Garfield House ANR approved; owner still working with town to preserve home (updated)

Above: The owner of the historic stone house assured the Planning Board that he intends to pursue preservation, despite getting approval to break up the estate for development. (Photo by Kate Matison)

The Planning Board approved the ANR of the property at 84 Main Street yesterday. The plan allows splitting the Garfield (a.k.a. Burnett) Estate into 4 lots.

It’s one step closer towards potential demolition of the historic home. But applicant Jon Delli Priscolli told the board that’s not what he’s trying to accomplish.

Delli Priscolli referred to the ANR as:

technicalities here for establishing value. . . and zoning protection and other things that need to be basically put on the shelf while good faith negotiations continue.

As for the status of his negotiations with selectmen:

There is a draft agreement that is being put together by my attorney and town counsel. . . that’s one step. There are other steps but we’re working together in good faith.

The property owner explained their goal is to protect the property “the way you see it, forever.”  He summed up:

I have no reason to believe that this won’t be brought to a successful and happy resolution for all.

Earlier in the meeting, a Planning Board member reiterated their reason for the board’s approval.

Member Phil Jenks explained that the plotted lots all have appropriate access to established roads. Therefore, it is not a new subdivision. Legally, the landowner has the right to split the property to develop as planned.

After the ANR was approved, Delli Priscolli “informally” presented potential new plans for the estate. He explained that the original ANR plans were “inherited”. (They were plans produced by developer Robert Moss who had hoped to purchase the property and tear down the house.) New plans would still split the property four ways. But one lot would allow the stone house to remain intact.

He was looking for feedback from the board. He hoped to come back before the board, possibly in September, for a more formal discussion.

Updated (8/5/14 9:30 am) After viewing the final few minutes of the meeting, I added the last two paragraphs.

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Informally Presented Plan
9 years ago

If Mr. Delli Priscolli would like to discuss plans to incorporate a 4 way split of the lot leaving the stone house intact, I would be eager to hear from the Board of Health, How do you approve a septic for 11 bedrooms and now incorporate 3 additional lots. The Planning Board may have no say in this matter but we will need to hear from the Board of Health on further approvals.

9 years ago

The story’s lead: “The Planning Board approved the ANR of the property at 84 Main Street yesterday. The plan allows splitting the Garfield (a.k.a. Burnett) Estate into 4 lots.”

What in the world is an ANR? Would be nice if you spelled it out on first reference. You should also spell out “four,” as recommended by the Associated Press Stylebook for numbers less than 10.

Al Hamilton
9 years ago
Reply to  Dave


If you own a 2 Acre lot with say 300 ft of road frontage you have the right to subdivide that lot into 2 lots with 150 ft of frontage (I believe our rules require a min frontage of 150 ft). You can do this “by right”. The planning board reviews the plan but if it conforms to the rules then it is permitted.

The board does not have formal hearings like it does with Major Sub Divisions. The relevant section is:

If the Planning Board determines that the plan does not require approval, it shall without a public hearing forthwith endorse on the plan the words “Approval Under the Subdivision Control Law Not Required.”

The Planning board must act within 14 days or the plan is considered approved.

This is different from the Major Sub Division where a series of formal hearings and reviews are held.

In the Garfield case there appears to have been ample frontage and acreage to meet the subdivision by right requirements.

Note, this is not a permit to build or a septic permit or a permit to demolish. Just an approval to file with the registrar of deeds 4 lots where there was 1.

9 years ago


Do you realize that Beth runs this blog on her own time with no compensation whatsoever? I am not sure of her background, but I don’t believe that she is a member of the Associated Press, nor does she need to be to keep this entire community up-to-date on what is going on in our Town. What she deserves is our gratitude for the countless hours she spends in doing so, not petty criticism of her choice to use the number “4” instead of the word “four” in the title of this post. As for the term “ANR,” most people who are following this issue already know what it is, but if you were confused by the term, simply adding a comment asking for clarification would have yielded a swift reply.

Beth, you are a class act for restraining yourself in your comment above. Let me take this opportunity to thank you for all you do for our community. I am sorry that on this occasion your “job” turned into a thankless one.

9 years ago
Reply to  Resident

Good for you “Resident”. My thanks also to Beth in navigating well through this touchy subject.

Just Curious
9 years ago
Reply to  MarthaB

Thank you Resident!

And Thank you Beth!

9 years ago


Posted Aug. 7, 2014 @ 12:01 am

HUDSON – The future of one of Hudson’s most historic and treasured landmarks is no longer up in the air, as a Boston couple has purchased the Apsley Mansion with plans to maintain the home’s charm.
Built in 1902 for Lewis Apsley, a two-term congressman, president of Hudson’s Apsley Rubber Co. and director of the Hudson National Bank, the home was on the market for five years until Katie Lev and Trent Sevene purchased the mansion for $700,000 from Kirk and Price Carter, who restored many of the mansion’s historical features, including the furniture, ballroom and ceilings.
“We thought it was beautiful,” said Lev. “We thought it was too good to be true.”
While visiting the home prior to buying it, Lev and Sevene said they were awestruck by the century-old furniture and light fixtures, a stained-glass window design of Aristotle and his students, Apsley’s paintings, a basement bowling alley and Apsley’s original congressional books that are still housed in one of the 23-rooms in the mansion. The Carters sold the home to Lev and Sevene with all the historical artifacts intact.
“It made it a no-brainer,” said Lev. “It looked like what it looked like when Lewis Apsley lived there. It’s like stepping back in time. We read all about Lewis Apsley and the history of the home.”
While Lev and Sevene may renovate the downstairs bar and replace the home’s gutters, they plan to maintain it as a one-family home.
“We’re not going to do anything to destroy its historical significance,” said Lev. “We really want to keep it as it is.”
Hudson Historical Society member Richard Harrity is happy to hear the home will not be turned into condominiums or office space.
“It’s always been the showplace of Hudson,” said Harrity. “It does not disappoint when you get inside. It is very good news.”
Horse-drawn carriages often brought visitors to Apsley’s Pleasant Street mansion during the early 1900s for parties, high school proms, galas, fundraisers and weddings. The Apsley family owned the three-story mansion until Apsley’s wife died in the 1940s.
The house was left to the town and was later purchased by the Fraternal Order of Eagles who used it as a clubhouse before selling it to the Ouellette family in the late 1970s. The Carters bought the mansion in 1999.
“We love the history of it,” said Lev.
Jeff Malachowski can be reached at 508-490-7466 or Follow him on Twitter @JmalachowskiMW.

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