WVN #231: 2nd Town Center Suit
- Dear Wayland Voter,
Wayland has been sued a second time over the Town Center
project, and again it's about traffic and alleged Planning Board
Meanwhile, the earlier suit by the Town of Sudbury has drawn a
sharp attack from Wayland selectmen.
Like the earlier Sudbury action, the suit names the Wayland
Planning Board and seeks to annul the Master Special Permit
approved by the Board in January for the 372,500-square-foot
mixed-use project on Route 20.
Thirteen residents of the Glezen Lane neighborhood filed the
suit in Superior Court on Feb. 6. Glezen is one of the narrow side
streets likely to be severely affected by Town Center traffic.
Glezen Lane residents met several times with town officials and
the developer, Twenty Wayland, as the Planning Board was
gathering information and holding hearings.
The 26-page suit presents many examples aimed to show that
"the Planning Board short-changed the residents of Wayland in
its review and approval of the project" by closing the hearing
before a traffic mitigation plan and enforcement mechanism had
According to the suit, the Board ignored an understanding in the
development agreement between the town and the developer to
create a comprehensive plan before issuing the permit. (Twenty
Wayland still hasn't submitted a mitigation plan.)
The allegations are similar to those in the Jan. 31 Sudbury suit
in accusing the Board of exceeding its authority and making
arbitrary and capricious decisions. The residents' suit also
asserts that the Board received relevant information in private,
then failed to provide the public with that information and a
chance to respond. The suit alleges that the Board allowed
Twenty Wayland's lawyer to review and comment on drafts of the
Board's decision outside the public process.
The Board "also deliberated outside of its public meetings in
violation of the Open Meeting Law," the suit says. Except for
certain circumstances like discussing labor negotiations or
litigation, state law requires the public's business to be done in
SUIT BASELESS: WAYLAND SELECTMEN
The Sudbury suit spurred the Wayland Board of Selectmen to
issue a strongly worded statement, published in this week's
Wayland and Sudbury editions of the Town Crier, calling the
action "baseless" and perplexing.
The suit argues that Sudbury was essentially left out of a
procedurally defective process. The Wayland selectmen respond
that Sudbury had ample opportunity to comment but produced
only a single one-page letter and testimony by Sudbury's town
planner at one hearing session before the Wayland Planning
Board. (As noted above, there was no mitigation plan to
"At no time did any of the representatives from Sudbury express
any serious reservations about the proposal," the statement
said. Sudbury expressed only "general concern about traffic from
the project impacting the intersection of Route 20 and Landham
Road" (in Sudbury).
The selectmen accused Sudbury of expecting Twenty Wayland to
pay for a traffic signal at the Landham intersection even though
Sudbury has allowed commercial and residential construction
that affects commuter traffic through Wayland.
The Town Center is likely to decrease traffic into Sudbury by
providing shops, restaurants and a supermarket, the Wayland
The suit "has chilled relations between our communities in a
significant way," the selectmen said in promising a vigorous
Sudbury officials wouldn't discuss the suit with reporters.
Twenty Wayland's project manager, Frank Dougherty, defended
the special permit process and said the developer wants to go
ahead with the project. The project can't proceed until the
appeals are resolved.
-- Michael Short
WAYLAND ELECTION RESULTS
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were Wayland voters' choices
for their parties' presidential nomination.
The Feb. 5 Super Tuesday primary drew 63 percent of 8,778
registered Wayland voters.
In the Democratic primary, 52 percent of 3,914 voters picked the
Illinois senator over New York Sen. Hillary Clinton (48 percent),
who carried Massachusetts.
In the Republican primary, 52 percent of 1,577 voters chose
Romney over Arizona Sen. John McCain (43 percent). The former
Massachusetts governor won his home state.
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Michael Short, Editor