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Thread: Town Center Request for New Financial Concessions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    235

    Default Town Center Request for New Financial Concessions

    During the Board of Selectmen's meeting on September 8th, a letter from Twenty Wayland (the Town Center's Developer) requesting new concessions was read aloud. You can see this letter here.

    The Developer is requesting two concessions:
    • delayed payment of the $3M "gift" to Wayland
    • reduced contribution to the Housing Authority's affordable housing fund


    The Developer justifies this request on the grounds that Wayland Boards have stretched out the project's approval and are therefore responsible for cost overruns "in excess of Eight Million Dollars". But as Alan Reiss points out in his excellent editorial, Wayland Board approvals have not been the long pole in the Town Center tent; wastewater issues raised by the State of Massachusetts and a lawsuit brought by the US Department of Interior have occupied this project's critical path, not Wayland Boards.

    My take is that a lot has changed since the citizens of Wayland approved this project back in May 2006:

    1. the project will start years later than originally proposed
    2. the Developer now acknowledges that the impact of traffic increases will be larger than originally projected; this will likely increase Wayland's mitigation and enforcement expense
    3. the impact on Wayland's Historic District will be far more severe than originally characterized, and may increase Wayland's mitigation expense
    4. the permit granted by the Planning Board allows the project to delay completion (and thus full tax revenues) far longer than originally proposed
    5. the housing bubble's collapse means that tax revenues from both commercial and residential components of the Town Center will likely be lower than originally projected
    6. the Developer is now proposing to delay the $3M gift and reduce its contribution to the town's affordable housing fund


    The requested concessions require approval of an article at Town Meeting. With so many changes, prudence demands that a financial plan realistically assessing the Town Center's likely impact on Wayland -- positive and negative -- be assembled and publicly discussed a few weeks before Town Meeting, as Alan has proposed. These actions should not further delay the Town Center Project or increase Twenty Wayland's expense.

    If you agree, please compose an email message requesting that an updated financial assessment of the Town Center's impact on Wayland be developed and publicly reviewed prior to Town Meeting, and send it to the Board of Selectmen via Town Administrator Fred Turkington at fturkington@wayland.ma.us with a note to Fred asking that your request be read aloud at the Board's next meeting. Better yet, make your request in person during the public comment segment of the Selectmen's next meeting; for the date of this meeting, keep an eye on http://www.wayland.ma.us/selectmen/agenda.htm.
    Last edited by Dave Bernstein; 09-18-2009 at 12:25 AM. Reason: clarity

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    Better yet, make your request in person during the public comment segment of the Selectmen's next meeting; for the date of this meeting, keep an eye on http://www.wayland.ma.us/selectmen/agenda.htm.
    The next Board of Selectmen's meeting will be held this Monday, September 21 2009 at 7:00 pm. Public comment is scheduled to start at 7:05 pm.

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