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New Representative William Brownsberger Promises Protection for the forested Belmont Uplands
Response Letter to Preserve Belmont Uplands campaign
added to website March 19, 2007
From Representative Brownsberger
Thank you for your note regarding the Belmont Uplands.
While I truly respect the highly qualified and well motivated members of the Belmont Zoning Board, I share your disappointment with the outcome of the 40B process. I had hoped that it would be possible at least to reduce the size of the permitted development.
As you know, the strategy which I believe has the best shot (although still a long shot) of preventing the loss of the valulable wildlife habitat on the Uplands is for the state to acquire the property and annex it to the Alewife Reservation.
The forested uplands would perfectly compliment the riverine lowlands of the reservation. I believe that so expanded, the Reservation would be a valuable amenity for the region.
My legislation to initiate a state acquisition of the property has been referred to the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital expenditures and State Assets. As soon as I know the hearing schedule for the legislation, I will be reaching out broadly to assure that the property is well spoken for in the hearing. We will keep you on the mailing list and make sure that you personally get notice.
I have filed in the House the Havern Bill (including the moratorium provision) as House 3441. I will work with Senator Havern (as well as Senator Tolman and other legislators) to push the legislation. I believe that the bill may buy us some time for protecting the property.
On a related issue, I have also sponsored legislation to initiate a broader planning process for the Alewife area. I hope that this process will help build broader understanding and support the protecting the reservation and the Uplands property, as well as possibly helping build consensus on other long term issues around water quality traffic, etc.
I am committed to holding a meeting in the Alewife area to gather input about this planning process. I need to touch a few more bases before holding that larger meeting but will also keep you informed of that meeting.
I very much appreciate hearing from you and hope that you will feel free to be in touch at any time.
William N. Brownsberger