Sudbury Seeks to Enforce Town Meeting Vote

Published December 12, 2016 | Town Manager | Updated August 15, 2017 | Automatically Archived on 2/1/2020

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Town Manager Press Release

For immediate release:

Last week the Sudbury Board of Selectmen filed a legal complaint in Land Court to enforce restrictions on a parcel of land that a developer seeks to use for access to the Village at Sudbury Station, a proposed 250-unit housing project in Sudbury’s historic town center.

When the Town conveyed this Town-owned land in 2012, it was as part of a land swap that would give the Town additional cemetery land in exchange for enabling the land owners to access a previously landlocked parcel for purposes of building one house. The transfer was unanimously approved at the 2011 Town Meeting based on the stated understanding that the Town-owned parcel would be used as access to one house lot. The Planning Board subsequently approved a subdivision plan consistent with this understanding. The current proposed use of the parcel – to provide access from Concord Road to a large, multi-unit development – violates the intent of Town Meeting and undermines the very purpose of the land swap.

“It is important to fight to implement the will of our town residents, who voted to allow a very limited use of this land,” said Susan Iuliano, Chair of the Board of Selectmen. “The proposed use far exceeds the plans discussed with the landowners and carefully considered by all those who approved the land transfer.”

Sudbury Station LLC applied for a Comprehensive Permit to build the proposed development under Massachusetts Law Chapter 40B, which allows developers to bypass local zoning restrictions when 25% of the units will be deemed affordable under state law. The Sudbury Zoning Board of Appeals has granted the Permit subject to a condition that would allow the construction of 30 apartment units. The Developer has appealed.

The Zoning Board of Appeals decision, as well as comments from the Selectmen, reflect deep concerns about the harmful impacts of the proposed development on traffic and pedestrian safety, on the special character of Sudbury’s historic center and cemetery, and on the local environment.