This proposed 276 unit, 5 story development on Brush Hill Road in Milton will damage wetlands, water quality, habitats and recreation in the Fowl Meadow. We are not opposed to affordable housing, or development in general, but this site has uniquely valuable natural resources that shouldn't be paved over with the help of state financing. Even more details at our website.
1) This largely undeveloped 20 acre site directly abuts the Fowl Meadow portion of DCR's Neponset River Reservation. Massachusetts deemed this area to be worthy of designation as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) in 1995 because it includes multiple overlapping natural and cultural resources that make it regionally significant. There are only 30 such designations in the state. The entire development would be located well inside the ACEC.
2) The proposed development is not compatible with the legal purpose of the ACEC designation which is to "preserve and restore these areas." (see 301 CMR 12.03).
3) The proposed project will seriously degrade a large, contiguous area of high value wildlife habitat. Almost all of the site is mapped as BioMap2 Core habitat and a significant portion of the site is mapped as habitat for state-listed endangered species.
4) Storm water from the site will have unavoidable impacts on water quality and hydrology, thus affecting the wetland and river habitats downstream.
5) The plans propose filling wetlands, which is specifically prohibited in an ACEC, and the plans don’t appear to reflect an accurate delineation of wetlands on the site.
6) ACEC regulations require that the project have “no adverse impact” to wetlands on the site, and the current proposal does not meet this standard.
7) The visual and traffic impacts of the project will adversely affect the cultural resources for which the ACEC was designated.
We support the goal of affordable housing, are not opposed to development generally, and we welcome re-development projects, but this site's location is too unique and valuable to sacrifice, and state financing should not be used to pave it over.