Post image for SWL: Planning Board to approve application for plan to raze Garfield/Burnett House

Above: The ANR sought by owners of 84 Main Street are for plans to raze the the stone house built by Joseph Burnett in 1850. (Image cropped from July 7th ANR materials posted to town website.)

Southborough Wicked Local covered yesterday morning’s Planning Board meeting on the estate at 84 Main Street. According to the article, the Planning Board indicated they will have to approve the ANR to split the property into four lots.

An “ANR” is issued by a Planning Board when it determines a plan has enough frontage and provides enough “vital” access to emergency vehicles that it isn’t considered a subdivision.

Those issued an ANR don’t need to go in front of the Planning Board for more intensive subdivision permits, although they still may need to get permits from other town boards as well as a demolition permit. . .

the board Tuesday discussed the substance of the application and agreed that it should be approved because it conforms to the law.

The board is likely to approve the ANR at a meeting on Monday.

Yesterday, homeowner Jon Delli Priscoli asked the board to approve the original ANR with the understanding that he was the applicant. In the end, he “agreed to withdraw [Robert] Moss’ application and submit a “clean” copy.”

While pursuing his right to raze the stone house in favor of new development, Delli Priscoli maintains he would like to avoid that:

Although Delli Priscoli later refused to sell the property to Moss, saying he wasn’t told demolition was Moss’ only plan, Delli Priscoli said he nevertheless wants to uphold the property rights the plan represents.

“We’re working with the town on coming up with concepts to protect the property in perpetuity,” Delli Priscoli said on Tuesday. “In the meantime we want to make sure our rights are protected, and this plan basically does that.”

As for what the town may be coming up with as an alternative, selectmen aren’t ready to comment.

Click here for the full SWL article.


Post image for Cold-blooded creatures at the library next week

Above: The Museum of Science will bring reptiles to the library next week. (Photo from Museum of Science website)

Find out why a snapping turtle snaps, if snakes are really slimy, or what makes a reptile a reptile at the library this week.

Educators from the Museum of Science will bring some cold-blooded creatures to the library on Tuesday, August 5, at 11:00 am.

Discover what makes each reptile unique. Fun for grades 1-12 and adults, too.

Exactly, what creatures will they bring? Stop by and find out!

No registration required. For more information, contact the library children’s room at 508-481-5031.


Post image for Southborough fire logs (7/22-7/28/14): Motor vehicle and bicycle accident with injuries

The Southborough Fire Department released their weekly log. The listing of a vehicle/pedestrian accident alarmed me, so I followed up.

The accident took place on Saturday at Fay Court and Bridge Street. The department is legally limited in what it can release, but they were able to tell me the accident was between a vehicle and bicycle.

Before the fire department and police arrived, an off-duty paramedic was on the scene, evaluating the patient. The cyclist (an adult male) was then transported by ambulance to UMass Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Here is what else the SFD has been up to for the past week.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • 00:23 – Assist police or other agency, Main Street
  • 01:11 – EMS call, Main Street
  • 13:08 – EMS call, Newton Street
  • 13:30 – Smoke detector, resale, Crestview Drive
  • 14:00 – Propane inspection Coslin Drive
  • 14:30 – Commercial inspection Turnpike Road
  • 14:35 – Alarms-fire Turnpike Road and Middle Road
  • 15:00 – Smoke detector, resale, Harris Drive
  • 17:57 – Vehicle accident with injuries, Turnpike Road
  • 18:57 – Carbon monoxide incident John Matthews Road  [click to keep reading…]


Post image for New superintendent to focus on district and personal growth this academic year

Christine Johnson is the new superintendent for the Northborough-Southborough school district. I got a chance to sit down with her to find out how she feels about her new role.

Johnson tells me she has never felt more proud to work for the district.

As a former teacher and administrator at Algonquin, she would often be asked what district she works for, and can’t recall the number of times people would say, “Wow – you’re so fortune.

That feeling of pride has stuck with Johnson then, and continues today.

“Ten schools, three districts, one community” is the districts shared mantra. Working collaboratively is a challenge, but also the most rewarding.

There’s a lot we can individually, but far more can be done when we work collaboratively.

As one of the leading regional school districts in the state, Johnson cannot name just one factor that leads to its success – there’s an entire list: community members, parents, town boards, technology, administrators, faculty, staff, and much more.

In the end, everyone is here for the same reason – and that’s our students, that’s what’s most important.

As far as district goals, Johnson said,

We’re in a good place, we have an excellent road map and vision in mind of where we want to go. In education, your destination point continues to move the closer you get. We will continue to refine and revise. Growth is an on-going process.

Many initiatives have taken place over the past three years, which Johnson plans to continue, such as curriculum mapping, a focus on mathematics on a k-8 level, and refining literacy programs. One aspect that’s been proven a success is the district’s powerful educator evaluation tool. [click to keep reading…]


Post image for Garfield House ANR to be resubmitted by owners; look for Planning Board meeting next Monday (updated)

Above: The fate of the historic Burnett estate is still to be determined. (Photo contributed by Kate Matison)

This morning the Planning Board met to follow up on the Approval Not Required (ANR) application for 84 Main Street. According to Town Planner, Jennifer Burney, the initial ANR has been withdrawn.

If that didn’t happen, action would have been required by 12:30 pm today. Otherwise the application would have been considered “constructively approved”.

Burney confirmed that they are expecting a new application and plans from the owners this week. That should allow the town to restart the clock on the 21 day process.

Last week, the board learned that the estate owners want to pursue the ANR application that had been submitted by developer Robert Moss. If approved, the plans allow for demolition of the stone house built by Joseph Burnett in 1850. Plans call for the home to be replaced by three english-style cottages. The proposal has drawn criticism and controversy.

Owners Jon Delli Priscoli and his wife Jennifer recently announced that they hoped to work with the community to help preserve the estate. When Moss failed to meet a condition in the P & S agreement, the owners opted not to extend the deadline. Instead they are in discussions with selectmen about the fate of the estate.

But while they do that, they want to “protect their interests” by pursuing the ANR approval.

[click to keep reading…]


Post image for Summer Concert Series: Rock, jam, blues, jazz and funk – Thursday, August 7

Above: JB & The Raw Dawg House Band will entertain their hometown next Thursday night when they jam at the Summer Concert. (photo from their Facebook page)

Another fun night of free family friendly entertainment is coming up next week. The next Summer Concert series will feature JB & The Raw Dawg House Band.

The band plays rock, jam, blues, jazz and funk. On their Facebook page, they list Southborough as their hometown and promise to “play fun music that you can dance to”.

As you hopefully know by now, this series is more than just a community event.  The concession sales raise funds for Send a Kid to Camp. It’s a good excuse not to cook dinner on a summer night.

At each upcoming concert, Friends of Youth & Family Services plan to sell:

  • pizza from Dominos
  • hot dogs
  • ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery
  • popcorn
  • snack foods (chips, yogurt, granola bars, candy, etc.)
  • and drinks

The concert takes place Thursday, August 7th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Neary Field.  Remember to bring your picnic blankets and lawn chairs.

The rain date is Thursday, August 14th. (For rain date status on date of concert, call 508-485-0710 and press 8.)

If you’d like to directly help Send a Kid to Camp, you can make a tax-deductable donation to the Friends of the Southborough Youth Commission online. Mailed-in checks are also gladly accepted. 

Or you can support them by buying refreshments to enjoy while listening to great music.

For earlier coverage of the full summer series, click here.

Click to enlarge

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Video: Jr. Police Academy

July 29, 2014 09:30:52 AM

Every summer, volunteers from the Southborough Police Department run a “Jr. Police Academy” for town youth.

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Eye-catching installations sprout about amidst renovation at Assabet Valley

July 29, 2014 07:55:28 AM
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Assabet Valley students are taking advantage of the ordinary drywalls, set up, as part of its ongoing renovation project.

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Smilin’ with Hillers Fockey – August 10th

July 28, 2014 04:30:00 PM

Next month, a fundraiser for the Abbie Benford Memorial Fund will be held at Hopkinton High School.

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Why flags will are at half staff: Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014 02:30:48 PM
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Flags in Southborough and across the state are flying at half staff in honor of Sergeant Major Kevin Walsh.

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Garfield/Burnett House: More background, potential competition for funds, and a celebration

July 28, 2014 11:30:25 AM
Thumbnail image for Garfield/Burnett House: More background, potential competition for funds, and a celebration

Taking a look at some news on the issue from other sources last week.

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Police warning and logs (7/24-7/27/14): Bear sighting near Burnett Road

July 28, 2014 09:29:56 AM
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The latest log from Southborough Police Department.

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Events this week (7/28-8/3/14): Plays all around, plus library programs for kids

July 28, 2014 07:30:34 AM
Thumbnail image for Events this week (7/28-8/3/14): Plays all around, plus library programs for kids

Here are some highlights of events in and around Southborough this week.

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

July 25, 2014 05:55:43 PM
Thumbnail image for Selectmen to meet with Garfield/Burnett House owners about preservation as owners still pursue possible tear down

Selectmen will meet with owners of the historic estate at 84 Main Street to discuss preservation efforts. Meanwhile, the owners continue to pursue approval of plans to replace the stone house with 3 new homes.

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