Melone and the Preservation of Town Center Letter

Published November 21, 2018 | Select Board | Automatically Archived on 12/6/2018

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On Tuesday, December 11, at 7:30PM in L-SRHS Auditorium, Special Town Meeting voters will shape the future of Sudbury by deciding on the use of the Melone property and the preservation of our Town Center. We urge voters to approve measures allowing the Town to obtain the 40+ acres of Town Center land currently proposed for the Sudbury Station development. In exchange, the developer will instead build on the Melone gravel pit property and provide $1M and other mitigation to the Town. This issue will be decided by a 2/3 majority vote at Town Meeting. There will not be a ballot vote.

The Town has vigorously opposed development of the natural, wooded land adjacent to our historic center, repeatedly appropriating funds for legal challenges to Sudbury Station. The historic core of Sudbury would be forever changed with multiple-story structures towering over Mount Pleasant Cemetery and in view of the Sudbury Center Historic District. Allowing Sudbury Station to go forward will also add two dangerous egresses to the already congested Town Center intersection, creating major safety hazards within close distance of multiple schools, homes, businesses, crosswalks, and the future rail trail.

The Sudbury Station developer has agreed to relinquish the Town Center land and instead develop Quarry North at Melone, land already disturbed by gravel mining. The Selectmen have successfully negotiated to reduce the size of the proposed development. The new proposal is a total of 274 units, 80 of which will be senior age-restricted. The developer will pay for Town-supervised traffic and school capacity studies and the costs of the Special Town Meeting. This plan also frees up $1.1M previously appropriated for the Town’s re-use of the Melone property.

Beyond avoiding both the uncertainties and costs of lengthy litigation and the irreparable harm of dense development in our Town Center, Quarry North will help diversify our housing options and keep Sudbury in safe harbor from hostile 40B developments after 2020. Without another significant 40B project soon, we will again be vulnerable to large-scale development, either at Town Center or another large parcel.

We recognize that many residents have questions about the proposed development. Town staff, boards, and committees have carefully considered this plan, and unanimously support the land exchange. Members of the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board and others are finalizing a Development Agreement that will provide a solid framework. The Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board, and other officials will continue to vet the details through an extensive permitting process. In the end, we seek a result that benefits our town.

We invite you to learn more by attending the Melone Town Forum on Tuesday, November 27 at 7:30PM in L-SRHS Auditorium. The Town will continue to post updates on its website: in advance of the December 11th Town Meeting at 7:30PM in L-SRHS Auditorium.

Board of Selectmen
Town of Sudbury