WVN Newsletter #188: New TC designs
- Dear Wayland Voter,
Responding to a public hearing earlier this month, town center
developers have come up with design alternatives for the former
Raytheon property. Some designs are online, and you have a
little more time to contribute suggestions. Molly Upton reports.
Also in this newsletter: the Finance Committee says it isn't
planning on a tax override for the fiscal year beginning next July,
and the High School Building Committee is back at work.
NEW DESIGN PROPOSALS
After the public forum on preferred features of the town center
mixed use overlay district (MUOD), Twenty Wayland LLC
previewed three possible alternative designs at a subsequent
Planning Board meeting that incorporated many of the items
The deadline for review of the Concept Plan phase is Oct. 30
unless the developer agrees to a Planning Board request to
extend the date. Thus this may be the last opportunity for the
public to make comments.
You may email comments to jlaydon@...
Public comment is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. (Town Building) at
meetings this week on Wednesday and POSSIBLY Thursday.
The Planning Board will discuss the Concept Plan ON
WEDNESDAY and the master special permit rules and
regulations ON EACH NIGHT.
Two of the newest drawings are posted on the Planning Board
web site. See
There is also a lengthy list of suggestions gathered at the public
Readers should bear in mind that things are still in flux. For
instance, on the north side of the site, view 2 shows two
buildings comprising town houses. View 3 shows one long
monolithic building comprising "flats." Although one of the plans
shows only 80 residential units, developer Chuck Irving said
Twenty Wayland LLC is weighing the tradeoffs between some
residential units and more restaurant seats in the shopping
center. However, he said, for the time being the Planning Board
should assume 100 residential units.
This is one of those instances where a picture is worth a
thousand words. Some new elements included: a curvy main
street, a more substantial cross street, a more informal shape of
the green space, and some residences above stores. In the
latest drawings, the current building constructed for childcare
would be maintained, and Irving indicated his company had
received some interest from Eastern Mountain Sports for that
building. There also appeared to be more small green spaces
for informal gatherings, and the road, if it will exist, from Route 27
has a more direct route to the residential area. There has been
no discussion on whether there will be an access from Route 27
pending more detailed traffic information.
The "flats" still occupy the northwest corner near the river, and
the grocery store the southeast corner near the historic district
In other Planning Board activities, the board began its review of
rules and regulations regarding the implementation of the
Master Special Permit Process. Past discussions included
criteria such as how many drawings, and elements in the
FINCOM EXPECTS NO OVERRIDE
Wayland's Finance Committee is asking all boards and
departments to prepare fiscal 08 budgets that live within the
guidelines of Proposition 2-1/2 and does not plan to seek an
operating override vote, according to a memo sent by Finance
Director Michael DiPietro to all department heads, boards and
The memo also put all departments on alert that the budget,
rather than labor negotiations, will be the governing factor. "A very
modest amount has been set aside in a separate account to
cover new agreements," the memo says. "Any settlements that
exceed this amount will require budget reductions in other areas
to keep the overall budget in balance within the constraints of
Prop. 2-1/2. Given this constraint, we ask that you continue to
pursue the Ad Hoc Committee suggestions and to identify other
areas of efficiencies and cost reductions." All labor contracts, for
both the town and schools, expire June 20, 2007.
The memo asks that all salary accounts remain the same as FY
07 except for any step increases due during the upcoming fiscal
year. All non-salary items should remain the same except the
utility and gas accounts. All capital budget items should be
included in the capital budget request, for which the FinCom has
allotted about $750,000. "Amounts required and approved above
that level would be subjected to a debt exclusion vote," the
The memo also requested that town meeting articles requiring
free cash funding be kept to a minimum.
There will be a budget hearing for all boards, committees and
departments on Monday, Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. The FinCom will
discuss the town's financial outlook for FY08 and listen to all
board, committee, and department questions and concerns.
Proposed department budgets are due to the FinCom on Nov.
30, including FY06 Expended, FY07 Appropriated and FY08 Level
HSBC: NEW FACES, MODIFIED MISSION
The High School Building Committee is back at work after
adding four new members for a total of 15.
At a meeting on Oct. 12 committee members discussed how to
proceed as they deal with a new state reimbursement agency
that is behind schedule and still feeling its way.
Before Wayland voters rejected a $55-million plan for a new
high school in January 2005, the brand-new Massachusetts
School Building Authority warned that the town shouldn't proceed
immediately unless it was willing to risk paying the entire cost.
The Authority succeeded a loosely-run system that essentially
went bankrupt and declared a moratorium. Today the situation is
different. There is rigor in the procedures, though some of
them aren't yet completely clear.
Wayland's is one of 90 "statements of interest" submitted so far
to the state. After July 1, 2007, the MSBA will begin choosing
those allowed to proceed with detailed proposals. In line with its
policy of taking a firm hand and avoiding politics, the MSBA will
determine anticipated enrollment and appropriate square
footage, then negotiate with municipalities on a final deal and
percentage of reimbursement. Thus voters should have a clear
idea of what they're deciding.
Other innovations under the new system include extra
reimbursement for eco-friendly building and some partial
matching of private funds. Naming rights have been mentioned.
Will some town one day have a Papa Gino's Cafeteria, a
Genzyme Science Building?
On the negative side, state rules are still being interpreted as
municipal officials, architects and builders point out elements
they perceive as impractical or unwieldy. As a result, it's hard to
predict how soon anything would be built even if Wayland is
among the first chosen. The state is committed to spending
$500 million in the first year after it grants approvals, but is still
reimbursing cities and towns for projects authorized under the
old system, including the Wayland Middle School renovations.
Still another concern: some buildings erected under the
free-wheeling previous system -- even relatively new projects --
are already falling apart. The MSBA will obviously have to take
health and safety concerns seriously, and is committed to
making decisions based on need. Wayland, which has frugally
gotten more than 40 years out of its oldest high school buildings,
could be at a competitive disadvantage. A preliminary state study
placed all of Wayland's buildings above the neediest category.
The Wayland School Committee has modified its instructions
and now wants the HSBC to define needs and priorities and
come up with more than one option for renovation or
replacement. After that the School Committee says it will
"determine the most cost-effective and appropriate course to
The four new HSBC members are Fred Knight, who has served
on the School Committee and several building committees for
school projects; David Lash, a business consultant; Jennifer
Steel, a Wayland High School graduate and in 1996 Wayland's
conservation administrator; Karen Talentino, dean of faculty
at Stonehill College.
All four said they applied because they are committed to getting
something built. It would have been great to have more diversity
of opinion, HSBC Chair Lea Anderson commented, but all 12
applicants were generally supportive of the HSBC's mission.
Superintendent Gary Burton told the HSBC that his department is
working on plans to keep the buildings repaired for at least
another 5 to 7 years. Roofs installed in 1992 are leaking, he
-- Michael Short
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Wayland Voters Network
Michael Short, Editor