In early 2019, a potential developer of the Stone Farm property, located at 554 Boston Post Road (Assessor’s Map K06-0602), filed a number of permit applications with the Town of Sudbury seeking to obtain approval to construct an approximately 100,000 square foot self-storage facility on the property. The first of these applications were those seeking Variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals to allow the particular self-storage facility use on the parcel. Due to an oversight of the mandatory 100-day timeline in which the Zoning Board of Appeals was required to take action on these Variance applications during the public hearing process, the developer was able to file for Constructive Approval of their applications. When this filing occurred, the Town of Sudbury filed an appeal against this action. After approximately six months of litigation, the matter was resolved in December of 2019. While this litigation was transpiring, in June of 2019, the developer filed applications with the Planning Board and obtained Site Plan approval, a Stormwater Management Permit, and a Water Resource Protection Overlay District Special Permit for the project. In September 2019, the Historical Commission placed a Demolition Delay on the project which is in effect through March 2020. In November of 2019, a citizen petition to create a historic district at Stone Farm was submitted to the Town initiating a Special Town Meeting on January 2, 2020. The article was defeated at Town Meeting, thus a Stone Farm historic district will not be created. Further information on all of the above can be found below.
Citizen Petition-Initiated Special Town Meeting
A proposal to create a local historic district at the Stone Farm property was brought forth by Sudbury residents who obtained the requisite number of signatures to call a Special Town Meeting. This petition was submitted to Town offices on November 14, 2019 and the Board of Selectmen subsequently scheduled the Petition-Initiated Special Town Meeting for January 2, 2020. As a result of this petition submission, the Planning Board was required to hold a public hearing on the matter to gather comments on the proposal and provide a recommendation to the Special Town Meeting. The Planning Board held their public hearing on December 11, 2019 at 7:30 PM in the Lower Town Hall, 322 Concord Road.
After this public hearing, the Historic Districts Commission and Board of Selectmen both met independently to discuss the proposal and provide a collective stance on the matter. Both the Historic Districts Commission (4 members in favor and one abstaining) and the Board of Selectmen (unanimously) voted against supporting the proposal. Then, on December 18, 2019, subsequent to their public hearing, the Planning Board deliberated and also voted unanimously to recommend that Special Town Meeting not approve the proposed historic district for the property.
The Citizen Petition-Initiated Special Town Meeting was held on Thursday, January 2, 2020 at 7:00 PM in the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Auditorium, and the proposal to create a new local historic district was defeated by a significant margin.
Zoning Board of Appeals: Legal Documents
Below are public documents related to the Zoning Board of Appeals Stone Farm litigation proceedings which were resolved in December of 2019. Please click on the hyperlinked titles to access each document.
Planning Board: Approved Permits
Subsequent to completing the process with the Zoning Board of Appeals, the developer filed three applications with the Planning Board for Site Plan Review, a Stormwater Management Permit, and a Water Resource Protection Overlay District Special Permit for the proposed self-storage facility. In September 2019, the developer received approval for each of these items by votes of 4-0 on each matter. The decisions and approved plans for these permits are as follows:
Additionally, in order to move forward with the proposed project, the developer filed for Demolition Permits with the Building Department for the existing Stone Tavern building (a partial demolition) and Stone Farm barn (a full demolition). Due to the age of these buildings, they were subject to review by the Historical Commission, who found them to be historically significant and preferably preserved buildings. As such, the Historical Commission implemented a 6-month delay on the Demolition Permits for each of these buildings in September of 2019. Over the next six months, the Historical Commission will be attempting to work with the developer to see if an alternative solution to demolition of these buildings can be reached. The Demolition Determinations and Reports for each of these buildings are as follows:
For questions regarding any of the above matters, please contact the Planning and Community Development Department at 978-639-3387 or PCD@sudbury.ma.us.