(Sept 18, 2018)
“Save Our Historic Town Center”
Our mission, encapsulated in these five words, appeared on lawn signs that sprouted up throughout all of Sudbury. The priority was clear: protect the character and history of our Town Center and keep children safe.
Our three years of strong, united citizen and Town opposition has brought us to an inflection point: the developer is proposing to relocate Sudbury Station, allowing us to Save Our Historic Town Center and preserve it for generations to come. The new development would be located at the Melone gravel pit, and would be called Quarry North. Coverage of the recent BOS vote is here.
This requires your YES vote on Article 1, on October 15th, at Town Meeting. Please mark your calendars for 7:30PM at LS High School.
Failure to support the new Quarry North proposal will not protect our town from large-scale development broadly, or even at the Melone site. Laws in Massachusetts make such development inevitable, as we and many neighboring towns are learning. A NO vote would be a vote to locate a large, dense, and potentially dangerous development in the absolute worst place possible. It would forever damage our Town Center and impact all Sudbury residents.
We face this challenge because our Town has failed to take control of the 40B process and erred in 2011 at its Town Meeting vote. While many have been against development at Melone, a review of the facts suggests this deal is our highest and best chance to literally Save Our Historic Town Center.
That is why Quarry North received unanimous support from our Board of Selectmen and is overwhelmingly supported by Town boards and safety officials.
Unlike Sudbury Station, the Quarry North proposal offers the following:
1) Significantly less public safety risk (traffic safety, school buses, pedestrians, students walking to school, and future rail trail crossing).
2) Permanent protection of 40+ acres of pristine conservation land abutting our historic Town Center, serving as a buffer protecting our most cherished historic resources and setting.
3) Development of 100% previously disturbed land, Melone gravel pit, rated as being more suitable for development by Town consultants than the natural landscapes surrounding Town Center.
4) Potential for positive fiscal impact. The Town Manager and Finance Director reported the following estimates (25 year analysis): ~$50mm in tax payments received by the Town, compared to ~$32mm in costs. The cost estimate accounts for updated student numbers from Concord Mews.*
5) Ends what will continue to be a lengthy and expensive legal battle.
6) Offers the Town a chance to work with the developer to shape the project and negotiate mitigation.
A YES vote at Town Meeting does not mean we all should pop champagne and go away. The developer must make additional concessions to address traffic and safety issues on 117 and offset new costs the development will bring to ensure this development is revenue positive for the Town. Further, we will be involved in the public Zoning Board process to review all aspects of the Melone development to measure, manage, and mitigate concerns related to traffic and safety.
Have questions? Confused?
The Town has posted answers to Frequently Asked Questions, located here.
Mark your calendars and spread the word:
October 15th, 7:30PM, Town Meeting, Article 1, LS High School.