Every tax is a pay cut.  Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation

This is a classic example of giving something away when we could have sold it for a million dollars. When the town needs a million, guess whose pocket they're going to get it from. This is yet another reason to oppose overrides in Framingham.

Is opportunity knocking in ex-sewer beds? Monday, June 2, 2003
D. Craig MacCormack / News Staff Writer Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- A "good compromise" approved by selectmen would preserve 13 acres of open space in Natick while generating some much-needed cash for Framingham.

"No one is getting everything they want," said Selectman Chris Ross who, with Katie Murphy, backed the deal.  "What we're asking Town Meeting to do is give us the power to complete this agreement."

Selectmen voted Thursday night to support a Town Meeting article that asks for approval of a two-town land deal with Natick which would include the preservation of most of the 14.5 acres at 67 Morency St. in Natick as open space and augment both towns' housing stock.

Vice Chairwoman Ginger Esty voted against the deal, and Chairman Charles Sisitsky abstained, citing his role as Natick's public works director.  Esther Hopkins was not at the meeting.

"It's a good compromise," said Ross.

Natick selectmen have expressed support for the deal, which is still being hammered out.  Town Administrator Phil Lemnios has called it "a win-win situation."

Some wanted Framingham to keep the entire parcel as open space, said Town Manager George King, while others were pushing for the town to get rid of it all.  If Town Meeting rejects the deal, selectmen will ask for guidance.

"It's a very good agreement among many diverse parties," King said.  "It offers everyone a lot more than selling the whole thing or keeping it all as open space.  I've learned a lot from this process."

Under the terms of the agreement, which also needs a stamp of approval from Natick's selectmen and the Conservation Commission:

Natick will establish a four-home subdivision off Pumpkin Pine Road through an existing easement, including all infrastructure and utilities.  Natick will be responsible for all engineering and construction costs associated with the subdivision and for getting approvals, permits and variances.

Framingham must sell the four lots within the subdivision, with two lots sold without restriction and two lots used for affordable housing.  The town will see "some value" from the sale, said King.

The remaining 13 acres will be sold to Natick for $1 and be preserved in perpetuity as open space.

Framingham paid for an environmental study on the property, said King.  The towns have not negotiated who would pay if cleanup is needed on the parcel, he said.

Two years ago, a developer offered $1 million for the land, which was last used as sewer beds 60 years ago.  Neighbors of the Morency Street parcel fought to keep the now-wooded property from being developed.

The developer apparently bought a preliminary environmental study from Rizzo Associates, which was working on behalf of Wayside Youth and Community Center, said Esty.  No town approvals have been given to test the site, said King.

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