potential future users of the system. Replacing the plant and
increasing capacity to serve for many years could cost upwards
of $3 million. Davies argues that a short-term fix might ultimately
The two real estate developers on the Board of Selectmen, Bill
Whitney and Michael Tichnor, said they were worried that
Wayland could be in violation of the wastewater agreement
signed in 1999. As a customer of the system, Twenty Wayland
can claim its rights.
When Davies outlined the commission's long-term strategy to
achieve the best results with the least money, Tichnor replied
that he sensed no "urgency" from the commission to do
something immediately. "This thing can't wait," Tichnor said.
As speakers interrupted each other and the discussion became
more heated, Tichnor and Whitney rejected Davies' explanation
that the commission will build adequate capacity as Twenty
Wayland builds the project.
Beyond that, Tichnor, Whitney and their colleague Joe Nolan,
seemed furious that Davies had written as a citizen offering
public comment to a Massachusetts Environmental Protection
official. Though Davies wrote that the ideas were his own,
Nolan said he might have acted improperly by identifying himself
as the board chairman.
The principal developer, Dean Stratouly, and his lawyer Adam
Weisenberg were in the audience, well prepared when
Chairman Whitney asked for their comment.
TOWN COULD "END UP OWNING THE BUILDING"
Weisenberg asserted that Davies had suggested in his email to
MEPA that authorities delay issuing permits and called that
"sufficient to breach the contract."
"I don't like to threaten litigation," Weisenberg said, adding that
the matter "needs to be resolved quickly."
Stratouly began by accusing the commission of negligence in
delaying a license renewal for five years. When Davies
interjected that the application was filed promptly and the state is
holding it up, Whitney shut him down.
"I am very upset," Stratouly said, adding that The damage
caused by Davies' memo "may be immeasurable."
As a result, Stratouly said, he could abandon the project and the
town could end up owning the (existing Raytheon) building,
"which a lot of people in this town would like." (A few residents
have suggested over the years that the town acquire the unused
site and 400,000-square-foot building, perhaps as a location for
the High School.)
When Town Counsel Mark Lanza was asked to comment, he
was noncommittal about the developers' and selectmen's
The session ended with the selectmen agreeing with the
commissioners' estimate that in early January the commission
should have enough information and choices to discuss the
best course of action with the selectmen.
In the past Stratouly has threatened to walk out, and once did so.
That set the project back several months. He is used to getting
his way, and the majority of selectmen support him.
Stratouly didn't explain how Davies' memo could have created
"immeasurable" damage, but environmental concerns are
clearly claiming much attention from Twenty Wayland.
-- Michael Short
BETTER ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN NEEDED?
Several state agency responses to the recently withdrawn Final
Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) filed under the
Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) indicate
improvements are needed when the new FEIR is submitted. The
wastewater and traffic plans drew particular attention from the
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Executive
Office of Transportation (EOT).
The project in this environmentally sensitive area needs
approval from both the town and the state. The project tripped the
MEPA threshold because of the projected traffic volume. In
addition, DEP governs regulations for the wastewater plant,
which discharges into the Sudbury River. And Route 20 is a state
road. MEPA is the coordinator for the state agencies.
The comments appear to indicate the responses from the state
agencies were the real reason for Twenty Wayland's withdrawal
of its FEIR rather than confusion over the dates. The initial
notification sent by Epsilon, the developer's consultant, cited a
comment deadline of Nov. 15 when in fact it was Nov. 8.
The FEIR was withdrawn Wednesday, Nov. 14 but the offices of
selectmen and planning weren't notified until Tuesday, Nov. 20.
The latest plan for roads was submitted to the town on Nov. 14,
but cannot be reviewed by the state until the new FEIR is filed.
Town boards and residents will need to file new comments
based on the next FEIR because it will supersede the withdrawn
FEIR. In addition, because the FEIR was withdrawn, it's doubtful
the file of comments will be sent to those who responded.
WVN's examination of the comments compiled by MEPA
indicates that DEP is taking a serious interest in the capability of
the town's wastewater plant.
DEP outlined its concerns about the amount of wastewater
exceeding the permit, the condition of the current plant, and the
lack of an assessment study submitted in the FEIR. On the
septic plans, DEP said the system should use additional
filtration beyond that planned as well as a pressure distribution
system because the 9,600 gallon-per-day septic system is near
a public water supply.
DEP said it has has "major concerns related to the proposal to
discharge wastewater to the Wayland Wastewater Treatment
Plant (WWTP)." DEP noted "the current NPDES permit limits the
average monthly discharge to 52,000 gallon/day. The design
flows to the plant from the Town Center project, in accordance
with 314 CMR 7.15, are approximately 44,975 gallon/day." When
combined with the current town usage of 8,400 gallon/day and
the recently granted sewer connection permit to another user of
8,700 gallons per day, "the permitted flows combined with the
flows for the proposed project would significantly exceed the
permitted capacity of the existing WWTP." These figures don't
include the potential future town users of the system, such as
the town building and the library.
DEP also highlighted the fact the FEIR lacked the assessment
report on the WWTP. In a letter dated June 12, DEP had
emphasized its position requiring an assessment study of the
plant, and that it was "not satisfied that our concerns would be
addressed `at the local level' as" Frank Dougherty had
suggested in an earlier letter. Dougherty's letter had also
claimed that since "our flow is less than 50,000 gpd there would
be no wastewater permit required for our project." Dougherty's
previous letter had said "the town will not allow us to connect to a
plant that cannot handle the total projected flow." Twenty
Wayland didn't include the assessment study in its FEIR and
had previously asserted the study did not belong in its FEIR
because the plant belongs to the town.
In reviewing the recently withdrawn FEIR, DEP indicated plans to
"require a MassDEP sewer connection permit for this project
prior to any construction or use of any sewer system to convey
wastewater to the Wayland WWTP. MassDEP respectfully
requests that EEA include this requirement in any certification
issued on the FEIR." This requirement of a sewer connection
permit under 314 CMR 7.04 would enable MassDEP to require
an appropriate WWTP evaluation if necessary.
Regarding the proposed septic system, DEP also notes that
since the projected flow of 9,600 gallons per day is less than the
10,000 that triggers the need for a permit from DEP, the
Wayland Board of Health is the permitting authority. "However, a
number of issues related to compliance with 310 CMR 15.000
need to be addressed." These include use of a recirculating
sand filter (approval by BOH) or equivalent technology in
accordance with 310 CMR 15.200 (approval by MassDEP) as
well as pressure distribution of effluent.
Looking toward the future, MassDEP also said "If the buildings to
be served or being served by the septic system are not owned by
the same entity, a shared system approval shall be required in
accordance with 310 CMR 15.292." The septic system is
described as serving the grocery, retail building, and office
building on the east side of the property.
Of key interest to residents passing through the Route 126/27
intersection in the spring, "the FEIR has not explained how the
project would meet the Stormwater Management Policy
requirements to control the peak rates of runoff at analysis point
5, which discharges stormwater in the vicinity of Sudbury
Road/Route 27, despite the fact the DEIR showed that there
would be an increase in peak rates of runoff for the 2 and 10 year
storms above peak rates."
"As proposed, the project does not meet the Performance
Standards in the wetlands regulations. In addition, the
compensatory flood storage is not designed in accordance with
the Performance Standards. There isno incremental flood
storage for the area of filling between elevations 114-120, (Table
The report also cited the lack of information pertaining to total
suspended solids in stormwater, including whether the
stormwater management system "is designed to capture and
treat one inch of runoff multiplied by the impervious area." The
report also noted the developer might need to sweep the streets
more frequently than twice a year.
The DEP also wanted more information on the areas proposed
for recharge to ensure that infiltration is not proposed "within an
area of soil or groundwater contamination." It also requested
specific information of wetlands impacts in tabular form.
The Executive Office of Transportation said "there are a number
of unresolved issues and concerns that were not properly
addressed in the FEIR. Therefore, we recommend that a
Supplemental EIR be required and include a revised traffic
impact and access study ."
The EOT has been advocating the project's road should be a
public bypass road.
Citing the FEIR's intent for the road to remain private, the EOT
stated: "Therefore, due to the uncertainty of the by-pass roadway
designation and the limitation of the roadway to attract by-pass
traffic, MassHighway will require the proponent to provide full
traffic analyses based on a volume network without any credit
being taken for the bypass."
This may mean a major revision with wider roads at the
intersection, and concomitant scrutiny on the
Regarding the submitted plans for road widenings, the EOT
report stated "The proponents' preferred alternative (Mod A3-1)
as presented in the FEIR is substandard, with short receiving
areas on Route 20 westbound and eastbound that result in only
a small percentage of vehicles that can utilize the auxiliary
through lane. While the proponent has identified constraints at
this location, Routes 20, 27, and 126 are arterial roadways that
are key to providing regional access; therefore, the proponent
should provide additional concept plans that present the
environmental impacts of providing significant improvements at
this intersection. During the review period, the project proponent
has submitted to MassHighway supplemental information for
review. The SFEIR should include this additional information in
order to give all of the interested parties the opportunity to
In addition, the document notes that it is unclear whether
Wayland will approve access from Route 27. "If access from
Route 27 is not allowed, the mitigation at the Route 20/Site Drive
and Route 20/Routes 27/126 intersection will need to be
-- Molly Upton
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Michael Short, Editor