Framingham Selectmen, Danforth Green Reach Agreement

The agreement, if Town Meeting approves, would amend access to the site, convey 88 acres of land to the Town of Framingham and require the developer to make a $1 million payment to the town.

The Framingham Board of Selectmen has reached an agreement with the developer of the Danforth Green multifamily residential development in the Saxonville area to alter the financial terms of a 2003 PUD Access Agreement.

The new agreement, announced in a press release, alters the financial payment due the Town under a 2003 agreement between an earlier owner and the Town.

In exchange, the current owner, Baystone Development of Weston, agrees to convey ownership of 88 acres of land, which had been part of the development as originally proposed, to the Town.

The amended agreement requires the approval of Framingham Town Meeting, which will be asked to vote on the agreement later this month.

The proposed amendment will require the developer to make a cash payment of $1,000,000) in two installments: $500,000 within 60 days of the issuance of the first building permit for any building located on the property and a second installment of $500,000 within six months of the first payment.

In order to assist the Board of Selectmen in ensuring that the Town received fair value in exchange for modification of the 2003 PUD Access Agreement, the Board commissioned two independent appraisals, paid for by the developer, of the fair market value of the 88 acres, said a press release.

One appraisal concluded that the highest and best use market value of the parcel was $4.55 million. The second appraisal concluded that the highest and use market value of the parcel was $2.65 million.

Based on these appraisals and the strong interest expressed by many residents in Town and various public and private agencies and organizations in bringing these 88 acres along the Sudbury River under public ownership, Framingham
Selectmen concluded there was a strong basis for negotiating a revised payment.

“In negotiating an altered payment in exchange for this land, the Board of Selectmen was determined not to alter the payment by anything more than $2.65 million, the lesser of the two appraisals,” said Selectman Charles Sisitsky, a member of team that negotiated the proposed amendment. “In reaching
agreement on a new payment of $1 million, we achieved that goal. Given the strong community interest in owning the 88-acre parcel along the Sudbury River, the Board feels very comfortable presenting this recommended amendment to town meeting later this month for its approval.”

Other members of the Town’s negotiating committee included Town Manager Robert Halpin and Town Counsel Christopher Petrini.

According to the press release, the  complete agreement to be presented to Town Meeting for approval includes the following provisions:

  • $1,000,000 paid in two installments: First installment of $500,000 within 60 days of the issuance of the first building permit, or after the satisfactory resolution of any appeals. Second installment of $500,000 within six months of the first payment.
  • 88 acres of land conveyed to the Town for municipal purposes.
  • The amendment and transfer of the land is conditioned upon completion of a Phase I 21E Report acceptable to the Town relative to the existence of any hazardous waste or materials.
  • Developer commits to clean up and removing debris and abandoned vehicles and equipment on the property.
  • Developer commits to regrading and restoration of areas of the 88-acre parcel where land disturbance has occurred over the years.
  • Development provides easements to assure unrestricted public access through the Danforth Green development, where the roadways are otherwise expected to remain private ways.
  • In the event that the developer defaults under this amendment, the PUD Project shall not be allowed to be constructed. The 2003 Access Agreement will remain in full force and effect except as changed by the
  • Amendment.

“I am pleased that we were able to reach a mutual agreement with the Town and happy to know that this land might be conveyed to the town,” said Roy MacDowell of Danforth Green, LLC in a press release. “I think this is a very good agreement for both sides and I hope and look forward to Town Meeting approval."

Among the public benefits of the Town accepting ownership of the 88 acres of land are:

  • The preservation of open space and critical wildlife habitat, some of which is adjacent to the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
  • Public access to extensive river frontage along the Sudbury River
  • The potential for a variety of compatible recreational uses, including pedestrian access along the MWRA aqueduct system as more public access to that system is created

The developer had requested tFramingham Selectmen renegotiate the payment in light of the greatly reduced size of the project in exchange for approximately 88 acres of land which is currently permitted for 85 units, but which the current developer does not plan to construct as part of the Danforth Green development.


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