Comments on Park Central draft Environmental Impact Report due July 21

Above: The state is required to review the environmental impacts of the large project proposed in Southborough next to the Rte. 495 cloverleaf. (image cropped from draft EIR report)

Residents who wish to comment on Park Central’s environmental impact should email selectmen by end of day tomorrow (Thursday, July 21st). Comments should relate to the draft Environmental Impact Report. (Click here to open the pdf file.)

The draft report was publishedby consultants and submitted by developer Capital Group Property. It describes the proposed development on the 101 acre property next to route 495 as:

180 rental 40B units, and 140 townhomes, with approximately ten acres reserved for a future phase that will include a 125-room hotel and a 150-unit assisted living facility. The project includes a new roadway as well as a new wastewater treatment plant with on-site disposal to serve the development.

The EIR is required through the MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) process. The condo project is being pushed through under the state’s 40B statute. And the townhouse project is linked by developer concessions given on the 40B to the Town and abutters. The scale of those projects, combined with state involvement, triggered the review. 

As the state’s website explains:

The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) requires that state agencies study the environmental consequences of their actions, including permitting and financial assistance. It also requires them to take all feasible measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate damage to the environment.

MEPA further requires that state agencies “use all practicable means and measures to minimize damage to the environment,” by studying alternatives to the proposed project, and developing enforceable mitigation commitments, which will become conditions for the project if and when they are permitted. [Click here to read more.]

The EIR draft was published on June 15th and posted to the Conservation Commission’s page of the Town website on June 28th. Comments were originally listed as due to Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs by July 12th.

Presumably the Town sought and received an extension for comments by selectmen. The following was posted to the “Events” section of the Town website on the afternoon of July 18th:

MEPA comments on Park Central

MEPA seeking feedback from Town on Park Central DRAFT EIR [environmental impact report]; due by 7/22. Email: selectmen@southboroughma.com by end of day 7/21/16.

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Allan Bezanson
6 years ago

A reminder folks__ MassDot DENIED egress from this huge project to Route 9 – FOR SAFETY REASONS. So all traffic during construction and after it is built must egress onto Flagg Road. There the choice is to turn right and merge onto 9 westbound at an intersection that has already scored a horrific accident record. Or to turn left and flood already dangerous windy narrow residential streets never designed to accommodate such a volume of traffic. IN A SCHOOL ZONE WITH KIDS ON BIKES.

Read it again — 180 rental 40B units, and 140 townhomes, with approximately ten acres reserved for a future phase that will include a 125-room hotel and a 150-unit assisted living facility.

This is the largest project in town since the Sudbury Reservoir in the 1890’s. It will increase our population 10%. IT’S NOT SAFE. Share your views with the selectmen PRONTO.

Matthew
6 years ago

Increasing our population by 10% sounds less like jamming a square peg into a round hole and more like paying to make the hole square.

With that much development and potential profit for years to come, wouldn’t it make sense to buy out all the neighboring residents? It would be interesting to get a rough idea as to how much real estate is involved, especially since its value is not likely to increase, more likely decrease, when any form of this project gets final approval.

Is all this public outcry and Town Department shenanigans just a way of extorting more out of the developer, making the case that they are not going to get what they want without major investment?

How many other properties are out there just waiting to capitalize on the market and jump in when the town is tired of fighting? Are we destined to be over run by developments that do not fit our rural character?

Just east of EMC there is a big blue and yellow sign on the south side of route 9 that looks like the next location for trouble. I guess if you’ve got the money you can buy the town and the town might even fight back, at least for a little while.

Allan Bezanson
6 years ago
Reply to  Matthew

Where this is proposed in the NE quadrant of 9/495 there is no viable safe access for traffic. MassDOT has had great concern going back years about Rt 9 access here and that is a major factor as to why the quadrant is undeveloped to this day. The other three quadrants have miles of safe access roads through non-residential areas.

Our Planning Board, in November 2014, to no avail, advised the ZBA to deny this 40B on the basis of traffic safety.

Matt
6 years ago

The Rt 9 and 495 intersection with the Park Central and Cumberland farms has been an unsafe area for years and MassDOT knows it. They don’t want to deal with the headache and the developer and that is why they are “kicking the can” down the road and having it become the Town’s headache on Flagg. The town has the power to make Flagg a dead end road. It will make the road much safer and protect the neighborhood from the increase in traffic. The town keeps telling us that you can’t fight a 40b project, but that is NOT true. Just recently in Sudbury, they successfully fought and won against a proposed project by Mr. Moss of Madison Place fame. Subsequently the town bought the property and now it is preserved and open to the whole town. They are now fighting another proposed 40b development (yes the town is fighting it!!) by hiring independent counsel and board of Selectmen voting against the development to show support for the town residents.
The difference between us and Sudbury? They have a BOS that advocates for the town and other boards who are not in cahoots with the developer….

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