Thanks for your coverage of the recent Pond Street (Franklin) zoning hearing. As a former member of the town’s industrial development commission, open space committee, public land use committee, and historic commission I am baffled that the town is still attempting to sell this land.
|Pond St lot - Mine Brook and Charles River seen along left of photo|
Anyone who looks at a map, and one would like to hope that the town’s administrative officials and elected officials would have done so, can see that the town’s Pond Street parcel is the only good access to hundreds of acres of the Army Corps of Engineers conservation land along Mine Brook and the Charles River. This land must be preserved in perpetuity as part of a flood control system, but it is available for many kinds of “passive” recreation such as walking, jogging, cross country skiing, canoeing, etc. However, because it is almost entirely “land locked” by privately owned parcels, this beautiful meadowland that attracted settlers here in the 1600s, is unknown to most residents.
In the past, both as an individual and through my position with the Open Space Committee, I have advocated for any development of this land to include parking for residents to use if they wish to reach the Army Corps land. Despite verbal assurances, it is my understanding that little if any requirement to this effect has survived into RFPs.
It is past time for the town to put aside the idea of squandering this keystone property in a short-sighted effort to pad town coffers. Instead, the town should invest. Set aside this land for conservation and recreation, provide the modest improvements needed to make it safe for the public, and work with the very willing officials of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (with whom I met recently) to open up this treasure in our midst.
- See more at: http://franklin.wickedlocal.com/article/20150114/OPINION/150117987/12457/OPINION#sthash.8dcKYch6.dpuf