Category Archives: Downtown

Medfield Press on EDC’s report to BoS on downtown

Downtown Summit

Medfield Press has a  good article (copy also inserted below) on the report to selectmen at our meeting Tuesday on the downtown summit held by the town’s Economic Development Committee with the assistance of the MAPC.  The MAPC representative stressed that what the town will ultimately get in the end is a To Do List for our downtown.

Also, Adam Stuhlman of the Medfield Press reported to us on Tuesday that the Medfield Press now has two reporters covering the town, which is welcome news, as the town can only benefit from good newspaper coverage – and Adam is doing a good job.


 

Medfield study shows residents’ downtown wishlist

Posted Mar. 24, 2016 at 12:32 PM

MEDFIELD

The Economic Development Committee and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council released the results of a study from February that showed what residents felt were the strengths and weaknesses of the downtown area.

The study showed that while residents like the area, they are concerned about traffic and parking. The Board of Selectmen Tuesday agreed to a proposal to do a parking and sidewalk study. Before the study begins they want to reach out to old members of the dormant Downtown Study Committee, said Patrick Casey, chairman of the Economic Development Committee.

On Feb. 9, the committee and the council held a public forum at the Medfield Public Library to determine what residents thought of the area in terms of necessary changes and good uses. Casey said about 90 people attended, with the results showing most people enjoying what the area offers.

“People said the downtown area was walkable and visually appealing,” he said. “They like the fact that it has historic structures like the Peak House, Clark’s Tavern and the churches. They also liked the independent shops.”

At the same time, he said the results showed several needed areas of improvement, according to residents. People were worried about traffic, parking and pedestrian safety. Also mentioned was the low number of retail stores and there being “no gathering places for kids,” according to Casey.

Casey also said the committee talked to about 30 downtown area businesses last summer, with most of them saying the town has been good to work with.

“We have a good starting point and we want to make it stronger. We just need to remove negatives like traffic and parking to make a trip there easier,” he said.

Steve Winter, director of economic development for the MAPC said the study was paid for by the state and cost $15,000. He said a lot of work remains to be done on this project and that residents need to appreciate what they have in the downtown area.

“The history of Medfield is woven into the downtown area,” he said.

LCB buys Clark Tavern

Good article from the Medfield Press –  the Clark Tavern now appears headed to becoming a private residence (to which the public will not have access).

Peak House & Clark Tavern

Peak House & Clark Tavern

LCB has purchased the old Clark Tavern.

LCB has purchased the old Clark Tavern. The company plans on fixing up the historic building and to plant a lot of pine trees on the property.
LCB has purchased the old Clark Tavern.John and Michelle Linnert have sold the Clark Tavern to LCB after giving up on their plans for the historic building that were tied up in the state’s land court for the past few years.

By Adam Stuhlman

Posted Mar. 17, 2016 at 8:42 AM

MEDFIELD

LCB Director of Corporate and Marketing Affairs Ted Doyle said his company has agreed to a purchase and sale agreement to take ownership of the historic Clark Tavern off Route 109 as part of their plan to develop a senior citizen assisted living facility on 361-363A Main Street. Of the 14.7 acres LCB owns, Doyle said that 2.7 acres would be developed, leaving approximately 12 acres unused.

Doyle anticipates LCB closing on the property during the summer.

Many Medfield residents are concerned about the proposed development and the effect it would have on the Clark Tavern and the Peak House. Residents want both historic buildings and the land they sit on protected.

John and Michelle Linnert sold LCB the Clark Tavern. They originally wanted to use the tavern, which today is in rough shape, as a restaurant and a multi-use function facility, according to a March 13, 2015 article in http://medfield.wickedlocal.com/article/20150313/News/150317844.

David Temple, president of the Medfield Historical Society, said the Linnerts bought the property several years ago. The Linnerts’ plans, which were approved by the town, were delayed in state land court on multiple occasions by objectionable neighbors. The former owners become tired of the delays and decided to sell the property to LCB.

“I’m disappointed for them because they felt that due to stalling from neighbors in court that they had enough and were going to give up,” Temple said.

While Doyle said this design enhances the proposal without changing it, Temple said he has spoken with the Linnerts in the past about the tavern and is concerned that LCB might try and do something to it.

“I am concerned about whether or not the Linnerts could put in a clause to say that nothing will happen to the building,” he said. “Could the corporate headquarters of LCB decide to take it down?”

The Linnerts did not return a call in time for print.

Doyle is seeking to alleviate the worries of residents.

“People are concerned the tavern might be torn down,” said Doyle. This is “absolutely not our intention. The whole point in doing this is to protect it.”

“This [proposal] takes that [worry] off the table. We are trying to put our best project together and we see this as a real opportunity to work well with the community. We hope this is a win/win scenario because we want to maintain it as a two-family residential use and protect it from commercial development,” said Doyle.

Doyle said this proposal addresses many concerns that the citizens have.

“The combination of the assisted living community and a residential use of the tavern represent 48 percent less weekly traffic than the (previously) approved tavern project alone,” Doyle said.

The design proposal enhances the esthetics by “eliminating 43 parking spaces next to the Peak House” and adding area lighting. This plan would allow them to save numerous trees and do extensive planting of several dozen 20-foot tall pine trees throughout the site, thus allowing “for more privacy” while addressing “the visual concerns of the project,” Doyle said.

As a part of the agreement, LCB will pledge $5,000 a year for preservation and maintenance of the Peak House for as long as the company owns the assisted living property. In addition, they will donate $10,000 worth of supplies to the Medfield Food Cupboard and an internship program for local students.

Medfield resident David Stephenson, one of the lead antagonists towards the proposed development, and said it is good news that the future of the tavern is secure even if the development moves ahead. Following the concept of real estate – location, location, location, he maintained his opposition to the assisted living facility location.

“The proposed facility’s location is unacceptable. There is no amount of fine tuning they can do that will change our opposition to this,” he said.

Doyle said that if the assisted living project is rejected by the town, LCB would sell the land and the Clark Tavern.

Follow reporter Adam Stuhlman on Twitter: @adam_wtimes

Straw Hat Park coming soon

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straw hat park

This update from Jean Mineo on the Straw Hat Park construction work getting going – the DPW was unfortunately not able to do the work last fall.  Kudos to the Straw Hat Park committee members for fund raising over $40,000 to complete the park without further town funds, and thanks to those donors.  The Straw Hat Park will be an iconic addition to the downtown.


 

Hello Mike and Kristine, (cc: Selectmen),

I’m excited to announce that the Straw Hat Park Committee reconvened today after a winter hiatus and met with representatives of the DPW to discuss a general schedule and phasing of the work. The DPW estimates their work can be completed in April after winter clean up in town, and the planting installation can be done in May. After a brief period of rest for the plants and grass to begin to get established, we expect the public can use the park in early-mid June.
We propose to schedule a ground breaking with all of you next month and a ribbon cutting or opening ceremony in June.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress and expect to post images and updates on our Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/StrawHatPark
Thank you for your ongoing support.

Jean

 

508-242-9991

JeanMineo@aol.com

@JeanRMineo

www.LinkedIn.com/in/JeanMineo

PB agenda from last night

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Planning Board on assisted living bylaw change

planning

At the planning board last night there was a hearing held on the annual town meeting (ATM) warrant article that I suggested and wrote, which had been approved by the full board of selectmen, that effectively undid the 2012 annual town meeting vote that changed our zoning bylaws to permit assisted living facilities in the RS district (residential with 20,000 sq. ft. lots) by special permit. My proposed warrant article was an inelegant, mechanical rollback to the prior dated zoning language.  In an impressive bit of drafting and leadership in front of a room full of 50 intensely interested citizens, Wright Dickinson, skillfully revised the language of the proposed warrant article on the fly in a way that both dramatically improved it as a zoning article, and satisfied those who had come to the hearing.

The zoning article in question was a change at the 2012 annual town meeting that made assisted living facilities permitted in the RS zoning district by a special permit issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals, and which LCB is currently using to site its proposed facility. The procedural problem at the 2012 ATM was that the description of the zoning article that was published in the ATM booklet mailed out to residents prior to the town meeting did not clearly describe that particular change. To actually understand the full import of the zoning change, one had to consult documents only available in the town clerk’s office.

Since I believed that the 2012 ATM process had failed the residents by not being either explained or transparent enough, I suggested and tried to craft a zoning article for the upcoming annual town meeting that would allow the residents to indicate anew whether they are in favor of the 2012 zoning change or not. Town counsel told me that we could not undo, ab initio, the vote from 2012 so I thought the next best thing was to give people the opportunity to vote to change the zoning back to what it had been prior to 2012. However, much of the 2012 zoning change was an attempt to improve and modernize the old fashioned language in the zoning bylaw, and that was where Wright Dickinson was so successful in getting agreement from those gathered to the modernization language and only retaining the proposed warrant article’s reversion to assisted living in a RS the district as a “NO” instead of as a “SP” (special permit).  He also got agreement to assisted living being permitted in the B and IE districts where it had previously been prohibited.

The ultimate result of the hearing was a much improved warrant article for the town meeting, and, equally importantly, a group of residents in attendance who were mostly duly impressed with the forthrightness, diligence, and intelligent response of their volunteer planning board members to their concerns.  there will be follow up on whether to prohibit assisted living in the RU district, and several more details relating to the zoning issues.

Interestingly, after the hearing on the proposed warrant article, the bulk of those in the room went home, leaving just a half dozen of us to listen to the planning board discuss possible solutions to the issue of the excessively dense development in the downtown RU district, where many of the older homes have been turned into much larger 2-family houses or houses behind houses 2-family homes on the deep lots.

The planning board agreed to continue to look into several possible solutions, including:

•    Restricting the district to single-family homes
•    reconsidering anew the floor area ratio in the district
•    having a greater floor area ratio for two-family homes in the district
•    changing setbacks
•    crafting a definition of a 2-family house
•    considering implementation of design review
•    considering creation of a historic district

It was a truly successful evening for the planning board, who got to finally go home at about 10:30 PM.

New sidewalk rankings

sidewalk

Tonight the BoS will discuss the input from DPW, the schools, and Police on what the town order of priorities should be for new sidewalk construction in town.  These are the recommendations from those three:


The Superintendent of Public Works recommendations, in order of preference,
for new sidewalks is as follows:

1. Metacomet from South Street to Pleasant Street.
2. Adams Street from Dale Street to West Street.
3. Adams Street from West Street to West Mill Street.
4. West Mill Street from Adams Street to Ice House Road.
5. Dale Street near Charlesdale.
6. Ice House road to Copperwood.

school department would request sidewalks at the following streets:

Metacomet St- This would be our first priority
Adams St.- Important for Dale St. students
Green St. to Summer St.- This would finish the area that began last year
Friary St.- This will help with planned adjustments to bus routes

From Police Chief Meaney
Recommended sidewalk construction:

Metacomet Street; Dale street; East Main Street


 

Let the selectmen know today if you have an opinion.

Downtown Summit

The Downtown Summit yesterday got input from about 75 residents at the Library.  We were asked to share our ideas about what we saw as the strengths, the weaknesses, and our priorities for the downtown, as well as our visual preferences.

These were the instructions.

20160209-Downtown Summit

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