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WVN Newsletter #152: Still seeking consensus on town center

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  • waylandvoters1
    Dear Wayland Voter, It s certain that Wayland will vote a second time on zoning changes to allow a controversial $100-million shopping/housing development on
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 12, 2006
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      Dear Wayland Voter,

      It's certain that Wayland will vote a second time on zoning
      changes to allow a controversial $100-million shopping/housing
      development on Route 20. But it remains to be seen whether
      other town boards will join the Board of Selectmen in supporting
      it.

      The selectmen hope for consensus but seem willing to tailor
      zoning and the accompanying development agreement to the
      wishes of the property owner, Twenty Wayland LLC. Other
      elected boards worry about legal loopholes and financial,
      environmental and traffic impacts.

      Three important meetings this week concern the proposed town
      center project. On Monday March 13 the selectmen will meet at 7
      p.m. The agenda includes the development agreement that
      accompanies the May 3 special Town Meeting zoning article.
      (The board will also discuss ballot questions on a property tax
      override and a debt exclusion. The override on the April ballot
      would result in a permanent tax increase of about 7.5 percent.
      The debt exclusion would have almost no immediate effect on
      taxes because other debt is being paid off.)

      On Wednesday March 15 the selectmen are scheduled to
      discuss the development agreement with Twenty Wayland LLC
      at 8 p.m.

      On Thursday March 16 the Planning Board will hold a public
      hearing on its proposed zoning changes. A regular meeting
      begins at 7:30 p.m. The zoning hearing is scheduled for 9 p.m.

      Because the Planning Board and the selectmen are at an
      impasse, the warrant for the special Town Meeting includes the
      selectmen's version of the zoning bylaw as well as the Planning
      Board's. Bylaw language can be modified to some extent in the
      next couple of weeks.

      The planners and other elected boards recommended against a
      zoning change for a somewhat larger project before voters
      rejected it at a November 2005 special Town Meeting. Town
      officials again raised concerns last week.

      Many of the Planning Board's objections to the November
      development agreement remain unresolved. For example, board
      members want to see persuasive figures on the net financial
      impact of the mixed-use development\ as opposed to an
      all-housing project. And there is concern that present language
      might not prevent the developer from building something
      different from the present concept. (Many municipalities have
      presented voters with extremely detailed procedures and
      designs including a site plan.)

      The waste water commissioners and the Board of Health are
      concerned about the capacity of the aging waste water treatment
      plant at the former Raytheon property. Selectmen expressed
      reluctance to ask the developers to build a new system.

      The road commissioners listed 22 concerns within their
      jurisdiction.

      Time is short, and unless the final versions of zoning changes
      and the development agreement bring agreement on potential
      problems and ambiguities noted by various boards and other
      groups, voters may again have no clear picture as they consider
      the largest development in Wayland's history.


      Thank you for reading this WVN newsletter. Please forward it to
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      Wayland Voters Network
      Michael Short, Editor
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