Monthly Archives: September 2015

MFC Seeks Halloween Costumes

Medfield Food Cupboard

Medfield Food Cupboard Seeking Halloween Costumes

The Medfield Food Cupboard is seeking donations of gently used Halloween costumes. All donations need to be in by Friday, October 16th. Costumes for kids age 0 -13 are needed. Please consider donating so that all children in Medfield can trick or treat in style! Donations can be dropped off at Memorial or Wheelock schools in Medfield or at the United Church of Christ (496 Main St., Monday – Friday between 9:00AM – 12:00pm). Questions? Email Tamara Small at

Beaver update

20150917_beaver dam at Fork Factory-3

Mike Francis, Superintendent for the Trustees of the Reservations’ Charles River Valley Management Unit reported via two emails,

  • first in a Monday email the TTOR’s willingness to insert additional beaver deceiver pipes, at the Fork Factory beaver dam, and
  • then Mike reported this afternoon in another email that the pipes were installed yesterday –

See my photo above from a week ago of one of the two beaver dams there with the then existing 6″ pipe.

Since we’re in agreement that the culvert should be larger, I contacted Michael Callahan with Beaver Solutions last week to schedule a site visit.  He has installed 100’s of these devices throughout the state (including several on Trustees properties) and I believe the town has worked with him before.  It would be great if you all can attend.  I’ll let you know when he can make it out.

In the meantime, Michael—can you tell me if I should file another application with the BOH for a beaver permit to increase the culvert?  If we have approval, we’ll work on the culvert today and/or tomorrow.



Quick update—As you may know, the two 10” culverts were installed yesterday afternoon.  As of 9:00am this morning, they were flowing at about half capacity and the pond level had not yet risen.  We’ll continue to monitor things.

Mike, thanks for connecting with the BOH and Con Com for the permit.



Mike Francis

Trustees | Charles River Valley Management Unit
37 Powisset Street | Dover, MA 02030

In this instance TTOR reacted quickly to a concern that the town raised.

Alec Stevens, the downstream owner of Jewell’s Pond, had expressed substantial concerns to TTOR about any sudden release  of water from the Fork Factory area adversely impacting his pond and dam.  Alec also questioned whether the two new 10″ pipes will be sufficient, given the water out flow he experiences in similar storm conditions at Jewell’s Pond, where he is letting much more water go than can possibly fit through those two 10″ pipes.

Zullo show

Zullo show-20150930

I saw the current show last weekend, and especially liked this painting – it is large and positioned a the end of the gallery so that when you walk into the space it is directly ahead.  It is painted on a flattened cardboard box, making me wonder if it was the man’s home.  I was struck by the irony of the fact that the MSH kids recently did a sleep out at the Town House, a wonderful local learning event, started I discovered last week by Richard DeSorgher, when the kids usually sleep in cardboard boxes for one night.   However, to me this man did not look like he was only doing it for one night.  A local connection making me think about the larger world.

Another Medfield connection to the rest of the world occurred for me on Medfield Day when I visited the Amilia’s Light booth and learned about how that organization is reaching out from Medfield to help girls in Uganda escape from prostitution.  It certainly both surprised my Medfield Day, and moved me enough to buy for Kristen a Ugandan made rolled paper bracelet made by those girls.

We are fortunate to have such things as the Zullo Gallery and Amilia’s Light in our town, things that both astonish and make us think.

Medfield Cultural Council


Local Cultural Council Grant applications are due October 15, 2015.
Medfield: The Medfield Cultural Council is now accepting grants from organizations, schools, and individuals to support cultural activities in the community. The postmark deadline is October 15, 2015. Programs occurring between now and December 31, 2016 are eligible.

This is our second year of receiving support from both the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Town of Medfield. So far this year we have given out over $7710 to local artists and organizations, with more to come.
According to Council Chair Ron Gustavson, these grants “aim to enrich the downtown area, and bring attention to the cultural potential inherent in Medfield’s purchase of the former Medfield State Hospital. Especially relevant this year was our support of Catherine Evans’ Thistle public art project at MSH. We also welcome Medfield Cultural Alliance as an umbrella organization for promoting arts and culture in and around town.” Look for our Community Input Survey this year to give us feedback on what types of activities you would like to see funded.

The Medfield Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCC) serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.

The application and information about the Medfield Cultural Council is available online at

For more information, contact Ron Gustavson, Chair at 508-359-8490 or

For a listing of local cultural events visit us at

LCC Program Information – About Your LCC

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Harding Street sidewalk needed

Letter received today about sidewalks on Harding Street –

To Medfield Board of Selectmen,

As a resident of Hospital Road I was dismayed when I recently watched the July 21 selectman’s meeting on Medfield TV where the prospect of adding sidewalk access into town via Harding Street was discussed but it was concluded that it should be put on the “back burner”.  If there is one place where a sidewalk has been long over due and needs to be seriously addressed it is the Harding area now more than ever.  As it stands the only safe access to the athletic fields, sledding hill and the hospital property is by car due to the dangerous intersection at Hospital Road and Harding Street as well as the sharp curve on Harding that follows into town.  This should be a troubling fact given that this area is one of the most popular and heavily traveled destinations by thousands of residents and children year round.  To continue to ignore the existing need for sidewalk for this area is extremely poor planning in the least and will not be cost effective in the long run as it is inevitable that accessibility to the area is going to need to be improved due to the development we know will happen.

Currently there are only scattered sidewalks on the north side of Medfield and none of them lead to a destination point with the exception of the Hospital Road sidewalk.  As a result it would make sense to find a way to continue that sidewalk into town and there are a few workable options other than installing a sidewalk directly down Harding Street to North Street which would involve wetland issues.  If a sidewalk could be continued from Hospital Road down Harding Street to the north side of West Mill (where the trees are set back) and then up to Adams Street and into town that would give access not only to the Senior Center and Kingsbury Club but also the Memorial/Dale St schools.  Another scenario would be to utilize the current sidewalk on Copperwood Road and at the end of the cul de sac have a sidewalk only cut through to Ice House Road and then West Mill to Adams.  As Ken Feeney brought up in the meeting a sidewalk installation on Adams Street would be less of a problem as the houses and poles are already set back.  However, with both these scenarios the intersection at Adams and West Mill would have to be reconfigured to make it safer to cross as would the fork at North and Harding if that sidewalk option were to be pursued.

As stated previously the Hospital Road sidewalk is the only sidewalk on the north side of town that actually leads to a destination and as a result it sustains heavy use.  Now that the town owns the land and is in charge of the maintenance of the sidewalk it would be extremely helpful to the many residents who walk that way on a daily basis to have the overgrowth cleared from the sidewalk near the stone gate entrance and in front of the old Harding house as now the sidewalk is impassable at that point.  Also, during the winter months the Hospital Road sidewalk is never plowed so it is completely unusable for any residents who still want to get out and take a walk, walk their dogs or more importantly for the children who want to access the sledding hill safely without having to walk in the busy road.  If that can be addressed as well it would be greatly appreciated.

I hope you will reconsider a sidewalk proposal for the Harding area and put ideas and planning on the front burner as it would not only be an improvement to the quality of life but it is a safety issue that needs to be addressed and is long overdue.

Thank you for your time and consideration

Tracey Hogan

20 Hospital Road

Pool at Kingsbury

The pool at the Kingsbury Club has water in it now and looks to being close to done. It is reportedly just a couple of weeks from opening.

Planning Board applications due by 10/1


Medfield Planning Board Vacancy

The Town of Medfield Planning Board is seeking to fill a vacant Associate Member position. Anyone who may be interested should submit a letter of interest to Evelyn Clarke at in the Board of Selectmen’s office by October 1, 2015.  For questions regarding the Planning Board or this specific position please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner at

The Planning Board is an elected town board of five members, each with a five year term. The purpose of the Planning Board is to guide the development of the Town in the best interests of all its residents. The Board has very specific responsibilities and authorities as granted by Massachusetts General Laws and the Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

The Planning Board is responsible for the review and approval of all subdivisions (the division of a tract of land into two or more lots) through a comprehensive process involving review by relevant regulatory agencies, public hearings, covenants with developers, performance bonding, and ongoing compliance monitoring.

Under “Site Plan Approval”, in the Zoning By-Laws, the Board also has the responsibility to assure that prior to any new construction or significant changes to an existing structure, other than single family dwellings, such factors as community needs, abutters’ concerns, visual amenities, safety issues, and environmental and historic features on the site and in adjacent areas are considered.

Any requests for Zoning By-Law changes or amendments are also reviewed by the Board. Public hearings are held to allow input from any abutters or other interested citizens. The Board is required to provide a recommendation on any Zoning By-Law amendment at Town Meeting, where a two-thirds vote is required to approve the change.

The Planning Board serves as a resource to assist interested individuals with the process of proposing plans or projects under the Zoning By-Laws. Communications are maintained on an ongoing basis with related Town agencies including the Zoning Board of Appeals and other planning groups within the Town such as the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee.

Letters should describe your interest in the Planning Board as well as any professional experience or other qualifications that will complement the Board. Additionally, please contemplate the following  in your letter of interest:

  • Do you have ideas about the direction the Board should be headed? If so, have you thought about integration of those ideas (meaning how the idea coalesces into existing regulations or whether new regulations would need to be created)?
  • Land use boards such as the Planning Board or ZBA do not always have the kind of discretion to approve or deny a specific project that residents often think they have. It is important to recognize and avoid any conflict of interest; not to pursue special privileges, and maintain confidentiality. Are you prepared for being thought of as a villain by some and a hero by others?
  • Planning Boards wear two hats, proactive and reactive, and the schedule is robust. The proactive hat is devoted to long-range planning and is often difficult to quantify as the effects aren’t recognized for several years, if at all. The reactive hat focuses on subdivisions and site plan review and the effects are more immediately seen and felt in the community. How would you rationalize your reactive hat with your proactive hat? Do you see an overlap?

Sarah Raposa, AICP
Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027

Keep up to date with the happenings at Medfield State Hospital:

Developers to MSH-MPC

The Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee ran a program to have a few of its members meet with and talk to developers, in order to get feedback from the developers.  The MSH-MPC has just reported on the outcome of that meeting in its e-newsletter today (a copy attached below).

Lee Chapel

Developers Roundtable

On August 11th the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee (MSHMPC) held a “developers roundtable” wherein real estate developers and other interested parties were brought together to see and discuss the project. The purpose of this initial outreach step was to create awareness of the property and the opportunities presented in the eventual master plan, and to refine the plan in response to input received from the development community.  The VHB team organized this step in concert with the Town earlier in the process than originally anticipated as it was originally part of the Phase III scope.

Invited professionals were from New Atlantic Development, North Hill, LCB Senior Living, Beacon Communities, Gilbane Construction, The Design Build Group, Helios Construction Corp., and The Pinehills.

This event included a driving tour through the study area (Lot 3 and Hinckley property off Ice House Road, McCarthy Park, Sledding Hill, Core Campus) and a presentation by VHB regarding the process and draft study scenarios followed by a roundtable discussion and Q&A session.

During the driving tour the developers had questions about available utilities and infrastructure capacity. The developers were astute and knew the Medfield market. They considered the best uses for the property to be residential types (senior, single-family, townhouses, apartments) and continuing care retirement communities. They had insightful comments during the roundtable and shared information about their experiences developing other communities and what the area could offer. Site remediation was a major theme, and knowing actual demolition costs and infrastructure upgrades are essential.

In summary the developers offered their suggestions for marketable uses that could be part of the reuse master plan. On the tour and at the meeting there was plenty of discussion about the unique site at Medfield State Hospital  and its development challenges: the size of the site, the availability of utilities, the need for substantial improvements and what to do with the standing buildings.

Many expressed the importance of creating certainty by having a concise plan and process with flexible guidelines.

All the developers were impressed with the beauty of the land and the need to incorporate open space as part of a fully integrated master plan. They were impressed with the Town of Medfield leading the way with what it wants to preserve and use and the kind of development it favors for the site.

To sign up for our weekly email blasts, get more information,or schedule a MSHMPC representative to speak with your Club or Organization please contact Sarah Raposa, Medfield Town Planner at

West Nile

20150917_beaver dam at Fork Factory-4

Email from Evelyn –

Medfield Board of Health received a notice from Dept. of Public Health that in the towns of Natick, Sherborn, Millbury Northridge west nile virus tested positive in only a mosquito sample.

Verizon seeking to have antennae on telephone pole by Subway

20150923-Verizon Wireless-application for antennaae on telephone pole by Subway

There is a currently pending application by Verizon Wireless to the Zoning Board of Appeals to install a new cell antennae on the top of an existing telephone pole in front of the Subway shop.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PLANS.

The town’s bylaw on cell facilities allows them to be constructed new in only four locations in town, namely

  • Mt Nebo,
  • Medfield State Hospital,
  • on the existing high tension power line towers, and
  • Off Rte. 27 by West Street.

If the cell providers are using an existing structure, they can locate anywhere.  In the past, the Unitarian Church had been negotiating to lease its steeple to cell companies, which is the sort of win win result which provides the best synergies for existing town entities.