Neighbors concerned about traffic, future development at site of proposed 40B

Above: Google Map showing the area of the proposed development. The condo complex would be built near the existing pond on the site. (via Google Maps)

A good crowd of neighbors turned out last night to learn more about a 180-unit 40B condominium complex being proposed for a parcel of land behind Red Roof Inn in the Flagg Road area. Residents told the Board of Selectmen they were concerned about a number of issues, but their primary area of concern – traffic – was mostly off the table, at least for last night’s discussion.

Southborough-based developer William Depietri of Capital Group Properties, who is proposing the 5-building complex to be called The Residences at Park Central, told selectmen he is still awaiting the completion of a traffic study that will examine the impact of the proposed project on area roads, including Flagg Road and Route 9.

Saying he also had questions about traffic flow, Chairman John Rooney acknowledged neighbors’ concerns, but tabled any discussion about traffic until the report is complete.

Depietri said the traffic study, which is expected to be available by the end of the month, will also include an analysis of recently-detailed state plans to overhaul the interchange at Routes 9 and 495.

According to plans for the proposed condo development, each of the 180 units would be allocated two parking spaces, making for a worst-case scenario of 360 additional car trips during peak commute hours.

With a new access road proposed from the development down to Flagg Road, neighbor Matthew Brownell said that would make the already treacherous intersection of Flagg Road and Route 9 even more so, particularly at rush hour. “It’s an exercise almost in suicide,” Brownell said of the current intersection.

In addition to traffic and safety, neighbors were also concerned about future development on the site. Diepitri told selectmen he is under agreement to purchase an 87-acre parcel behind Red Roof Inn, land currently owned by the Flatley Company, but the proposed 40B development only encompasses 25 of those acres. Residents wanted to know what the developer’s plans are for the rest of the land.

Depietri said while he has no immediate plans, he ultimately hopes to develop the whole parcel, with economic conditions dictating what gets built there. “It could be residential, commercial, or industrial,” he said.

The land is zoned industrial.

While Southborough is still below the state-set target for affordable housing units (the target is 10% and we’re at about 7.4%), residents worried about building a large 40B when another was only recently approved. Construction on the 140-unit Madison Place apartment complex just down Route 9 at Crystal Pond Road began this summer.

Bantry Road resident Wendy Demichaelis called it “irresponsible” to start thinking about another large 40B with the last still under construction. “We haven’t even had a chance to absorb the impact of Madison Place yet,” she told selectmen.

The 180 units at The Residences at Park Central would be comprised of 60 one-bedroom units and 120 two-bedroom units, Depietri said. Of those, 10 of the one-bedrooms and 20 of the two-bedrooms would also have a den. There would be no three-bedroom units.

Based on available data, Depietri said the town can expect about two dozen children to reside in the new development, and will see roughly $800K a year in additional tax revenue.

Selectman Bill Boland explained that while a 40B developer can come to the board looking for support, any endorsement or opposition by selectmen is “kind of a formality.” Regardless of how selectmen feel about the project, if the 40B designation is approved by Mass Housing, the developer can bring plans before the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

Boland warned residents to be prepared for a “lengthy process.”

You can read more about last night’s meeting is this article in the Metrowest Daily News, and in this comment by Southborough resident Tim Martel who attended the session.

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Publius
9 years ago

The traffic impact seems minimal in a worst case scenario. The road can easily handle 360 more car trips. Residential traffic impacts are some of the most minimal. A big box retailer, a whole other story. Prediction: The traffic study finds no adverse effect.

Tim Martel
9 years ago
Reply to  Publius

I disagree strongly. I live in the area, and so I drive on Flagg road every day. The nature of the scenic/narrow road, its connection to Route 30 and Route 9 (at 495), the school zone, pedestrian traffic…all these combine to make the area unsuitable for an additional 360 cars multiple times a day.

And beyond Flagg, the impact on 9/495 is…I believe the word used last night with regularity was “absurd”. MassDOT has already labelled the area a safety problem and wants to spend millions to fix it. That doesn’t take into account the upcoming EMC expansions, let alone a new 180 unit residential development.

Mr Publius, your “generalized/high level” argument completely fails to apply in this instance…as such hypothetical arguments usually do when confronted with a real-world situation. Also, while I don’t mind your anonymity, it would be helpful if you identified yourself as a Southborough resident…or not.

Matthew Brownell
9 years ago
Reply to  Publius

Apparently, “Publius”, you have never merged onto Rt. 9 from Flagg Rd. during peak travel hours. Never mind that Flagg Rd. is more of an appropriate country path for ox carts than a suitable road for car traffic. During peak travel hours, It can take a **single car** up to 4 or 5 minutes to find an opening for merging onto Rt. 9. from Flagg Rd.

Also let’s be clear with the nature and quantity of the increased traffic that will be brought to Flagg. Please understand that the Commonwealth – in their imbecilic Wile E Coyote plans to overhaul the Rt 495/Rt 9 interchange, is looking to ****DUMP*** ***ALL*** of the following egress traffic onto Flagg Rd.: (In 2 directions!!!!)

1) The proposed Diepitri/ Flatley 40B development (The Residences At Park Central)
2) Cumberland Farms store
3) The corporate office park
4) The Red Roof Inn

This is hardly “360 car trips” . . rather, it would amount to ***thousands*** of vehicles being spewed-out onto Flagg Rd in both directions daily.

The only thing more ridiculous than this proposal, is the shameful fact that someone, somewhere in MA state government is producing such sewage on our tax dime.

Kelly Winand
9 years ago

I cannnot imagine a worse site in Southborough for a project of this size. We are talking about locating a 180-unit complex right off Rte. 9, with an entrance/exit onto a winding, narrow road, right near a culvert which leaves room for only one car at a time to get by – add in the fact that in the very same area you have traffic exiting onto Flagg from Rte. 9, and you have a recipe for disaster. I can just imagine the amount of accidents that will take place at this location, with hordes of cars exiting the Park Drive complex, many taking a left into incoming traffic exiting 9. In addition, as one resident mentioned, it’s already an exercise in suicide trying to exit onto 9 from Flagg – we’ve all had the experience of waiting five minutes just to leave the street, and nearly 700 additional car trips at this location every day will help this situation how?! (And this before the Crystal Pond project right across the street has even been completed!) I can foresee down the road, with the inevitable traffic jams and accidents that will result, Flagg being made one-way, which would be a major inconvenience for those of us who live in the area that will now have to drive the long way around just to get to Rte. 9, or Flagg being widened and land being taken to do so, which as one resident mentioned last night, would forever alter the character of this road. And for me, I have the additional fear of a strip of land located between my driveway and my next-door-neighbor’s home, which is owned by Flatley, becoming an emergency access road into this project (this was discussed the last time a development was proposed for this site, and I can’t imagine the fire department allowing this site not to have said access). This potential access road is located smack in the middle of a cul-de-sac, a place where all the children in this neighborhood come to play. We can kiss that goodbye if said road goes through – who wants to send their kids to play in an area where at any moment a fire truck, ambulance or police car could screaming through?! And then when the traffic is unbearable what will be the next step – turning an emergency access road into a general use road to try and ease the horrible traffic in the area? I don’t think this is a far-fetched fear: Mr. Dipietri himself admitted last night that though this proposal is for only 25 acres, he eventually would like to develop the ENTIRE parcel – something that must be considered!
Additionally, there are two schools located right off of Flagg – we’ve all encountered kids walking on the side of the road to and from school. The added traffic from this site onto a road frequented by school children will make for an extremely dangerous situation! And forget it during the warmer months when there are landscaping trucks parked along Flagg road – you take your life in your hands when you can’t even see if there’s another car coming around the bend due to these trucks – you stop, look and hope for the best as you try to get around them as quickly as possible.
If this development goes through, the impact on traffic will destroy the Flagg Road area, and make living in this part of town an absolute nightmare. I hope the Board of Selectmen and Mass Highway seriously take these factors into consideration – the quality of life for many of Southborough’s residents depends on it!

Publius
9 years ago

Folks, the property is zoned for the intended use. Should the owner/developer sit idly by with the property he owns and just gaze upon it and never put it to productive use ? The property will be more productive and generate more tax revenues developed.

Tim Martel
9 years ago
Reply to  Publius

Your statement is incorrect.

The land is zoned industrial, and is being overridden by 40B. Selectman Boland, during last night’s meeting, mentioned that the town had a future plan for these industrial areas and that the developer was negatively impacting those plans (i.e. the 40B bringing less revenue to the town than industrial/commercial development).

Note: I believe I correctly understood Mr. Boland’s comments. I am not trying to put words in his mouth, and am not quoting him. If my interpretation is not correct, please correct me.

Kelly Winand
9 years ago

Mr. Publius, do you actually live on or near Flagg Road? If you do, I
am in disbelief that you consider the traffic impact of this project will be minimal. I live right off of Flagg and drive it every day. Believe me, trying to get onto 9 from Flagg during rush hour, and often at random times of day, is no picnic. And as I mentioned previously, the conditions of the road – narrow and winding, plus the pedestrian use (particularly schoolchildren) don’t make for an easy or safe commute (add in snow banks or landscaping trucks and it’s even more treacherous. Why is Mass Highway talking about widening this stretch of Rte. 9 if the traffic there weren’t horrible already?

We’ve yet to see the impact of the 40B across rte.9, and you think the traffic impact from Dipietri’s project will be minimal?! I strongly suspect he’s trying to tie this project in to Mass Highway’s plans for our stretch of Rte. 9 and get it approved before the impact of the Crystal Pond traffic is fully realized. And as I stated previously, Mr. Dipietri said at last night’s meeting he hopes to eventually develop the ENTIRE 125-acre parcel as more residential or residential/commercial property. If that cause you concern about traffic and safety issues resulting from
the development of this site, I guess nothing will…

Kelly Winand
9 years ago

And my guess would be that of course the tracfic impact study Capital Group had conducted for them Capital Group’s traffic impact study will be in their favor – no big surprise there. I will be curious as to what times of the day and the year said study was conducted. Unless it was over, say, a holiday weekend or between the hours of midnight and 5 am., I will find the results incredibly suspect.

Resident
9 years ago

Isn’t it true that this 100 acre industrial zoned piece of land was in the backyard of those complaining before they moved in? If an industry was being developed, with traffic being sent the only way possible, do their arguments have any merit at all?

Kelly Winand
9 years ago
Reply to  Resident

Yes “Resident” (assuming you actually are one), we do. We are the ones who have the dubious pleasure of trying to get onto Rte. 9 from Flagg in one piece; who have children attending schools located off of this road; who dodge oncoming cars driving too fast on a narrow back road frequented by schoolchildren; who already have lousy water pressure as it is. And we are the ones who will have to live with and be most negatively impacted by the traffic and safety issues that will result from this project. If you honestly believe this is the only project Dipietri has planned for this site, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.
Something tells me that if this project were proposed right in your backyard, your feelings would be very different. But I guess if something doesn’t directly impact you or your family’s quality of life and more importantly, safety, it’s of no concern to you. I’ll be curious to hear your opinion of this project and its impact on the Flagg Road area of town as well as on Rte. 9 in a few years’ time should it come to pass, especially with the addition of the resulting traffic from the Crystal Pond development and the inevitable development of the remaining land Capital Group owns on this site…

Kaytee
9 years ago

We were not able to attend last night’s meeting, but as a resident of Flagg Rd., I am against any access road for this development going any where near Flagg, or any of the other roads off of Flagg. As Kelly mentioned above, Flagg is a narrow, winding road. I am also a parent of children who walks/ride a bike to school down Flagg Rd., and has had some close calls. Even standing in my driveway waiting for the school bus to pick up the kids, the number of vehicles which speed around the corners is not safe. My kids safety is my priority. Yes, my son chooses to walk or ride to school, but there are days (snow, rain, fog) were he & I decide he is safer on the bus. Adding potentially “at most 360 vehicles” to this road is a serious safety concern.

I also agree with Kelly’s point about the waiting five minutes to get onto Route 9 from Flagg Rd. There have been times I have waited even longer than that.

Mr. Depietri, please take your plans elsewhere, thank you very much. Better yet, why not take the empty office building across Rt 9 that IBM used to be in that has been vacant a couple years now and convert that into your condos.

JOAMA
9 years ago

I also live off of Flagg Road and cannot stand to think of the impact the increased traffic will have. A few years ago a group of neighbors got together and petitioned the town to cut down five trees that blocked our view when getting onto Flagg Road. At the time the Planning Board dismissed our petition saying that Flagg Road would lose its :country road” appeal. It then went to the BOS which also disagreed with the residents. So, it has always amazed me when major develpors come in and want to scorch the earth and every one is on board!!! We could not get one tree taken down for safety purposes!!!
I have lived in Southborough for 17 years and have watched Flagg Road become a major pass through. Most cars drive in excess of the speed limit. What a disservice to our beautiful town. Obviously Mr.Depietri’s children don’t walk to and from school on Flagg Road, don’t ride bikes with friends on Flagg Road, he doesn’t walk his dog on Flagg Road. It is ironic maybe the Planning Board was correct Flagg Road is a country road. Do they still agree with themselves?

Jerry C
9 years ago

This will have a big effect on traffic entering Rt 9 from Flagg Rd. I use that entrance every morning, and it is very dangerous…. it’s bad enough so that I sometimes use Deerfoot instead. To make matters worse, on many mornings trucks park in the “State Highway, Do not Park” lane in front of the Cumberland Farms. This narrows down the entrance to the highway, and makes things even more dangerous.

What I would expect is that the cars would back up on Flagg, and the drivers would be forced to use Deerfoot, Parkerville, or go down Main St., and enter the Rt 9 from Rt85. This would have an effect on Main St. traffic and increase traffic around the schools.

LAH
9 years ago

I do not live on Flagg Rd. but do travel down it every now and again. What a nightmare that road will become with all the extra traffic this project would bring. The road is narrow and can barely fit a school bus down it. Serious consideration in widening the road and putting in sidewalks would have to take place should this project ever happen and the developer who wants the project should pay for it.

Carrie
9 years ago

just adding in that living on Clifford this will just add to the traffic that flows ever so freely from 9 to Clifford to Deerfoot up to Flagg or vice versa and during morning commute which is also bus time for both Trottier and Neary it is really quite a scene. The only people that drive with continued caution and care are those who either live in our neighborhood or who work at The Volvo Dealer; everyone else uses my street as a common thoroughfare.
One more extremely valid point is that there are numerous children who WALK to school (i know believe it or not there are those who do) —down Flagg, across Deerfoot and through the path into both Trottier and Neary. And the people who are zipping to work are not on their phones texting, juggling their coffee/phone/laptop/makeup/….

Another Flagg Road Resident
9 years ago

As another resident of Flagg Road, I would like to second what other area residents have already posted. The impact of the proposed development to this area would be nothing short of devastating. There is enough pass through traffic on this road already – vehicles that refuse to slow down (even in close proximity to children) because they are in a hurry getting to and from Route 9. And what comes next – tearing down the stone walls to make a wider road to accommodate all of the additional traffic? It’s just sickening to think what this proposal could do to this area of town.

I urge the Selectmen to do all they can to convince the State this is a horrible idea. If the Selectmen have any other suggestions (in addition to attending meetings) on how area residents can voice their concerns please let us know (i.e. – should we start a resident petition?).

Bantry Road Resident
9 years ago

Back to the comments of ‘Resident’ up above. Didn’t the developer who purchased the property, knowing it’s logistical challenges (surrounded by Residential zoning with extremely limited access points) assume a great amount of risk? They knew full well the property’s constraints when they bought it. At the time Flatley Corp. was scooping up any free parcel they could and took on the risk. Using your own reasoning, wouldn’t that invalidate the merit of their arguments as well?

James
9 years ago

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Southborough is not the quaint little country town that it used to be. I have been a resident in Southborough for over 5 years and the amount the town has changed is astonishing. Sure, the east side is still beautiful and country, but you need a million to get in. We seem to forget that part of the appeal of this town is its ease of access. Any town that has the masspike, 495, route 9, route 30 and 85 running through its center is bound to change for the worst. That’s just the reality of the situation. If you are looking for an affordable home in a country setting, I suggest you look west. That’s what I’m doing. Also, if you are worried about developments and traffic, don’t buy a house next to an industrial zone. Can’t fault a developer for trying to make a return on his investment.

Tim Martel
9 years ago
Reply to  James

Perhaps you have missed that this is a 40B, and where your house it located means nothing. Local zoning regulations are completely thrown away. Those on the east side of town face the same threat. Which is why it is important that the community stick together on these issues!

And the suggestion that we leave Southborough is not a well-considered one.

Kelly Winand
9 years ago
Reply to  James

James, you do realize that the huge increase in traffic resulting from this project would be funneled throughout other parts of town? As some residents previously stated, drivers already use other roads to bypass the Flagg/9 intersection because the traffic there is so bad already; if this project is built, where do you think they will go when Flagg/Rte. 9 is even worse? That’s right, commuters will be bombing through other back and side roads in town (roads frequented by school buses and pedestrians, including children walking to and from school), and backups will ensue in other places, such as at the intersection of Main Street and Rte. 85 (right where Woodward School is located). Because this project would not be constructed in your part of town, does not mean it will not have an impact throughout the rest of Southborough. And I’m sorry, your answer may be to just throw up your hands and move on, many of us have no intention of doing so. There is a big difference between a developer trying to make a return on his investment reponsibly, and one whose only interest is in how much they can get out of a town, despite the cost to its residents, then leave us to live with the fallout.

JOAMA
9 years ago
Reply to  James

James,

These developments MAY impact the price of YOUR house. You may have to move further west. Thanks for the support though!!!!

James
9 years ago
Reply to  JOAMA

Trust me. I’m not saying that I agree with the development of this town, but I do understand zoning laws and what to expect when you live in a neighborhood directly off route 9 and 495. Granted, it might not be zoned for 40b, but I’m sure you would all object to a legitimate industrial development in that same area. I have been to numerous open houses on Flagg and Clifford roads, all within my modest budget. The reality is exactly what is happening now. Realtors gush over how it is a beautiful, scenic, country road. Lets stop pretending. It’s not. Consider your surroundings and consult the zoning laws. Look at route 9 in Westboro and Shrewsbury. I’m sure many of those cut throughs were once country, scenic roads. That’s what happens on the route 9 corridor. That’s reality.

Southborough Resident
9 years ago

You’re right James, let’s just throw up our hands and say ‘forget it’! Preserving something unique for the future, ensuring safety for our residents and advocating for smart development isn’t worth it.

John Kendall
9 years ago

Not too long ago people complained about how many outsiders considered Southborough to be “snobby”. Looks like we are heading there again. I’m willing to bet if we were talking Southville Road, it would be fine to build with hardly a ruckus.

Matthew Brownell
9 years ago
Reply to  John Kendall

Mr. Kendall, that would be a fool’s bet.

Opposing developments that dangerously dump thousands of daily cars and commercial vehicles onto Flagg Road (which is more of a country lane) , does not make anyone a snob.

We ask for common sense, preservation of a community that is rural in character, and protection of neighborhoods that serve as an oasis to hundreds of Southborough residents.

Witness the calls that Southborough police have made to The Red Roof Inn over the years, for such swell activities like prostitution rings and capturing fugitives, . . . and we immediately recoil at the current State plan to route all traffic from the Red Roof Inn, Cumberland Farms, Park Place Corporate Park, and the Depietri nightmare – bi-directionally onto a 100% residential country lane known as Flagg Road.

This is not snobbery . . . it is, however, opposition to to an a**-backward, fly-by-night development plan that imminently and recklessly endangers surrounding Southborough residents.

Kelly Winand
9 years ago
Reply to  John Kendall

John, just because some of us don’t relish the thought of having the addition of 700 extra cars using and already dangerous Flagg Road and the roads that feed off of it every day, or having our safety and more importantly the safety of our children at risk, does not equate with snobbery. And for the record, I would find such a development located on Southville Road to be equally appalling, as it is also not a road fit to handle the impact of a development of this size. As I’ve mentioned before, Mr. Dipietri intends to eventually develop the entire site – this is just a start. And let’s face it, the amount of affordable units in these developments is minimal. 40B is a feel-good law that developers use to get around zoning and wetlands laws so they can push through large developments anywhere, no matter the impact on safety, traffic, conservation or town services. If these issues are of no importance to you, so be it, but for those of who do consider them important and worth fighting for, we will continue to create a “ruckus.”

John Kendall
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly Winand

I am happy to see that I caught people’s attention and raised the ire of a few. If anyone thinks this will be a walk in the park, think again. Unfortunately, not only will it be a burden on folks in the Flagg Road area, it will be a burden on the town as a whole. Traffic, water, public safety, schools will all take a big hit that we can ill afford. Everyone has to make their thoughts well known and be sure your voices are heard at any meetings or hearings on this project. It will be an uphill battle, but I think the townsfolk have the wherewithall to prevent it.

Johnboy
9 years ago

Wedgewood. You can take all the comments about the Flag Road proposal and substitute Wedgwood, . More traffic on Richards Rd. and Parkerville Rd. yada, yada yada. The whole thing eventually blends in and life goes on.

Al Hamilton
9 years ago

A few years ago we had a large residential development in our neighborhood. We went from a place where a farmer hayed fields to a place filled with single family 1 acre homes. The initial proposals had 40b’s in them but in the end we got single family homes.

Some of the same issues being raised here were on the table then. A neighborhood group got together and hired a lawyer and an environmental engineer. The engineer confirmed the reasonableness of the wetlands boundaries and the lawyer gave us some very sage advice.

The most important thing she said was to the effect: “Understand that the developer and property owner have some very significant rights too. If they cross all their t’s and dot their i’s something is going to be built on the property. Think carefully about what you want and what you are willing to settle for and negotiate for it.”

I did not like hearing it at the time but it turned out to be very sound advice. We got a traditional development, which I suspect the developer wanted all along, open space, and sidewalks in return for neighborhood support or at least non opposition.

My advice is get organized, recognize that you will not be able to prevent the site from being developed if the developer wants to do something, think about what you want, and then negotiate for it.

Matthew
9 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

I’m downstream from one of the “recent” developments and all the basements in our Southville Village area flood more since its construction than in the previous 100 years.
Years of flooding, complaints, and multiple sump pump installs and we get one letter from the town saying there is something wrong but they don’t know what to do about it or when anything will happen.
But that same year we did see that big “Storm Water Matters” campaign kick off! I felt better knowing they know it matters, as long as it’s in the Southville Village basements and not in the developments or uptown…

Do you think we will ever see a town campaign with banners that read “Traffic Matters”?

The lesson is clear that the residents must make as much noise as possible and compromise as little as they can because once it’s there neither you nor the town can ever do anything about it.

LTW
9 years ago

Don’t underestimate small town politics here. Capital Group is proud to be the sponsor of the Southborough Summer Nights fireworks amongst other “donations” within the community. I am sure the developer has friends within helping this along please be aware of that and if it does happen think twice when you vote!

This is a traffic nightmare. Just today people are exiting the do not enter at the Hess to avoid long lines out the right exit due to constant traffic. We regularly have people cross the white lines and drive right at you when pulling out on rt 9. On my way home a semi decided to pull over at the exit to Flagg, real safe, never mind Putting Wendy’s in the mix.

Everyone including me will use this as a cut through to the gas station (if you live near here you have seen cars in the empty lot on Flagg and people walking up to gas station)and easier exit to rt 9 so it is not only the number of cars stated, which is only accounting for phase 1, but many-many more!

Has anyone seen a sketch of the project in its entirety if so please post. They need to take the project into account as a whole and if they clear cut the forest there will be animal issues,has there been a wildlife study? there will also be a huge increase in road noise from 495 from deforestation, what are the going to do to abate it? someone brought up a good point on water pressure as a known issue by the town. People need to fight back and Mr. Selectman and other elected town officials need to know that his friendship and connection to the developer does not bode well for him if this goes through.

Al Hamilton
9 years ago
Reply to  LTW

LTW

You certainly have every right to try and influence public officials with your vote and the votes of like minded people (as does the developer). However, it is also possible to overplay your hand.

First, it is important to understand how much authority any elected official or board really has. If your goal is to have our elected officials kill the project and leave the site undeveloped you will be disappointed because they do not have the authority to do this. 1000 years if common law rest firmly on the side of the developers right to develop his property.

You might be able to secure the support of officials in developing the technical information that will require the developers to mitigate the impacts of their development. For example a technical review of any traffic studies.

Secondly, I think it is important to remember that all but one of our elected officials (the Town Clerk) are for all intents and purposes volunteers who give the town several hundred hours of their time each year. Some are compensated with a “stipend” that is far less than they could earn by the hour flipping burgers at min. wage. I think electoral threats are not very effective. Essentially you are telling them that if they do not support you they will have more leisure time to spend with their friends and families.

By all means, organize, run a slate of candidates if you want we need more contested elections even incumbents realize this.

Finally, you need to begin arguing with facts and figures and the law. Emotional appeals may make you feel good. Fiery speeches are fun to listen to but are easily ignored. Facts and Figures based on solid data demand answers before things can proceed.

Publius
9 years ago

Mr. Hamilton is correct, If properly zoned a property owner has every right to develop their property. Negotiate, mitigate if you can. Or buy it.

LTW
9 years ago

This is a MAJOR safety issue. This was not the intent of the property to link an industrial zone to the residence behind it. The developer took a big risk purchasing the property with limited to no access with wetlands and ponds on it without any site approvals. He s going 40b to avoid the issues he will otherwise have. I think people have the right to know the relationship to the town that Capital has is all. Public Safety and DPW should have major concerns with water, traffic and linking the Red Roof and Hess to Resiential neighborhoods. Property break ins are still a concern and the safety of our children and school zones should be #1 to all of us and our public officials not Capitals potential profits.

Matthew Brownell
9 years ago
Reply to  LTW

Spot-on.

It was never the intent to link this industrial-zoned property to the 100% residential country lane behind it.

It’s totally asinine.

Carrie
9 years ago

I am just waiting for the proposal to include showers for the new truck stop that is also being proposed as part of the new “One Stop Sleep, Gas and Go”
the road is not equipped to handle that amount of traffic and I really do not care what kind of 3D board with moveable people and animals or slide show is put together, those are the hard facts. The land was purchased and that is also clear cut; however, while the developers have the right to develop the site we (the townspeople) need someone on our side (lawyer/paid person not a volunteer Townsperson) to work for us to find every loophole and way we can have our rights and needs defined.
I am standing by my thought that if this goes through more time will be spent on dealing with car accidents on Flagg and one can only hope that a child does not get struck

Al Hamilton
9 years ago
Reply to  Carrie

Do not expect that advocate to be a town employee or even an official. To some extent this is an adversarial process and you need to organize and the neighborhood needs to have its own resources which will require money and organization.

Dean Dairy
9 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

Boil down to what is actually compelling this process. It’s state law.

The only reason the developer has leverage to impose this high-impact, non-conforming proposal on the town is a state law, MGL 40B.

Where do Southborough’s representatives to the state legislature stand on how the mandates imposed by 40B are being used against the town of Southborough in this situation? Do they support the current law and how it’s being used, or should it be changed or repealed?

LTW said, “I think people have the right to know the relationship to the town that Capital has is all.”

6/16/2012 – Dykema, Carolyn = $500.00 campaign donation
Depietri, William, President Capital Group Properties

10/13/2010 –Eldridge, James = $500.00 campaign donation
Depietri, William, Developer Self (Employed)

http://www.efs.cpf.state.ma.us/SearchContributions.aspx

Resident2
9 years ago
Reply to  Dean Dairy

I believe that the repeal of 40B was on the ballot last year or the year before and it was upheld. The real problem is that we have to abide by 40B and we have not met our required quota of 40B units. Until we do, a developer can get around our Zoning Laws. We need to identify a project we can live with, work with the developer to come up with a good compromise that allows us to meet our required numbers and then we will no longer be at the mercy of developers and their 40B projects.

As for Capital Group, they are in our community and have done some very good projects that went above and beyond to work with residents. Don’t throw them under the bus just yet. Give them a chance to respond to community concerns about traffic on Flagg Road. They might, and I say “might,” surprise us.

Certainly calling them all kinds of names and accusing them of government corruption right out of the gate is not a wonderful way to start. I’ll be right there with you if they propose the preposterous though.

Frank Crowell
9 years ago
Reply to  Resident2

Most certainly our state and local reps have seen the light on the 40b projects and will do their level best to fix this problem……………in forty or fifty years. Got to find a way to boost those declining school populations. The old law of unintended consequences to say nothing of watch who and what you cast your vote.

Carrie
9 years ago

that is exactly what i was saying Al –> and everyone reading this blog should understand that this entire development is going to affect the entire town. I do not even live in the immediate vicinity. Where I live has always been a coveted location with Andrea’s as my backyard. I just can see what is clearly right in this situation and what is clearly erroneous and will cause harm.

Karen Muggeridge
9 years ago

Anyone interested in this proposed development, as well as any future development may be interested in the Planning Board meeting tonight, when a representative from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council will be discussing the build out analysis of the Proposed New Zoning Code. This portion of the meeting is scheduled for 7pm in the Town House Hearing Room.
A copy of the report can be found on the town web site, http://www.southboroughtown.com/. You must then click through the “Proposed Zoning Update” link to find the document, “Zoning Bylaw Review and Build Out Analysis”.
I urge anyone who can to attend, and to review not only this one document but all of the proposed changes.

Karen Muggeridge
9 years ago

Susan, word is, the meeting will be recorded. It is not clear if it will be broadcast live or at a later time. Certainly, if there is time for questions or feedback, residents would need to be in attendance to participate. Thanks for asking.

Tim Martel
9 years ago

I attended the meeting. I’ll start by mentioning that the town planner is currently working to assemble the paperwork to update the town’s qualified affordable housing units with DHCD, and will submit a request to DHCD to certify our HPP.

Most of the evening was devoted to the discussion of the proposed OSRD zoning bylaw. There was an informative discussion that included a whitepaper on the zoning proposal as well as a presentation by the member of Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

Those in attendance had many questions and voiced several concerns:
1. that the build out comparison did not seem entirely fair, in that the OSRD max projection was not a true max.
2. that the benefits to the town of the “additional” open space were greatly exceeded by the benefits to the developers (i.e. developers gain +20% density by right in all sites – new and existing). There was an opinion that the open space gained from the OSRD would not even be realized, due to the nature of the available building sites remaining in town.
3. that some residents will see their taxes increased (i.e. if your lot suddenly is eligible to count as 2 lots then you will likely be taxed on the additional value). It was pointed out that this increase will not result in a positive financial gain for the town.
4. that the affordable housing restriction will be lifted (i.e. currently, an 8 unit development must have at least 1 affordable unit.) With the increasing number of total housing units, and the removal of this restriction, I have to wonder how the town will ever reach the 40B 10% mark under the proposed OSRD bylaw…
5. that the actual benefit to the town was question/ephemeral. what the town gets out of this proposal has not been well defined. The new zoning bylaw does enact the master plan from several years ago…but its less clear if it enacts the master plan appropriately/positively/etc
6. that the charts/pictures in the appendix about the 3 development comparisons are biased. While the current bylaw has a 35-55% open space requirement, none of that open space was shown in the pictures. It was shown in the OSRD pictures.

The Open Space Committee does not support the current version of the proposed OSRD bylaw.

Both the Open Space Committee and Sam Stivers will present their ideas for verbiage changes to the Planning Board at a later date (but soon).

Johnboy
9 years ago

The town should make the developer address all the issues regarding Flagg Drive before allowing the development.

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