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Selectmen to Vote on Possible Purchase of Concord Road Property

Residents want the purchase to go through to stop a private buyer from building a home on the 2.2-acre lot.

Selectmen Larry O'Brien, left, and Bob Haarde are seen during the Nov. 5 meeting. Staff photo by Robert Fucci
Selectmen Larry O'Brien, left, and Bob Haarde are seen during the Nov. 5 meeting. Staff photo by Robert Fucci
The Town of Sudbury's deadline to vote on first right of refusal to purchase a 2.2-acre parcel of land on Concord Road is this week, and the Board of Selectmen is expected to make that vote at its Dec. 17 meeting.

According to its agenda, the Board will take that vote regarding 233 Concord Road at 8 p.m. during a public hearing.

If a "Yes" vote is recorded, the Town will be required to appropriate funds for this purchase. If a "No" vote is recorded, there will be no financial impact. The deadline to cast the vote is Dec. 19.

Many residents have voiced concern over having a private buyer purchase the land and possibly use it to build a house.

"If this is not a high priority for the people in this room," Concord Road resident Suzanne Kellogg said at the Nov. 5 Board meeting, "then I’m ashamed to be a part of this town."

In a narrow 3-2 vote at that meeting, the Board decided to ask the Community Preservation Committee for $100,000 toward the purchase, meaning the remaining $225,000 would have to come from private fundraising. That amount would need to come within 35 days of that vote.

David Frasca, another Concord Road resident, said it's unlikely to happen.

"I hope we can find a way to keep it togther," he said. "I'm all for a public/private partnership (to raise the funds). But I think it's a steep hill to get to $225,000."

The land is currently owned by Stephen and Sharon Booma.

Chairman John Drobinski said the Board wants to do what's right for the town.

"Our heart is there, but we're nervous about the finances," he said.

If the residents are able to raise the $225,000, the Boomas would have to OK an extension for the sale.

"I've heard many good reasons to do this, and I've heard many not to do it," Vice Chair Chuck Woodard said. "I'm torn over the issue."

john baranowsky December 16, 2013 at 01:43 PM
I'm shocked that the land owner has the audacity to propose building a house on a house lot!
siobhan hullinger December 16, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Who is to say whether the town will build on this themselves? I would rather see one house built to historic district standards than a duplex or….
john baranowsky December 16, 2013 at 02:46 PM
These days, so rarely do we see anything being proposed that actually is allowed by right, that no one seems to even begin to know what to do. This is an ANR lot meaning Approval Not Required under the Subdivision Control Act. The Planning Board must and did allow the lot to be created as existing frontage on a public way and sufficient area are there. No votes can be harvested toward the next run nor money made unless drama is created.
pmotw December 16, 2013 at 03:42 PM
So some want to build high density 40B housing on property the town already owns (Malone) and spend $325,000.00 on another property so no one builds on it? What makes one of these property’s more important to “preserve”? Seems to me they should be treated equally. They both could be preserved or they both could have high density 40B housing. This effort is being driven by a few people local to the property who will be the only ones to benefit if it’s preserved. How would this purchase benefit all taxpayers? It would be land no on uses for anything and less tax revenue if it’s owned by the town. If this Concord Road property is purchased, will this set a standard down the road for similar situations? The BOS better be very careful about this one.
Silence DoBad December 16, 2013 at 04:23 PM
We should erect a 10 unit 40B condo complex!!! Think how much money we could put in the builders pocket!
john baranowsky December 16, 2013 at 04:51 PM
If you go back over past decisions and then look at which abutters are members of Boards or committees, it becomes rather obvious how the game is played.
Spirit of 01776 December 16, 2013 at 06:37 PM
I am hoping that tonight, in tribute to Tom Laughlin, Haarde reenacts the legendary ice cream parlor scene from the greatest film of all time, Billy Jack. Haarde will play Billy, with Larry as Bernard, Drobo as This Big Ape Here, Len as the guy in the blue shirt, and Mo as the owner of the shop aka I Do What I Want. Martin represents South Sudbury -- beaten up again without any hope of victory. God's Little Gift of Sunshine and the hippy girl represent town politics -- obfuscation under the guise of pretending to help and solve problems. Billy Jack's jeep is SPS -- made useless by the town establishment's tampering with its engine (funding). It looks fine but won't get you anywhere.
Silence DoBad December 17, 2013 at 06:51 AM
I do appreciate the thought and preparation that went into that Spirit!
Silence DoBad December 17, 2013 at 06:59 AM
OHHHHH, ANOTHER USELESS SOLAR FARM! We could power another 5 houses if we put wall to wall eye-sore solar panels up! And think of the expense!
Chris Blanchette December 17, 2013 at 08:50 AM
The right to build on property you own is right up there with freedom of speech.
JON999 December 17, 2013 at 05:31 PM
actually, it's not. in any case, the Selectmen are deciding whether the Town should exercise its right to purchase the lot, not whether or not a private owner has a right to build. it will be interesting to see which way this one goes. the last two 61A options the Town had were not exercised, with Haarde being outvoted 2-1, I believe. those two parcels are now large-scale 40Bs at top of Landham Rd.
siobhan hullinger December 17, 2013 at 11:23 PM
A lot with only partial development possibilities, such as Concord Rd, is not an appropriate comparison to the developments at the head of Landham Road.
Silence DoBad December 18, 2013 at 07:10 AM
How about we buy it and put up a bench? OR 40B housing. Or how about buying it and leaving it open space? OR 40B How about making it the start of the Silly Rail Trail? OR 40B! How About making it a watering hole for the Sudbury Selectmen, I think it is closed for most of them to drive home? OR 40B!! How about another waste of space SOLAR FARM? OR 40B!!! We all know they are going to give the contract to their developer friend that makes 40B properties at a HUGE Profit to himself. My question is how does that trickle down to the selectmen? favors, gifts, pats on the back?
JON999 December 18, 2013 at 09:43 AM
MassHousing would allow 17 units on that site (8 units per acre) for a 40B - maybe two 5-story towers plus 25 or so parking spots? that's not insignificant. who knows, maybe that's what the prospective new owner actually has in mind. what would stop him? (the Historic Districts Commission would have no standing) btw, that 40B limitation goes up to 25 units per acre with a sewer line. so if route 20 is sewered (I hope not - it doesn't need to be), then any of the many 4+ acre lots (or agglomeration of smaller lots) on route 20 could become a 100-unit 40B (similar size to Longfellow Glen) - for example.
Silence DoBad December 18, 2013 at 04:04 PM
I still think we should make it a drinking establishment for the selectmen. They could hold their Christmas party there and with the proceeds from the cash bar we could balance our budget at the end of every Fiscal Year.

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