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Alternative Site to the Uplands
by Creator of Town Open Space Report In Belmont
(added to website April 11, 2004)
Mr. Joseph Barrell
As one of the principal persons responsible for the creation and approval of Belmont's Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP), I wish to express my support for the efforts of the "Uplands Alternative Group" to promote an alternative development plan for the Alewife uplands which respects the considerable efforts that went into the community wide process that created the OSRP.
The key aspects of the OSRP as they pertain to this discussion are summarized below (this material is from a slide presentation made to TM during the original Alewife debate). The OSRP identified the protection and preservation of the Alewife floodplain, and the former ADL (now O'Neil) Uplands property specifically, as a critically important town-planning objective.
The alternative plan, using a smaller housing project situated outside the wetlands, meets the spirit and goals of the OSRP while also providing needed affordable housing units for the town. All political and economic resources should be marshaled to help the Uplands Alternative Group promote their plan, which can be a win for everyone. "All political and economic resources" includes the possibility of adjusting the boundary between the two parcels if required to make the plan more feasible, as long as the principal goals of flood protection, ecosystem protection, and affordable housing are not compromised.