WVN # 271: Pressure for Town Center permits
- Dear Wayland Voter,
The Town Center developer and the Board of Selectmen are applying pressure to boards and committees for speedy approval of building permits. In today's shrunken credit markets any delay could jeopardize the project, the developer says.
Also in this newsletter: recent developments in various areas, all affected by the current recession.
DEVELOPER SAYS FINANCING IN PLACE
Twenty Wayland, which has been publicly promoting the $140-million commercial/residential development since 2005, says Bank of America has approved financing on condition that permits are issued.
Twenty Wayland's Frank Dougherty appeared before the Board of Selectmen on Dec. 1, along with representatives of the Planning Board, the Conservation Commission and the Board of Road Commissioners.
Dougherty acknowledged that there is no longer a possibility of opening by next fall. He argued that to open at least the Stop & Shop supermarket by the spring of 2010 permits would have to be issued by next Jan. 15.
Prompted by a question from Selectmen Chairman Michael Tichnor, Dougherty asserted that every day of delay increases the risk that financing could fall through.
Tichnor and other selectmen urged the adjudicatory officials to work as quickly as possible. We're not telling you what to do, or how to do it, they insisted, but they repeated their strong support of the project.
Selectman Steve Correia implored the officials to "meet these deadlines."
Exactly what was meant by deadlines wasn't discussed. Dougherty didn't say that financing would disappear after Jan. 15.
In any case, the Planning Board, ConCom and road commissioners have no deadline, only a mandate to judge the developer's plan and issue permits only after protecting the town's interests.
The ConCom appears to be farthest from issuing permits. Not only is the Route 20 site environmentally sensitive, but Twenty Wayland hasn't yet completed its application, though the process began in June.
The developer contends that a Wayland regulation on wetlands buffer zones, which could affect the placement of the market, is illegal.
To speed things along, Dougherty suggested that Twenty Wayland draft the conservation conditions.
The three bodies that the selectmen invited to provide updates aren't the only ones involved. The Board of Health, Historic District Commission, water commissioners and wastewater commissioners also have their roles to play.
One piece of new information from the discussion is that Twenty Wayland has talked with CVS about building a new drug store at the Town Center instead of across Route 20 at the Caraways Restaurant site. Environmental limitations at Caraways
endanger CVS' plans for a drive-through pharmacy.
Town Center zoning would have to be changed by Town Meeting to allow a drive-through CVS.
-- Michael Short
If you have questions or comments about proposals to adopt a pay-as-you-throw system for disposing of trash at the Landfill/Transfer Station, you can learn more about this green initiative at a meeting of the Board of Health at 7:30 p.m. on
Tuesday Dec. 9 at the Senior Center, Town Building.
PAYT, in wide use in Massachusetts and elsewhere, is designed to create a more equitable system than Wayland's current flat annual fee. PAYT often results in more recycling and lower sticker costs by reducing the amount of solid waste that needs to
be trucked away for disposal.
The Fiscal 2010 Ad Hoc Budget Advisory Committee is soliciting and evaluating ideas to deal with Wayland's increasingly gloomy fiscal outlook. Out-of-the-box thinking is encouraged.
One novel idea that seems to be gaining a little traction is Wayland Coupons. After former Selectman Alan Reiss presented the idea to the committee, officials said they would investigate legal implications and the Wayland Business Association put the
idea on its agenda for discussion.
The idea has been used by churches, synagogues and sports teams, among others. Wayland residents would pay, say, $50 for a book of coupons worth perhaps 10 times that at restaurants and other businesses within a reasonable radius of Wayland.
The money would go to the town treasury.
If you have comments or questions, contact AlanJReiss@....
HELPING WAYLAND'S NEEDIEST
Wayland offers the chance to make a tax-deductible contribution to a charity that can honestly promise to deliver 100 percent of donations to needy recipients.
It's the Wayland Charitable Committee, established 11 years ago with a $120,000 legacy from a former resident, Suzanne Leavitt. Over the years the Committee has distributed more than $200,000 to more than 120 Wayland families.
The Committee doesn't do any formal fund-raising. In fact it doesn't spend money on anything except recipients' needs. Even the postage to mail applications comes from Committee members' pockets.
The Committee hopes to raise $30,000 and because of the current recession anticipates a difficult year ahead.
Wayland recipients who ask for help are usually "at the ragged edge," unable to keep up with rent, utilities and still eat, says Committee Chairman Mike Patterson. "And that's going to get worse."
After evaluating applications and interviewing applicants, the Committee makes direct payments to suppliers.
If you feel you might be eligible for help, leave a message at 508-358-3624.
If you know someone who might need help, share this information. You can leave word at 358-3624 about someone you believe is eligible, but ultimately an application from the person is required.
If you'd like to help, write a check payable to Wayland Charitable Committee and send it to the Town Treasurer (Attn. Mike Patterson), Town Building. 41 Cochituate Road, Wayland 01778. Your donation will be put to immediate use. Previous
donations ranged from $5 to $5,000.
KEEPING SENIORS IN THEIR HOMES
You may have seen recent media reports about how collapsing financial markets are threatening seniors' plans to move to assisted living. In addition to those who now can't afford to leave their houses, many seniors simply don't want to move. These
realities have spurred a small group to investigate creating a support system.
A model that has received national attention exists in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. A nonprofit support group works informally to meet the transportation and other needs of seniors.
Some Wayland residents are beginning to form groups to study needs and seek solutions. For further information contact Charlie Raskin (ckraskin@...).
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Wayland Voters Network
Michael Short, Editor