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CPC Proposals to be Voted at 2012 Town Meeting

Proposals include historic projects, Town Hall design study and Town Center landscaping restoration.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following was supplied by the Town of Sudbury website.)

At its meeting of January 18, 2012 the Community Preservation Committee voted to advance the following proposals for votes at the 2012 Annual Town Meeting:  

1. PANTRY BROOK FARM PRESERVATION RESTRICTION 

To see if the Town will vote to appropriate a sum, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, for the purpose of purchasing development rights to 94 +/- acres of land known as the Pantry Brook Farm  located on Concord Road by the Town or another conservation organization, by the grant of an Agricultural Preservation Restriction or Conservation Restriction pursuant to M.G.L. c.184, s. 31-32; to see whether this sum shall be raised by borrowing, under the Community Preservation Act, or otherwise; and to appropriate a sum sufficient to pay the annual debt service from FY13 Community Preservation Fund Revenue including bond and note issuance expense;  or act on anything relative thereto.  All appropriations will be allocated to the Open Space category and funded from unrestricted reserves. 

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE REPORT: This article requests an appropriation to fund the purchase of a restriction on the Pantry Brook Farm, comprising approximately 94 acres of land on both sides of  Concord Road just north of the Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School. The farm encompasses approximately 45 acres of land on the west side of Concord Road, and approximately 55 acres on the east side. Six (6) of the 45 acres  on the west side of the road, which include the old farm house and barns, will not be encumbered by this restriction, however the owners will be working with Historic New England to preserve those features in a separate restriction. This article contemplates purchasing a restriction on the undeveloped portions of the property which will prevent future development of the parcel. The land will remain in private ownership and be farmed, or left undeveloped, in perpetuity. The preservation restriction will preclude non-agricultural development, tightly restrict and control allowable land uses, and afford limited public access to the property. The farm abuts land owned by the State of Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife on the east side. This property is listed as the highest priority parcel for preservation in the 2009 Open Space and Recreation Plan, and a priority Heritage Landscape in the 2006 Heritage Landscape Inventory Report. 

2. PURCHASE AND RESTORE PROPERTY, 15 HUDSON ROAD 

To see if the Town will vote to appropriate an amount of Community Preservation Act Funds, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, for the purpose of purchasing in fee simple the property located at 15 Hudson Road containing  approximately one acre of land, and demolition of the structure thereon, subject to all rights and easements, to be used for historic, recreation or open space purposes allowable under the Community Preservation Act; to see whether this sum shall be raised by borrowing, under the Community Preservation Act, or otherwise; and to appropriate a sum sufficient to pay the annual debt service from FY13 Community Preservation Fund Revenue including bond and note issuance expense; or act on anything relative thereto. All appropriations will be allocated equally to the Open Space and Historic categories and funded from unrestricted reserves.

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE REPORT: The Town has the opportunity to purchase property at 15 Hudson Road (Lot H09-Parcel 0003) located in the Town Center. The lot is comprised of a .998 acre parcel on which stands a circa 1938 single family residence. The property, flanked by Grinnell Park to the east and the Village Green commercial center to the west, is an integral component of the Town Center Historic District, designated a National Register Historic District in 1976. If purchased the town could use this property for either historic or open space purposes. The existing structure is anticipated to be torn down due to its dilapidated condition. The property, once part of the first settlement of Sudbury, makes it worth purchasing to ensure that the essential character of the Town is preserved. 

3. HISTORIC PROJECTS 

To see if the Town will vote to appropriate an amount not to exceed $67,000 from the Community Preservation Act Funds, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, for the purpose of completing the following projects as recommended by the Sudbury Historical Commission:  install a fire suppression system at the Hosmer House; restore timbers and wooden gate at the Town Pound; and survey no less than ten (10) Old Homes as directed by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, or act on anything relative thereto. All appropriations will be allocated to the Historic category and funded from FY13 Revenue.

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE REPORT: This Article requests an appropriation not to exceed $67,000 to fund three projects in the historic category which have been identified as priority projects by the Sudbury Historical Commission. Two of the three projects are for restoration and stabilization, which will prevent further loss of the historic assets of the Town and alleviate potential public safety hazards. The fire suppression system would protect the Hosmer House, built in 1793, and the 400 + paintings in a rotating display there. The systemwould also provide a safety feature to patrons during open houses and community events.  The work at the Town Pound will entail restoration ofthe 10” timbers on the top of the stone wall and restoration of thegate. The next phase of the Old Homes Survey, as required by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, will be undertaken as the third project in this groupwith 10 properties identified to be added to the Town’s inventory. The CPC believes these projects are necessary to protect and preserve the integrity of Town-owned assets and to promote an awareness of the town’s historic people and places. 

4. TOWN CLERK HISTORIC DOCUMENT PRESERVATION

To see if the Town will vote to appropriate an amount not to exceed $106,000 from the Community Preservation Act Funds, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, for the purpose of restoring and preserving historic Town records, said work to be performed under the direction of the Town Manager with the advisement of the Sudbury Historical Commission or act on anything relative thereto.  All appropriations will be allocated to the Historic category and funded from FY13 Revenue. 

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE REPORT: This Article requests an appropriation to fund the third phase of an on-going project to restore and preserve certain historic Town records identified by the Town Clerk as frequently used by the public and at greatest risk for further deterioration. While the documents undergo conservation treatment they will also be digitized, thus preserving them in perpetuity. Digitization will allow the public greater access to the records and will alleviate the need for constant physical handling of original documents. The CPC feels that preservation of historic documents was a fundamental reason for including the category of Historic Preservation in the Community Preservation Act and, as Sudbury has upheld a long-standing tradition of maintaining its historic records, the CPC supports the use of these funds for this project. 

5. TOWN HALL ARCHITECTURAL AND DESIGN STUDY 

To see if the Town will vote to appropriate an amount not to exceed $50,000 from the Community Preservation Act Funds, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, for the purpose of completing an architectural and design study of the Town Hall for the renovation, including historic rehabilitation and restoration, of the building, or act on anything relative thereto. All appropriations will be allocated to the Historic category and funded from FY13 Revenue. 

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE REPORT:

The Town Hall is a significant historic asset of the Town.  Adaptive reuse of the building, including historic rehabilitation and restoration, is a long term goal of the Board of Selectman.  Town Meeting has previously approved allocating CPA funds to the historic restoration of the building’s second floor windows.  The study funded by this article will identify needed repairs to the building as it is currently used, and make recommendations for maximizing the utility of the building to the Town going forward over the next several decades, providing cost estimates for any work proposed.  Any resulting project proposal would be eligible for CPA historic funds to the extent covered by statutory requirements, and would require the approval of a future Town Meeting. Restoration of Town Halls is a very popular use of CPA funds across the Commonwealth, and has been an identified CPA project in Sudbury since adoption of the Act.

6. TOWN CENTER LANDSCAPING RESTORATION 

To see if the Town will vote to appropriate an amount not to exceed $200,000 from the Community Preservation Act Funds, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, for landscaping restoration as part of the Town Center intersection project, or act on anything relative thereto. All appropriations will be allocated equally to the Open Space and Historic category and funded from FY13 Revenue. 

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE REPORT: This Article requests an appropriation to fund the historic landscaping and restoration for the construction phase of the Town Center intersection project. The construction estimate prepared by the Town’s engineering consulting firm is $1,870,000, of which $200,000 is considered enhancements to the historical landscape above and beyond the basic landscaping in the project, and qualifies for CPA funding. These items include landscaping, stone wall construction, decorative walkways, ornamental lighting, and other site improvements to enhance the historic nature and open space qualities of the area, as well as the assistance of a Landscape Architect to design the improvements. If the construction funds are not approved at the 2012 Annual Town Meeting and/or ballot, this article will be Indefinitely Postponed. 

7. TOWN-WIDE WALKWAYS 

To see if the Town will vote to appropriate an amount not to exceed $100,000 from the Community Preservation Act funds, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, for the purpose of constructing new walkways within the Town, such design and construction to be guided by the spirit and intent of the Town of Sudbury 2001 Master Plan, the February 2000 Report of the Walkway Committee, the July 2005 Sudbury Board of Selectmen directive regarding public works projects on Scenic Roads, and by recommendation of the Town of Sudbury Planning Board, the Director of Planning and Community Development, and the Director of the Department of Public Works, or act on anything relative thereto. All appropriations will be allocated to the Recreation category and funded from FY13 Revenue. 

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE REPORT: This Article requests an appropriation to fund the engineering, design and construction of priority new walkways within the Town. The walkways funded will be selected by the DPW Director, based primarily on the neighborhood walkway planning initiative and with the recommendation of the Planning Board, from the list of walkways identified in the February 2000 Report of the Walkway Committee. The CPC firmly believes that the design and construction of walkways should be guided by the spirit of the Town’s 2001 Master Plan as it pertains to Town character, and by the July 2005 directive from the Board of Selectmen regarding public works projects on Scenic Roads. The CPC believes that Sudbury’s walkways provide a relatively low-maintenance/low-operational cost opportunity for neighborhood recreation, and recommends this sixth appropriation for this recreational use. This opportunity, in addition to the safety benefits that walkways confer, contributes greatly to the quality of life in Town, and has been repeatedly identified as desirous by residents not only at Town Meeting, but in other forums and studies as well. 

8. SUDBURY HOUSING TRUST 10% ALLOCATION 

To see if the Town will vote to appropriate an amount not to exceed $200,000 of Community Preservation  Act Funds, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, for the purpose of providing funds to  the Sudbury Housing Trust in support of its efforts to provide for the preservation and creation of affordable housing, or act on anything relative thereto. All appropriations will be allocated to the Community Housing category and funded from FY13 Revenue. 

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE REPORT: This article requests an appropriation to fund the Sudbury Housing Trust using the ten percent (10%) of FY13 anticipated revenues that the Act requires be set aside for affordable housing. The Trust was created at the 2006 Annual Town Meeting, provided with start-up funding at the 2007 Annual Town Meeting, and funded with the ten percent (10%) allocation each year since 2008. This appropriation will go toward implementing the Housing Trust’s multi-pronged housing strategy. The goal of all these community housing efforts is to make progress toward the state-mandated number of affordable housing units in town, and to provide an increased diversity among Sudbury’s housing options. The CPC understands that as long as progress is not made toward that goal, the Town suffers a lack of control over not only the location, but also the construction parameters of multi-unit housing (40B developments) anywhere in town. 

9.   AMEND ARTICLE 43 OF THE 2006 ANNUAL TOWN MEETING, SUDBURY HOUSING AUTHORITY UNIT BUY-DOWN 

To see if the Town will vote to amend Article 43 of the 2006 Annual Town Meeting which authorized the expenditure of $360,000 for the purchase by the Sudbury Housing Authority of housing units within the Town for use as affordable rental residences, expending no more than $90,000 on any one unit. The amendment seeks to increase the per unit subsidy so that no more than $180,000 per unit can be expended under this article, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, or act on anything relative thereto.  

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE REPORT:This Article requests raising the amount of subsidy for each unit of rental housing to convert market rate housing to affordable. Despite efforts over the last five years to purchase condominiums designated as affordable housing, as required by law in c.40B developments, the Sudbury Housing Authority has not been able to complete any purchases and there does not appear to be any likelihood that the original concept can be realized.  Therefore, the Housing Authority seeks to increase the per unit cap to $180,000 to create at least two affordable housing units.  This price is similar to the subsidies used by the Sudbury Housing Trust in its successful Home Preservation Program.  

10.  GENERAL BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS 

To see what sum the Town will vote to appropriate from Community Preservation Act funds, as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, for the FY13 Community Preservation Act budget, or act on anything relative thereto. 

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE REPORT:  This article sets forth the entire FY13 CPA budget, including appropriations and reservations as required in connection with the administration of the CPA funds.  The article appropriates funds for FY13 debt service obligations totaling $1,171,498.  These obligations arise from prior town meeting approval for the bonding of four projects: 1) purchase of the Dickson property utilizing the Open Space ($15,304) and Historic Preservation ($10,203) categories; 2) purchase of land and development rights as well as construction of a sports field on the Cutting property utilizing the Open Space ($353,872) and Recreation ($43,737) categories; 3) purchase of the Libby property utilizing the Open Space ($203,238) category; and 4) purchase of development rights on the Nobscot Boy Scout Reservation phases I and II utilizing the Open Space ($545,144) category. 

The article also appropriates funds for administrative and operational expenses of the CPC in the amount of $82,750.  The administrative fund can be used by the CPC to pay for technical staffing and expertise, consulting services (e.g. land surveys and engineering), property appraisals, legal advertisements, publication fees and other administrative expenses.  By statute the CPC can budget up to five percent (5%) of its annual budget for administrative expenses, or $102,000 based upon the revenue projection of $2,040,000 in FY13.  Any funds remaining in the administrative account at fiscal yearend revert back to the CPA Fund Balance, as they have for the past seven years, and need to be re-appropriated for administrative use in subsequent years.  The CPC believes that having access to administrative funds is critically important, in that it allows it to conduct business on a time-sensitive basis - a vital component of the CPA.

The article may also reserve the requisite statutory minimum of ten percent (10%) of the CPA budget in each of the core CPA categories of Open Space, Community Housing and Historic Preservation.  This minimum is mandated by the state CPA statute, and funds not spent in each of these three core categories must be reserved for future expenditure in those same categories.  The actual amount reserved each year depends upon whether or not that Town Meeting has appropriated money totaling less than 10%, or not appropriated any money at all, in any of these three core categories.  If there is a balance of unspent CPA funds from that fiscal year after such reservations and after Town Meeting has voted the CPA articles, it is budgeted in the unrestricted reserve account for future CPC projects in all three categories. To date, only the Historic category includes Reserves. Both the Community Housing and Open Space categories have expended the requisite 10% minimum allocations.

siobhan hullinger March 23, 2012 at 12:54 AM
I can't see voting for a "sum" for a restriction - what is the sum? Seems like a premature request if you can't publish how much you want. Blank check requests are not appropriate. Will there be a "sum" published in the Town Warrant? Was there an appraisal done? Why can't we just purchase this outright?

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