Last night at the 550 seat Medfield High School auditorium, a standing room only crowd that I estimated at 800-1,000 openly hostile Medfield residents listened to and then grilled John Kelly and his development team, headed by Jeff Engler, about Kelly’s proposed 200 unit 40B development on Dale Street for almost four hours, starting at 7PM. Medfield.TV recorded the meeting, as they do almost all selectmen meetings, but they were not able to broadcast it live from the MHS.
The meeting started with a short summary presentation by the developer team, but most of the night was taken up by residents questioning the developer. No resident present appeared satisfied with any of the explanations provided. Senator Timilty and Representatives Denise Garlick and Shawn Dooley all spoke. Senator Timilty delivered an impassioned speech that promised the residents that he would do all he could to defeat the proposal. The Representatives also promised to support the town’s defense.
The architect admitted that his instructions were to design a 200 unit (the maximum allowed by statute) project. The consultant and developer both admitted that 200 units is not their ultimate goal, but both refused to suggest what number of units would be acceptable to them. The developer, who lives in Sherborn, said that this was his first project in the United States, but that his group has a history of development in Ireland. Kelly commented that he wanted to do a “good project,” one he could be proud of, which drew strong negative reactions due to his dramatically out of scale proposal.
The Town of Medfield will continue to pursue many separate goals and options, so as to keep as many options open to the town as possible. The residents’ first goal would be to block this proposal.
Several residents suggested the need to town residents to donate to a fund to fight against this proposal, and the proposed option is to create a town gift account to be set up to receive donations that the town will use to hire expertise to oppose this and any other 40B developments. Any such donation can be made by mailing a check to the Treasurer/Collector at the Town House and noting in the memo line that it is for the “40B gift account.”