Post image for Selectmen to meet with Garfield/Burnett House owners about preservation as owners still pursue possible tear down

Above: While selectmen issue plans to meet with the homeowners to preserve the estate, the owners continue to push for approval of plans to develop the lot. (Photo contributed by Kate Matison)

Last week, developer Bob Moss presented an ANR application to tear down the house and replace it with four new homes. When the sale to the developer fell through, demonstrators were relieved. But this morning, they learned that the application is still active.

Demolition of the historic home drew public criticism and a protest led by teens Bridget Brady, Jennifer Fox and friends. The girls protested outside the home for about 12 hours per day. They coordinated an online campaign and petition. Their efforts attracted attention from local media and are considered partially responsible for stopping the sale of the home to Moss.

This morning, the Planning Board recognized her for their efforts to applause from the audience. Planning Board member Kathy Bartolini was enthusiastic about the “all woman picket team”. She encouraged the girls to consider a career in government or at least volunteer positions as they “mature”.

Following up on the ANR, Town Planner Jennifer Burney read a letter from the homeowners. Jon Delli Priscoli and his wife Jennifer wished to proceed with the ANR, to “protect their own interests”.

Chair Don Morris explained what the ANR means to those in attendance. He likened it to a teacher telling a student they can bypass the final exam if they do all their homework. But first, they have to show that they completed the homework.

Based on the application date of July 9th, the board had until this coming Tuesday to deny or approve the application. After that, it would be considered “constructively approved.”

Their attorney claimed that they would hold off on use of the approved plans until after a discussion with the town. He stated that they are interested in working to preserve the home. However, saving the estate would require “cooperation and participation by the community and its elected officials”.

An effort by the town is in process. [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for A look at Southborough’s #8 “Best Community” ranking

GoLocalWorcester just ranked Southborough as #8 “Best Community” out of 72 in Central Mass. This is their 3rd annual ranking of communities.

I always take rankings with more than a grain of salt. (And frankly, I really wonder about the objectivity of a Worcester based site that ranks Worcester as the #1 community all three years, while other towns shift in rankings.)

These rankings are purportedly based on affordability, economic condition, education, safety, and arts & culture.

Southborough’s ranking here is in the top ten, but some readers may be surprised by some of the communities that were higher ranked:

  1. Worcester
  2. Harvard
  3. Bolton
  4. Westborough
  5. Holden
  6. Hopkinton
  7. Shrewsbury
  8. Southborough

Southborough’s stats used were:

  • Affordability ranking: 36
  • Education ranking: 17
  • Economic condition ranking: 3
  • Safety ranking: 5
  • Arts & Culture ranking: 11

Personally, the most surprising statistics to me were that we beat our neighbors on affordability but took a beating on education!  [click to keep reading…]

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A new AAU baseball program is recruiting Southborough players ages 10,11, and 13.

Home games and outdoor practices will be held in Marlborough at Fay fields. Indoor practices will be in nearby Hudson.

Anyone interested in learning more can attend a “Town Hall” on Thursday, August 7th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at In the Batters Box, 312 Main Street, Hudson.

The presentation will be followed by Q&A and a complimentary batting session with coaches.

Updated (7/25/14 3:00 pm) I fixed my mistake in the address for the Thursday meeting.

Click to enlarge

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Post image for Town warns house preservation “not a done deal”

Above: Demonstrators will be celebrating in front of this historic home this evening. But it will take more than a supportive honk to see preservation of the home through. (contributed photo)

Opponents to demolition of the Garfield (a.k.a. Burnett) House are celebrating news that the sale didn’t go through last week.  But Southborough’s Town Planner warns that preservation of the house “is not a done deal.”

Last week, Bridget Brady rallied her friends and the community to protest the demolition of the historic home. The protest garnered attention from local news station and newspapers. Tuesday, the current homeowners announced their refusal to sell the home last week in hopes of preserving the estate.

The teens plan to gather in front of the house tonight in celebration and support of that effort, or drive by and honk. (Click here for her letter to the editor/invitation.) Brady’s letter to the editor acknowledged there is work to be done. She hopes those that have supported the cause to date will help “see it through to the finish.”

I followed up with Town Planner, Jennifer Burney, for clarification on the status of preserving the home. Recent emails and comments have claimed that septic issues stopped the sale.  She believes the circulating rumors are inaccurate.

According to Burney, developer Bob Moss successfully proved to the Board of Health that he could install 4 septic systems while meeting setback requirements. His next step is getting BOH approvoal to use the existing septic as a shared system. And she believes Moss is still very interested in pursuing the project.  [click to keep reading…]

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[Ed note: My Southborough accepts signed letters to the editor submitted by Southborough residents. Letters may be emailed to mysouthborough@gmail.com.]

To the Editor:

For now, it looks like we have saved the Burnett/Garfield House from demolition. Thank you to all who stood with us and supported us by dropping off food, honking their horns, making phone calls, signing our petition and more! Please continue to sign our petition, (link available through our website – historicalgood.org), stay actively involved, and remain aware of the changing situation.

Because the children of Southborough achieved what we set out to do – save the house from near demolition – we will be celebrating tonight in front of 84 Main Street from 5:00 until 7:00 pm. Please feel free to join us or drive by to honk your horns again. (We really like that!)

I hope everyone remembers how our community rallied together to save this treasured landmark. Let’s see it all the way to the finish!

P.S. I wanted to share this quote with all of you if you haven’t already seen it on our website:

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
― Robert F. Kennedy

Thank you!

Bridget Brady, age 14

Updated (7/24/14 10:00 am): I forgot to change the wording from “tomorrow night” to “tonight” as requested. (She had submitted letter last night, but I couldn’t post until today.)

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On the market this week in Southborough

by beth on July 24, 2014

Post image for On the market this week in Southborough

Above: This home at 52 Atwood Road went on the market this week for $549,900 (MLS photo)

Here’s what went on and off the market this week. Thanks to Gail DuBois (email) of Keller Williams for supplying the town’s new listing information for the week.

New on the market

Sold

  • 14 Overlook Drive (map) – 8 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Colonial – 29 days on the Market, Listed at $629,900, Sold at $600,000
  • 3 Red Gate Lane (map) – 9 room, 4 bed, 2f 0h bath Cape – 31 days on the Market, Listed at $625,000, Sold at $623,500
  • 108 Main Street (map) – 12 room, 4 bed, 3f 1h bath Cape – 230 days on the Market, Listed at $769,900, Sold at $746,700

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Photo Gallery: Summer concert series; don’t miss tonight’s concert

July 24, 2014 02:30:00 AM
Thumbnail image for Photo Gallery: Summer concert series; don’t miss tonight’s concert

To get you in the mood for tonight’s concert, Southborough Cultural Arts Council is sharing photos from the last two concerts this summer.

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Favorite Places: A roundup of the best summer college road trips

July 23, 2014 03:00:30 PM
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‘Tis the season for college road trips. A roundup of not-so-far area colleges that could be treated as “mini-vacations.”

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SWL: Assabet Valley superintendent resigns amid $62 million renovation project

July 23, 2014 11:30:15 AM
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Assabet’s superintendent Patrick Collins to resign August 1, after controversy

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Southborough fire logs (7/15-7/20/14): Accidents with injuries

July 23, 2014 09:30:47 AM
Thumbnail image for Southborough fire logs (7/15-7/20/14): Accidents with injuries

The latest logs from the Southborough Fire Department.

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Garfield House saved – for now

July 22, 2014 06:59:09 PM
Thumbnail image for Garfield House saved – for now

Breaking news on the story of the Garfield (a.k.a. Burnett) House. Earlier today I was informed via grapevine that the house closing did not go through on Friday. A statement on behalf of of the owners has now confirmed that. In addition, it states that they hope to save the house from demolition. According to […]

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Seniors: 23rd annual golf outing seeks donations; save the date

July 22, 2014 03:30:18 PM
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The Southborough Senior Center (SSC) is in need of sponsors and raffle prize donations for its 23rd annual Falconi Golf Outing.

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Economic “stewards” update town on their work; statistics on town’s economic growth (Updated)

July 22, 2014 11:10:27 AM

An update from the EDC on their work as stewards of the town economy. And analysis of the town’s economy over the past 3 decades.

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Lacrosse: Boys team wins state and new Girls team seeks players grades 4-8

July 22, 2014 07:52:54 AM
Thumbnail image for Lacrosse: Boys team wins state and new Girls team seeks players grades 4-8

I received two announcements on Lacrosse news to share. One boasts the accomplishments of players in town. And one seeks to recruit players to a new team.

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