Category Archives: Downtown

Straw Hat Park

Attached below is the landscaping plan for the proposed new Straw Hat Park.  Jean Mineo of the friends of the Straw Hat Park, a Medfield Foundation initiative, reported to the Medfield Foundation board at its meeting last night that her group is looking:

  • for $70,000 of funds from the annual town meeting this April; and
  • to fund raise $24,000 for extras and special features planned for the new park, such as the fountain.

Construction will begin in August if monies are appropriated at the annual town meeting.  The really interesting extras will be included if sufficient funds are raised to allow for them.  Interested supporters can reach Jean at 242-9991.

Monique Allen of The Garden Continuum donated the design services, and Jean continues to donate countless hours to making Medfield more interesting – Jean was behind the Art Boxes that now decorate the traffic control boxes around town and the Thistle project coming this May to decorate forty trees at the Medfield State Hospital.


Assisted living facility proposed

LCB Senior Living, LLC of Norwood purchased land behind the Peak House in December and is proposing the construction of a 72 unit assisted living facility on the site.  LCB has reportedly also purchased a home on Main Street to provide access.  Assisted living facilities are a use permitted on the residential zoned land if the ZBA grants a special permit.

Mike Sullivan reports that LCB met with town officials last week about its proposal.  See LCB’s other similar facilities built by LCB at its website,

LCB reported that none of the units will be affordable, as the economics of including affordable units would require the facility to be many times larger.  That means the proposed facility would add 72 units to our housing stock, as each bed counts as a separate unit, and to reach our 10% affordable housing threshold we would need another 8 affordable units.  Per a presentation to selectmen Tuesday evening, we currently need another 136 affordable units to reach our 10% threshold if one includes the 92 units at The Parc that is now in construction.  Those 72 units LCB proposes would require another 8 to make us need 144 more to get to 10%.

Below are the Medfield zoning bylaws involved, and that list the findings the ZBA must make for it to grant a special permit.  The ZBA clearly has lots of discretion on this issue, neither to allow or deny any application, so the evidence presented at the hearings will probably be the determinative factor.

This is another example of how our town’s zoning decisions, as reflected in the bylaws we adopt at town meeting, allow different, non-residential uses to be sited next to homes in residential areas.

USES:            Hospice or nursing homes, convalescent and assisted living facilities and medical and dental offices   –  SP

14.10.5 After the public hearing required by Section 14.10.3 has been concluded, the Board of Appeals may grant a special permit if it concludes that a special permit is warranted by the application and the evidence produced at the public hearing and if it makes the following specific findings of fact:

a) The proposed use will not result in a public hazard due to substantially increased vehicular traffic or parking in the neighborhood. In deciding this, the Board shall find affirmatively that
the road’s structure, surroundings and configuration are such as will support the added traffic safely.

b) The proposed use will not have any adverse effect upon property values in the neighborhood.

c) The proposed use is architecturally and aesthetically consistent with the other structures in the neighborhood.

d) The proposed use will not create any hazard to public safety or health in the neighborhood.

e) The proposed use will not create any danger of pollution to public or
private water facilities.

f) The methods of drainage at the proposed site are adequate.

g) If public sewerage is not provided, plans for on-site sewage disposal systems are adequate and have been approved by the Board of Health.

h) That no excessive noise, light or odor shall be emitted.

i) That no nuisance shall be created.

j) There is an adequate supply of potable water approved by the Board of Health or the Water and Sewer Board.


“Giving Tuesday” in Medfield

From Jean Mineo (today the logo loaded)-

The third annual #GivingTuesday takes place TODAY, Dec. 2, 2014.

Please think about giving locally in Medfield.


The Medfield Foundation has lots of initiatives doing terrific work around town and all donations are tax deductible. Find them on-line at and consider supporting the short term initiative to renovate the Straw Hat Park in downtown (between Zebra’s and Starbucks), or to another of the great causes in town.

I want to also give thanks to all of you who help make Medfield a nicer place to live, work, and play through your time, talents, and treasure!



Downtown Sidewalk Design & Aesthetics Study Committee

The Downtown Sidewalk Design & Aesthetics Study Committee completed its work and reported its conclusions to the Planning Board on 10/20/14.  This was its report (the original has nice photos that did not copy here from the PDF, but which should be available at the town website) –


Downtown Sidewalk Design & Aesthetics Study Committee
Review and improve the aesthetic beauty of Downtown Medfield

1. Sidewalks

To incorporate bricks into the streetscape to maintain the historic
character of Downtown Medfield.

• To preserve existing solid brick areas in public/gathering
spaces (Town Hall, Baxter Park, Gazebo Park, UU Church)
• The cross section of the sidewalk in other areas: Granite
curbing with 2′ widths of brick accent in a “basketweave”
pattern (approximately 30% of the sidewalk width for
sidewalks less than 6′) > tree grates > variable widths (at least
4 ‘) of concrete
• Handicap accessibility is paramount. The above
recommendation may be superseded if HC accessibi lity is not

2. Street Trees

To ensure future plantings are aesthetically pleasing with proper site
analysis, site preparation, and tree selection. Prepare li st of suitable
street trees for the Downtown on the Town road layout as well as
acceptable trees for private properties adjacent to the road layout.

Street trees should be upright, vase shape with ascending branch
structure that can grow above the road and buildings and are easily
upbranched in the future to maintain needed clearance and visibility.
The trees should be as clean and litter free as possible as well as
drought tolerant and as insect and disease free as possible. With all
selections it is a series of compromises rather than 1 or 2 perfect

Trees that can be considered with these attributes in mind:
• Ginko Biloba “Magyar”
• Gleditsia Triacanthos Inermis “Shademaster” or “Skyline” Honey Locust
• Gymnocladus Dioicus “Espresso” Kentucky Coffee Tree
• Ulmus Parviflora “Allee Erner II” Chinese Lacebark Elm
• Zelkova SeITata “Green Vase” or “Ogon”

For areas with overhead lines, consider an ornamental upright shorter growing tree:
• Crataeyus viridir “Winter King”
• Parrotia persica “Vanessa”
• Syringa Reticulata “Ivory Silk” Japanese Tree Lilac
• Stewartia Pseudocamellia Japanese or Korean Stewartia

Tree Grates: #8854 Sunray 48″x48″ Tree Grate and Frame Set with 16″ Center Hole by EJ New
England Branch in Brockton, MA (

3. Crosswalks

To supplement the historic character of Downtown Medfield and
enhance visibility of crosswalks and increased pedestrian safety.

• Use a brick-patterned stamped concrete or alternative faux
o Main Street I South Street intersection
o Main Street I North Street I Pleasant Street
o North Street I Janes A venue
o Main Street I Park Street
o Main Street I Spring Street I North Meadows Road

For future consideration:
• Wayfinding signage
• Street lights
• Benches
• Public art
• Waste receptacles
• Planters

Design Guidelines Endorsed by Planning Board
October 20, 2014
Page 2 of 2

Jazz at Dwight-Derby House tonight

This from the Cheryl O’Malley –

Hi everyone,


Don’t miss tonight’s October Festival at the Dwight-Derby House from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. You will experience the best Medfield has to offer with music, food,beer and wine tasting in a very historic setting.


Shane Wood, a Medfield resident and well known jazz musician, will bring the best in Jazz to your ears which is brought to you by a grant from the Medfield Cultural Counsel. 


Tim Larkin of Larkin’s Liquiors will tantalize your taste buds with a selection of wines and beer that will be sure to please your taste buds.


Last but not least, there will be an amazing spread of food from Roach Brothers for the Brother’s Market the newest venue in Medfield. The evening will start with wine and cheese, then move to the main course of Beef Stroganoff or Chicken Parmesan and Broccoli & Cauliflower Au Gratin or Thyme Roasted Carrots and finish with European Pastries.


Our store will also be open for your shopping convenience. We have lots of new products for all your gift giving needsd.


Don’t let the rain keep you from enjoy this wonderful evening for only $25 at the door. All proceeds will support the on going maintenance, preservation, restoration and operations of the Dwight-Derby House a significant historic structure of Medfield which is managed by the Friends of the Dwight-Derby House a non-profit organization.


I hope to see you there!


Cheryl O’Malley


Friends of the Dwight-Derby House

P.O. Box 527

7 Frairy Street

Medfield, MA. 02052


The Pianos Are Coming! The Pianos Are Coming!

Calling all piano players!  This today from cultural instigator Jean Mineo –



An update – the two pianos are due to arrive in the two parks tomorrow afternoon, Friday Sept. 19. I’ll be there for the installations and hope you’ll come check them out and help spread the word inviting people to play. My home and cell phone are below if needed (not for public distribution, please), I’ll be around on Medfield Day to keep an eye on them. Starbucks and Larkins have agreed to help un/cover the piano in the Straw Hat Park daily, and the library and Zullo will do the same for the one in the gazebo. I welcome any and all “eyes” on them during their stay, they will be going to new homes at the end of the project during the weekend of Oct. 4 – 5. If you get to enjoy an impromptu performance during lunch or a break, please post phone photos on the Facebook page!

Thanks everyone, for your support on this exciting project!


H 508-242-9991

C 617-877-5158


Pianos In the Parks

(Medfield, MA): The Medfield Cultural Council is pleased to bring two pianos to two parks in the Medfield Cultural District for public play for two weeks beginning Sept. 19. The pianos are located in the Straw Hat Park and under the gazebo. They have been generously donated by two local families and will be covered overnight and in the event of inclement weather. They are available for anyone to play otherwise.


“The idea is based on the wildly popular Play Me I’m Yours project that installed 75 pianos in Boston and Cambridge last year,” says Cultural Council member Jean Mineo. “I was lucky enough to experience several impromptu performances and each one was amazing. This past summer, I heard local musician Tom Duprey playing outside on the Zullo roof deck one afternoon and thought we could do something similar here.” The Council encourages families, friends and others to share their talents either solo or in ensembles in these unusual venues. “Lots of people can play,” said Mineo, “we hope to entice them to play in public a little bit.” The pianos will be available through Oct. 4.
The Council invites everyone to post their photos and share stories and videos of performances on its facebook page: For more information about the Cultural Council, visit


“This program is supported in part by a grant from the Medfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.”



BoS news

At the board of selectmen meeting last evening there were several important announcements and pieces of information:

  • Jim Snyder, director of Medfield Parks and Recreation Commission, has submitted his resignation, effective September 30. Jim has accepted a job as the assistant recreation director for the town of Framingham.I spoke with Jim this morning to thank him for his 16 years of service to the town of Medfield in which he greatly improved and enlarged upon the offerings by the Medfield Park and Rec Commission and I can report that he is looking forward to his new job in Framingham, despite having a slightly longer commute.
  • Ken Feeney, Superintendent of Public Works announced his retirement effective next year. The specific date was not stated.
  • Members of the Permanent Building Committee presented status updates on both the new Highway Garage and the proposed Public Safety Building.
  • The garage is reported to be 95 to 98% completed and about $750,000 under the $11.1 million budget.  Mike Quinlan, committee co-chair, has been in charge of the garage project for the committee, and he handled the reporting.  He stated that their current goal is to get the DPW in before the snow flies.
  • John Nunnari, the other committee co-chair, in charge of the Public Safety Building, handed out budgets and Gantt charts with timelines indicating that the total cost of the 40,900 sq. ft.  Public Safety Building will be $20,350,000, about $450/sq. ft. The committee has approved design documents as of June 6, 2014. The value engineering process resulted in the committee accepting about 56% of the $1.3 million of suggestions for value engineering changes. The schedule has the bidding getting started at year-end, approval at a special town meeting on March 23, 2015, an override vote at the annual town election on March 30, 2015, and construction, if the project is approved by the town, starting April 1, 2015 and finishing around December 9, 2016. During construction the Fire Department would be relocated into the new Highway Garage and the Police Department would have temporary quarters in the Comark building on West Street.
  • It was announced at the meeting that the Larkin Brothers, real estate developers, who are currently building a 10 unit townhouse condominium on North Street, and have just finished a four unit development on Harding Street at the intersection with West Mill Street, have agreed to donate $15,000 towards the construction of Straw hat Park.  Construction figures for the park have so far been estimated at around $80,000.
  • Look for the two pianos to be located at Straw Hat Park and the Gazebo starting this weekend and staying for several weeks.
  • Mike Sullivan opined that the town will have to build a parking deck on top of the municipal parking lot behind the Ord’s Block due to the high demand for parking in the downtown with the opening of Brothers Marketplace and the other new development in the immediate area. The new development of the Ord’s Block would have required 53 parking spaces for the various proposed building uses (plans showed four retail establishments on the first floor, three offices on the second floor, and three apartments on the top floor) whereas the site actually has very few spaces on-site. A zoning bylaw permits the ZBA to exempt new uses from the parking requirements for businesses located in the downtown business district.  I suggest that in the future the town seek contributions from developers towards a parking fund when their developments do not provide sufficient parking, so that the town can accumulate monies to then later provide such needed parking.
  • Cities and towns got extra monies from the state this year to cover the cost of road repairs due to the extremely harsh winter.  Mike Sullivan reported that Medfield got $59,000 of such extra monies, which are being put towards the repaving of Route 27 that is currently ongoing.