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WVN #231: 2nd Town Center Suit

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  • waylandvoters1
    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 procedural
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8, 2008
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      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
      procedural defects.

      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
      been developed.

      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


      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
      statement predicted.

      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

      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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      Wayland Voters Network
      Michael Short, Editor
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