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it's private
Alternative Site to the Uplands
by Creator of Town Open Space Report In Belmont

(added to website April 11, 2004)

Mr. Joseph Barrell
Chairman, Planning Board

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.

Murray Ruben
Town Meeting Member, Pct 3 and former Editor of the Belmont Open Space and Recreation Plan

Belmont Open Space and Recreation Plan
  • Master planning document to help identify and direct Belmont's open space needs
  • Over 4 years in development
  • Approved by Planning Board and Selectmen
  • Submitted in 2000, awaiting final Approval from Exec Office of Environmental Affairs
  • Substantial document, approx 158 pages
  • Highest Priority under "Identify and Protect Open Space Parcels Critical to Prevention of Excess Flooding and Pollution of Belmont's Wetlands":
  • "Plan for the purchase of land or wetlands on the 'Belmont Uplands' parcel from Arthur D. Little, Inc"
  • Official designation of Uplands as critically important Open Space places burden on future 40B developer to show why property should not be protected