Select Board Efficiently Handles a Variety of Business

Asst Town Administrator Kathleen Buckley (far left) filled in for Town Administrator Ahern

Holliston Select Board Chair Ben Sparrell welcomed a “full house” of in-person attendees to the Monday, April 3, 2023, meeting.  The meeting began promptly at 7:00pm with an invitation to discuss an easement request presented by Jasper Hill Realty Trust LLC.

Easement Discussion with Jasper Hill Realty Trust, LLC (Behind Town Hall for Potential 3 House Subdivision)

Below, Attorney Peter Barbieri and Dennis Morgan, the developer of the Jasper Hill project, met with the Board to present the proposed 3 single family (approx. 3,500 sq ft. dwellings) development.  The proposed complex would utilize approximately 50% of the available 7.5-acre property.

Mr. Morgan is requesting that the Town grant an easement as shown below that runs through the existing parking area behind the Town Hall.  His proposal would expand and improve the parking, safety, and drainage in the impacted area.

The Board asked that sidewalks be added to future plans that provide safe access for the Jasper Hill residents down to the town center.

The Board approved a motion that authorized the Town Administrator and Town Counsel to work with Mr. Barbieri to draft a Town Meeting Article that would, if approved, authorize the Select Board to finalize the easement dimensions and conditions on behalf of the Town.

License Agreement & Surety – Geoffrey Park 40B (Holliston Ridge, LLC)

Town Planner Karen Sherman (below) presented the Board with plans for a new development that extends Indian Ridge South through Town owned property.

The plans below have been approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals following a public hearing on the proposed project.  The development includes 24 properties (some duplex) with 25% of the units categorized as 40B affordable.

The building phase is expected to take about three years and the builder is “ready to roll” according to Ms. Sherman.

At the bottom left corner is the current Indian Ridge South cul-de-sac from which the new road enter / exit the development.

The Board approved the License (to use Town-owned land) and the Surety Bond held by the Town, The Developer, and Middlesex Savings Bank.

Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC) Recommendations:

Above, HPD Chief Matthew Stone, former Chair of the TAC, and Traffic Safety Officer Charles Grace, current TAC Chair tag teamed to present the three-year history of the TAC, and the work that has been completed in the past five months.  TAC members Stacey Raffi and DPW Dep. Dir. Were present in-person or via Zoom.

In the past five months, the TAC processed 13 citizen petitions for possible traffic changes.  The group continues to meet monthly to keep up with the roughly 4 new petitions that come in – click here to learn how to submit a TAC petition -> https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe4ChuvIjUt8sVEYC3Gb0oOTQSG4I7tY8W036_C_yWQ6UPLFA/viewform

The TAC recommended the following five changes / improvements for the Board’s action:

  • Authorized the Town Administrator, Holliston Public Safety and Holliston DPW to take the necessary steps to set the Speed limit of Winter Street at 25mph from Washington St. to the Ashland town line.
  • Approved placing Stop signs at intersection of Vine Street & Winthrop Street
  • Approved that temporary delineators (similar to the flexible posts installed at the Hollis / Highland intersection) at intersection of Norfolk Street & Franklin Street to be installed by Holliston DPW
  • Approved a traffic study of intersections of Norfolk Street & Franklin Street, Norfolk Street & Central Street, Norfolk Ext and Church St, and Central Street & Franklin Street using remaining funds previously approved at Town Meeting for TAC purposes.
  • Approved moving the Curve Street “One Way Sign” to be more visible and painting of “Do Not Enter” on Eastern end of Curve Street

Mr. Sparrell asked Officer Grace / Chief Stone to provide quarterly updates from the TAC. 

Mr. Cronin, based on continuing citizen complaints, asked Chief Stone to intensify enforcement of the new stop signs at the Highland and Hollis and Prentice intersections.

May 2023 Annual Town Meeting – Updates (if applicable):

The Board unanimously authorized Chair Sparrell to share the most current DRAFT of the May Town Meeting Warrant with the Finance Committee for use at their April 4, 2023, meeting.

Public Comment:

  • Mrs. Hein: Presented an idea that she has informally discussed with citizens about creating an expanded trail system that could run from the Flagg field parking area behind the Woodland schools along Factory Pond and ending at / near the 8-arch bridge.  She will be continuing the conversations with key stakeholders.
  • Mr. Cronin:  None
  • Mr. Sparrell: This Friday (April 7th) will be the monthly “Select Chat.”  All are welcome to attend at the Sr. Ctr. starting at 9:30 am.
  • Public: None

Warrant(s): The Board unanimously approved the weekly warrant totaling -> $893,612.90.

Comments from the Town Administrator (or Designee): Asst Town Administrator Kathleen Buckley provided these updates:

  • Updates on the Woodland St. Bridge, weight limit and hydrologic data from Pare Corp was provided following last week’s meeting.  No action was taken at this time by the Board with this new information.
  • Public Safety Day / Touch a Truck – Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Holliston High School (9am to 1pm). This event is being spearheaded by DPW Dep. Dir. Robert Walker and will include representatives from various Town entities: HDAAC, Sr. Ctr., Representatives from Envisioning Future Holliston, and more.
  • MAPC – Regional Trails Creative Placemaking Strategy

The Board voted to accept the $10,000 grant and have the Town Administrator execute the necessary documents to participate in this initiative to encourage public art along the Holliston trail.

  • MetroWest Visitors Bureau – Free trial membership & Mini-grant ($1,000 – 5,000) program application

The Board voted to use its free trial membership to apply for a mini grant to encourage tourism in Holliston.  More information about this program is available -> https://www.metrowestvisitors.org/

Board Business: The Board took the following actions:

  • Approved the minutes of the February 13 and 15, 2023, meetings.
  • Accepted the $20,000 donation from the Friends of Holliston Trails to Rail Trail Gift Account for Tree Work and Maintenance
  • Approved the event permit – Authentic Auto Car Show – April 8, 2023, 4-8pm at 7 Jeffrey Ave contingent on two police detail officers being present.

Other Business:

Below, Robert Weidknecht, Chair of the Holliston Trails Committee discussed the opportunity that Holliston has to become part of the East Coast Greenway -> https://www.greenway.org/

Holliston’s Upper Charles Rail Trail would become part of the potential 3,000-mile network of bike trails that would stretch from Key West, FL up to and into Canada.  Being part of this trail system would bring more visitors to town would be a “significant win” as Mrs. Hein pointed out.

The Board unanimously approved the request for a letter of support from the Board along with the completed nomination form and photos of the trail provided by Mr. Weidknecht.  (Publishers’ Note: Mr. Weidknecht is likely already planning his ride to Canada!)

The meeting adjourned at 8:26pm.

Loading

Chris Cain

2 Comments

  1. Jacqueline Dellicker on April 4, 2023 at 8:52 am

    The reporting of the Select Board always is very informative. Hopefully someone will step up to continue this tradition which has become so important to so many. Jackie



    • Travis Ahern (Town Administrator) on April 6, 2023 at 2:52 pm

      I second this sentiment from Mrs. Dellicker!



Categories