The board of directors at the private Windsor Club have sent this letter to it members calling for opposition to a proposed 40B development at 1615 Beacon Street (at the corner of Windsor Street) in Waban Center. I’ve highlighted three sections highlighted in red which have generated some
conversations around the city.
Dear Windsor Club Members:
On behalf of the Trustees and the club, we are asking you to write a letter to oppose the development of the John Staples Farmstead/Peck house next door to the club on the corner of Windsor and Beacon. The development as it is planned today has the potential to seriously impact a number of club activities including swimming and tennis. These letters are imperative to increase the club’s negotiating position with Mass Housing and the developer should we have the chance to sit down to advocate for scaled down development later on in the process. Letters need to be emailed by Friday May 13th so time is of the essence.
The developer is using 40B to try to get this approved. To be clear, the Board is not opposing this development because of its 40B status. The Board is opposing this development because within 5 ft of our property a 3.5 story building (over 40 feet tall), slightly smaller than the new Angier and higher than the Green Monster at Fenway, with 31 underground parking spaces, has the potential to adversely impact our club in numerous ways:
· Aesthetics: This scale has no place in our neighborhood and will dwarf the club and the surrounding neighborhood (see pictures below)
· Tennis: The shadow of the building has the potential to cover a substantial part of our tennis courts which will sour court conditions
· Swimming: From the second and third stories of this building you will be able to see into the pool. This brings up potential safety concerns as the club will have no say in who rents these units while our children swim below.
· Social Activities: Club gatherings including the Clam Bake and event rentals have in the past has lead to noise after 8 pm. Locating 24 units within 5 ft of the Club has the potential lead to noise violations that will curtail club events.
What to do: Write a unique email (every email counts no matter how brief)
Write an email to Newton Planning and Mass Housing at [email protected], cc’ing the Mayor [email protected] opposing this development. In your letter identify yourself as a member of the Waban community and mention possible concerns including:
-5 ft setback is too small for this type of development; 24 units is too much for 0.7 acres; structure is out of proportion with current neighborhood buildings
-Safety and security of our children swimming in the pool
-Express that the developers have shown no interest in involving the community in the design despite numerous efforts of abutters to contact them.
-The Historical integrity of the Farmhouse. The farmhouse was the original Waban Farm consisting of 93 acres. Its land and building have been put on the national registry of Historic Places. This development will clearly take away from its integrity. Also why are these developers allowed to destroy village’s history?
Please make all letters unique and be mindful that letters submitted before May 13th carry more weight in the decision making process than those submitted later.
Thank you for your help, remember if this gets built it will be next to our club forever.
For more information on the development visit http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/planning/current/devrev/hip/beacon_street_1615.asp
The Windsor Club Board