The latest Public Hearing installment was this evening, and we had a great turnout. (There are STILL people who are only just learning of this development proposal – amazing (and sad), but true.)
As has become our pattern, we managed to broadcast almost all of the meeting in our closed Facebook group, and had our best ever ‘digital turnout’, as well – with over 105 people watching at least parts of the evening.
Those videos are archived and available to anyone in the Facebook group. I particularly recommend the 1:13 min video posted on 9/11. It includes the entire Public Comment portion of the evening, and serves as the best, most concentrated summary of what this Development (and the Planning Board’s deliberation) is all about. It includes:
- details about the process of what, how, and when the Planning Board will render a decision on the submitted Site Plan
- additional discussion on the location and presumed stopping distances / sight lines for the new proposed roadway on 111/Mass Ave
- enlightening history of how the Town Center zoning was first voted on by the Town, insight into the INTENT of that zoning, and even images of a 17-year old plan to build an *actual* Mixed-use Town Center… and a refusal by the Applicants to answer why that plan was scrapped
- horrifying (to me) explanations as to why the Applicants are only being held to an outdated and flawed, 2012 version (see page 22-23; since corrected) of the Town’s zoning bylaws. The way it was explained tonight, the 2012 ‘proposal’ wasn’t for a development AT ALL. They received an approval from the Planning Board to build a road cut-out / culvert. That was IT. And, because of the timing of that minuscule request – the Applicants get 8 years of consideration under the 2012 by-laws. (the ones with the poorly chosen wording that did not *require* that a Town Center actually BE a Town Center.)
Argh. This is so Frustrating.
But, I have never seen such a vocal Public Comment period. We heard a lot about the history of Toll Brothers (recent and historical), and I suspect we will hear a lot more at the next Hearing on October 2nd.
And, your voices truly are being heard. The Town Planner read a giant list of letters he’s received this month from residents. All but one were in strong opposition to this proposal. I have a list of over 200 residents who have signed a petition to encourage the Planning Board to deny the site plan approval request, and that list is still growing (please keep spreading the word!). And the Planning Board chair raised a long list of the concerns we’ve been hearing about – they ARE reading our letters.
Please keep it up, and please tell your neighbors. People see the signs, but haven’t all gone to the website (though we have almost 7000 page views, and over 210 people in the Facebook group!).
In any case, stay tuned for more news, as I (and others) have time to draft materials. There are a LOT of files to sort through on the Town website, too. This is the best current summary, but you can find more here.