New Burnett House agreement reached (for $75,000 less)

Above: The Stone House and property of the historic Burnett Estate could be preserved for $75,000 less than the appraised value of a restriction. (photo by Alan Bezanson)

Town Meeting voters can expect an amendment to lower the Article 14 request by $75,000. Southborough has apparently reached an agreement to preserve 84 Main Street.

The posted Conservation Restriction agreement relies on $970,000 in funds through the Community Preservation Fund. (Remember, that fund isn’t from the general Town budget. For a reminder of where funding comes from, click here.)

The Warrant, published before an agreement was reached, had asked for $1,045,000. That was based on the appraised value of the restriction. (The appraisal values the estate, as is, at $1.8 million. After a Preservation Restriction, the value is estimated at only $755,000.)

Here are highlights of what the CPC funds would buy for Southborough: 

  • Preservation and maintenance of the land and the exteriors of the Main House, Carriage House, and Chapel.
  • Within 48 months of the Town Meeting vote, restoration of original exterior, trim, windows (with added glass sheets for energy reasons), and slate roof.
  • Additionally, rebuilding of the front porch, addition of a sun atrium onto the rear kitchen area and restoration of the original doors.
  • Allows conditional approval to historically reconstruct or replicate and relocate the Cottage (aka summerhouse)
  • Required grounds upkeep, conservation of healthy monumental trees, and consultation on any landscape plan changes.
  • Wrought iron gates will be at entrances but no perimeter fencing or tall hedges are allowed to block the property view.
  • He will also work to remove invasive species along the auquaduct.

The Southborough Historical Commission is named as the consulting authority with some veto power on many of the details around restoration and changes in the future.

The actual restrictions are quite detailed. You can read them in the full document here. And click here for the appraisal.

There are a whole lot of signatures needed on the agreement. But the most important approval comes first in next week’s Town Meeting vote.

For past coverage of preservation efforts for the property, click here.

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