Tell Medfield ZBA deny special permit for LCB: Protect Our History & Environment
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We urge the Medfield Conservation Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals to deny the special permit request submitted by LCB Assisted Living to build a three-floor, 75,000 square foot, for-profit facility on Main St.
As cited by Town Administrator Mike Sullivan (speaking as a resident), the precedent for this decision would be the Lenox ZBA's denial of a similar proposal for an assisted-living facility in Lenox because “the proposed project was simply too dense and too out-of-character with its surroundings.” This building would be directly behind the Peak House, our town's most cherished colonial landmark and symbol, destroying its context and setting; and adjacent to the historic Clark Tavern, sensitive wetlands, and conservation land.
The proposed project would:
· threaten abutting historic structures, since the proposed facility is not architecturally or aesthetically consistent with other structures in the neighborhood (it would be 15x the size of the next largest structure in the immediate vicinity).
· endanger adjacent wetlands in the Watershed District that include Vine Brook and Parker’s Pond and threaten the public water supply.
· lower property values in the neighborhood, as a for-profit, commercial facility, in an otherwise residential neighborhood, and because of its huge size.
· cause a public hazard due to increased traffic, parking and noise from emergency and non-emergency vehicles transporting residents to and from the facility on an already over-crowded highway that includes blind curves.
The environmental impact of the proposed LCB facility could be especially damaging to the property:
· violating important environmental restrictions negotiated with the Trustees of Reservations (and approved by the town) – which resulted in significant tax benefits to Stephen Browne, the former owner and member of the Planning Board.
· endangering an adjacent vernal pool which photos show is significantly larger than estimated by LCB and will therefore require greater setback;
· directly affecting Vine Brook, an important town resource that runs in back of the property, which should be classified as perennial stream (its flow has been artificially diminished by draw-downs by wells and dams).
For all the reasons above we strongly urge the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Conservation Commission to reject LCB’s application for a Special Permit for its proposed facility on Main Street, Medfield and to instead explore more suitable sites for assisted living elsewhere in Medfield.
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