Protect our Farm from Adjacent Development
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Unfortunately, a private developer has proposed to build three large 35 foot tall single family houses on the single family lot at 15 Norton Street, where there is an existing small green colored house that would get demolished. The Project requires a variance and thus a Zoning Board of Appeals review. The proposed project abuts We Grow Microgreens, LLC’s farm on the backside. Lisa and Tim, the owners of the Farm, are very committed to making the Farm a success, and when 19 Norton Street went for sale and was at risk of being developed, they purchased it to protect it from development. They are now abutters on two sides of the proposed project. The Shadow Study report clearly demonstrates that shadows will be cast on the farm and the yard of 19 Norton Street thus making it exceedingly difficult to grow vegetables. Growing vegetables is the purpose of the farm.
In addition, taking single family housing lots and turning them into lots for three houses is a bad pattern to set in the City. Density of housing in a neighborhood can affect house values and the tranquility of neighborhood.
The Shadow Study consultant’s report shows the number of hours that the three houses will cast shadows on the farm during the different seasons of the year. The farm needs sun to exist. These new houses will also take away from the bucolic feel of the farm, the Community Preservation Act community walking path, the State Park and the Neighborhood. It was the low density of housing in the neighborhood and the adjacent State park that made the farm possible because there were few obstructions to the sun.
Significant financial investment by the City, the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture have been made in the Farm. Additionally, youth employees and volunteer efforts from neighbors are helping to build the farm. It would be illogical to allow the proposed development to proceed after this amount of investments have been made.
Turning single family housing lots into lots with three houses on them is a very bad precedent. By increasing density, the character of an entire neighborhoods will be changed. Please help stop this precedent in Hyde Park, so it will not continue to happen all over the City.
The shadow analysis prepared by MIT professor Rafi Segal outlines the condition of shadow on the farm throughout the entire day on the selected days, examining the condition every twenty minutes and clearly shows consistent shadows on the farm. Segal’s report shows the following shadow conditions.
March 21: 3 hours of shadows on the farm in the afternoon
June 21: 3 hours of shadows on the farm in the afternoon
September 21: 3 hours of shadows on the farm in the afternoon
December 21: 4 hours of shadows on the farm: 1 hour in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon.
The complete report is on We Grow Microgreens, LLC’s website.
The site plan below shows the Corona Virus Food Insecurity grant awarded raised garden beds for growing vegetables that will be particularly affected by the shadows.
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