Category Archives: Downtown

Survey of downtown businesses

From Town Planner, Sarah Raposa –

The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Local Rapid Recovery Plan (LRRP) program includes a survey of local business owners located in the targeted downtowns or commercial districts. The purpose of the survey is to obtain business input to help guide strategy development, garner buy-in from the local business community and provide data from all LRRP participating districts for DHCD to inform programs and policy.


The survey will be administered online and the same survey will be used in all communities.
FinePoint Associates. After the survey closes, FinePoint will prepare a summary results report for each community. The report produced will provide results in aggregate form only so that the results will be anonymous. These results will contribute input for the diagnostic phase and help inform plan development.

Survey opens March 17 and closes early April. 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LRRPBiz

Thanks,

Sarah 

Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027
sraposa@medfield.net  

www.town.medfield.net

Click here to access Medfield’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage

Medfield Open For Business

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MHS 1887 aerial view

This 1887 aerial view of the downtown is another one of the Medfield Historical Society’s on-line maps.

The only familiar buildings to me are the Ord Building, the Unitarian Church, and the town house (and only sort of for the town house – it is in the right place).

MHS 1852 map of the downtown

Medfield Historical Society website has a collection of its artifacts, which include an 1852 map. This part of that map shows what buildings existed then in the downtown – https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3764m.ct002329/?r=0.49,0.428,0.162,0.119,0.

Holistic Wellness Center becomes First “Civic Founder” of Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund


Photo credit – Jenny Moloney Photography

Holistic Wellness Center becomes First “Civic Founder” of Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund

The Medfield Foundation (MFi) is pleased to announce that Holistic Wellness Center, LLC (HWC) of Medfield has become the MFi’s first Civic Founder of the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund. Holistic Wellness Center is owned and operated by Darrah March O’Connor and Sarah Schochet Henken. HWC is an independent wellness center that offers the best in holistic healing treatments that include (but not limited to) Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Reflexology & Energy Work. HWC has been operating since 2010! In addition, HWC offers the best in Holistic, Metaphysical and Fair Trade goods hand selected from around the world. Historically, HWC has offered many related workshops which they plan to resume when it is appropriate and safe to do so again. Holistic Wellness Center is located in the Medfield Crossing Shopping Plaza on route 27 – right here in Medfield!

The Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund is an endowed fund of the Medfield Foundation, that seeks to raise an initial endowment of $1 million to support non-profit and community initiatives in town. By supporting these initiatives now and in the future, the Legacy Fund seeks to assure that Medfield will be able to do more of the special things in the future that make Medfield the great community that it has been for so many people and their families, and provide financial resiliency to meet future community needs. The endowment is being raised through “Founders,” who commit to contributing at least $5,000 over five years.

Sarah Henken said “We are delighted to join with the Medfield Foundation to help Medfield by means of the Legacy Fund, and we hope other businesses will consider participating as well. HWC is honored to be the first Civic Founder.” The Civic Founders are businesses who contribute at the Founder level.

If you too appreciate your Medfield community and would like to leave more of your mark on Medfield’s future, please consider becoming a Founder of the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund. See more about the Legacy Fund at http://medfieldfoundation.org/legacy-fund/.

Local Rapid Recovery Planning – grant

Assistant Town Administrator, Nick Milano and Town Planner, Sarah Raposa, obtained a technical assistance grant from the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative’s (MDI) Local Rapid Recovery Planning program.

This is the email to Town Administrator Kristine Trierweiler announcing the grant –

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From: Hahn, Elizabeth (OCD)
Date: Sat, Jan 30, 2021 at 2:02 PM
Subject: LRRP TA Notification

Dear Local Rapid Recovery Program Applicant- 

Please see the attached letter that officially notifies you that your City or Town will be receiving LRRP technical assistance.  In the coming weeks I will be introducing the Plan Facilitator that will be assigned to your community.  The staff of the LRRP program are looking forward to working with you and your community to strategically address the impacts of COVID-19 on your downtown and commercial areas.  

Best- Emmy Hahn

Emmy Hahn / MDI/LRRP Program Coordinator 

Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI) | Mass.gov 

Department of Housing and Community Development 

100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300, Boston, MA  02114 

Small businesses get energy saving opportunity

Eversource press release announces energy saving assistance for our town’s businesses –

Eversource Energy : Partners with Medfield to Launch Energy Efficiency Campaign for Small Businesses

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09/15/2020 | 02:55pm EDT

Energy company helps business owners identify specific ways to save on building’s operating costs now and in the future

BOSTON September 14, 2020 – Eversource is working with Medfield next month on the Main Streets energy efficiency initiative to help local, small businesses reduce their energy costs, save money and have a positive impact on the environment. From September 14th until September 18th, energy experts from Eversource-approved contractor, Rise, will be in the community meeting with businesses, scheduling no-cost energy assessments and answering questions about energy-efficient equipment upgrades and improvements.

‘Energy efficiency provides businesses of all sizes with a competitive edge and directly impacts their bottom line through energy savings,’ said Eversource Vice President of Energy Efficiency Tilak Subrahmanian, ‘Many small businesses are facing financial hardships right now, and this effort will help connect small business owners with ways to save on their energy costs.’

Medfield is one of 15 communities chosen for this initiative in 2020. In 2019, Eversource visited nine communities and helped small business owners reduce their energy use by more than 2.7 million kWh and save more than $400,000 as a result of this initiative.

The Main Streets energy efficiency program begins with a no-cost, no-obligation energy assessment identifying energy-saving opportunities for small businesses, such as new lighting, occupancy sensors, programmable thermostats, refrigeration controls, insulation and more. Some of the improvements, such as installing aerators and spray valves, happen on the spot at no cost to the customer. Larger improvement projects, like HVAC equipment upgrades or the installation of energy-efficient motor controls, are scheduled for a future date. For a limited time, Eversource has increased incentives for a range of energy-efficiency improvements to further offset the cost of upgrades, and interest-free financing is available for any remaining costs.

Local, licensed electricians contracted by Eversource will complete approved projects, ensuring minimal disruption to daily business operations. All contractors are required to follow state-of-the-art health and safety guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and all high-efficiency products installed as part of the program will include warranties for both materials and labor.

Eversource has delivered postcards with more information about the program to Medfield businesses. For more information about the program and to schedule a free assessment at a convenient time, businesses should contact Eversource’s contractor, Rise, directly at 401-784-3700 x 6158.

Pinky Meader Memorial Garden

From the new Medfield Garden Club presidents, Molly Sliney and Carroll Noel-Mozer, by courtesy of Michele Feinsilver –

Pinky Meader Memorial Garden Dedicated

On Friday, September 6, the Medfield Garden Club dedicated a new civic planting in Medfield, the Pinky Meader Memorial Garden, affectionately known as Pinky’s Garden. Members of the garden club and Pinky’s family gathered behind the Unitarian Church in Medfield overlooking Meetinghouse Pond and the Dwight Derby House to dedicate the granite-inscribed bench and the new garden to a dear friend, gardening colleague, mentor and long-time Medfield volunteer who passed away and left a deep legacy of horticultural knowledge and civic beautification to the Town of Medfield and members of the Medfield Garden Club.

We invite the community to visit our lovely new site on the Unitarian Church lawn at 26 North Street and to enjoy some repose in one of the most beautiful settings in Medfield.

 

Rosebay update

Yesterday I had an informative telephone call from Brian McMillin, the developer of Rosebay, about my prior blog post wherein I stated that he preferred to make design changes to the project within the ZBA comprehensive permit process, and then in response to my outreach to her for a status update on the ad hoc group, an emailed MEMO from Town Planner, Sarah Raposa.

  • Brian outlined for me the many project changes that he had made to accommodate the concerns expressed by the town and the ad hoc group with whom he meet over concerns about the size and scale of the design.
  • Sarah shared her 7/22/2019 MEMO to the Board of Selectmen about the work of the Rosebay Ad Hoc Design Review Group (copy attached below).

Contrary to my prior understanding, I learned that the ad hoc group had made substantial progress in getting changes made to the design, which are enumerated in the MEMO.  I also learned from Brain McMillin that none of my own personal suggestions from having studied the plans this week for how to make it a two story project would work, if it is going to remain a 45 unit project.

This is the conclusion stated in the MEMO:

  • Conclusion:  . . . The group has worked to openly review the design and make recommendations that allowed the developer to put forward the best version of their proposal, and conversely Newgate has been open to the recommendations suggested and have made improvements to their proposed development.

Finally, I note that our fellow residents who so kindly served on this ad hoc group, Greg Sullivan, Todd Trehubenko, and Jim Brand, have tremendous professional experience in the real estate development and design area, so our town got truly first rate, high quality professional input in this process.

Town of Medfield 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 (508) 906-3027 Memorandum To: Board of Selectmen From: Sarah Raposa, Town Planner Date: July 22, 2019 Re: Rosebay Ad Hoc Design Review Group Recommendation In August 2018 DHCD and the Town of Medfield received an application for a 45- unit senior rental development called “Rosebay at Medfield” submitted by Newgate Housing LLC / Brian McMillin. The Board of Selectmen were specific in their municipal comment letter in that the Board is in support of the concept (providing affordable senior rental units as articulated in both the 2016 Housing Production Plan and the Medfield Affordable Housing Trust’s Action Plan) but may opt to not support the project because of the current design and recommend that the ZBA deny the project, as is their right due to the Town’s position in Safe Harbor. Despite the process being a traditional 40B, the Developer agreed to meet, informally, with a few members of town boards that may be helpful in working through some of the massing, height, and bulk issues associated with the proposal. Rosebay Ad Hoc Design Group:  Greg Sullivan Planning Board  Brian McMillin NewGate Housing LLC  Jim Brand AHT/PB Assoc.  Mark Major VMY Architects LLC  Todd Trehubenko AHT  James Koningisor Project Manager  Sarah Raposa Town Planner  Courtney Starling COG Meeting #1 (January 10, 2019): In assessing the major factors influencing the development; the size of the lot, the number of units proposed by the developer, elevator requirements, and the desire to utilize rooftop mechanical systems while maintaining a proportionate roofline, the group felt that that it would be difficult to substantially reduce the massing without reducing unit count. The group challenged Newgate to evaluate additional design changes that might reduce impact. These included recommendations to reduce roof pitch, removal of even taller roof elements, increasing setbacks from road and abutters, continuing character of street frontage with a stone wall, trees and other vegetation, aspects of lighting, and other related changes. The group suggested the applicant create a contextual elevation or graphic showing adjacent buildings, providing neighborhood context, and a site plan showing all site-specific elements such as trees, other vegetation and landscape elements, lighting levels, and their proposed pedestrian path through the site. The Newgate team was proactively engaged and open to the comments of the group. Town of Medfield 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 (508) 906-3027 Meeting #2 (May 2, 2019): The Newgate team presented revised plans, elevations and neighborhood context graphics that included design changes that addressed in actuality or the spirit of the comments of the Design Review Group. The following changes and clarifications were made to the proposal: 1. The front setback from Pound Street was revised from 30.5’ to 60.4’. This is twice the required setback in the RU zoning district. 2. The building height was reduced by 10’ to 40’. The zoning bylaw allows a height up to 35’ for multifamily use in the RU district so this would be a 5’ waiver request. 3. The gross building area was reduced by more than 2,000 square feet (from 50,670 sf to 48,524 sf). 4. The distance to neighboring buildings is shown on the revised site plan indicating compliance with the side setback requirements in the RU zoning district. 5. The walking path from Pound Street to the High School/Middle School is proposed as stone dust. 6. An 8’ privacy fence is proposed between walking path and the adjacent historic property at 58 Pound Street. 7. As requested, the Developer submitted landscaping and lighting plans. The landscaping plan provides context on the preservation of existing vegetation and proposed additional screening. The lighting plan confirms no unnecessary light-spillage over the property line. 8. Additional handicapped parking spaces were provided based on comments from the Fire Department. 9. An outdoor trash enclosure was eliminated from the plan because this building has interior trash and recycling facilities on each floor. 10. Certain exterior architectural elements were added or enhanced to improve the appearance of the building, maintain visual interest, and create character on the building’s elevations. 11. Interior changes include a revised layout of the first floor front and rear entries, lobby area, and amenity spaces to improve the flow of foot traffic and to provide for flow through from front entrance to rear entrance; as well as corrected unit plans. The developer provided additional renderings that provided context with the neighborhood. This area is transitional and includes single family dwellings, multi-family dwellings and institutional structures (high school/middle school complex). The viewpoint looking down Pound Street from South Street still reflects a significant development, but is an improvement considering the previous building. From the other direction, the building is closely abutted to Tilden Village. Conclusion: The Ad Hoc Design Review Group recognizes the position decision that the Board of Selectmen need to make relative to this project, senior affordable housing, and the impacted neighborhood. The group has worked to openly review the design and make recommendations that allowed the developer to put forward the best version of their proposal, and conversely Newgate has been open to the recommendations suggested and have made improvements to their proposed development. We appreciate the BoS taking this into consideration as they assess the current design as this moves forward with the Zoning Board of Appeals process.20190722-Memo_re Rosebay ad hoc design group 07-22-19_Page_2

 

Rosebay follow up #2

Rosebay

EMAIL EXCHANGE THIS AFTERNOON BETWEEN TOWN PLANNER AND NEIGHBOR:

Email from neighbor =  “Our main concern is the scale of the project is massive in relation to the neighborhood.”

 

Sarah Raposa email back = The Planning Board will be requesting that the ZBA include architectural and design review as part of the the ZBA’s technical review process in order to find ways to reduce the height and bulk of the building.

Sarah

Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027
sraposa@medfield.net

www.town.medfield.net

 

 

Better Rosebay update

Rosebay

Always best to get your information from the people who really know things.  This is the response email from Sarah Raposa to the abutting neighbors providing the straight story.

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Pete did a good job of summarizing the process and addressing your concerns. I think that some of the aspects of the failed Senior Housing Overlay District Bylaw may have trickled into your thinking on Points 4 & 5. The Rosebay units are indeed proposed to be perpetually affordable to seniors who income qualify (Point 4) and the Town will likely exercise its right to request 70% local preference (Point 5). The local preference step is done after a comprehensive permit is issued. We have done this for all of the 40B thus far.  Affordability and local preference were issues that came up at special town meeting that we could not control through the zoning but are part of the 40B process.

Please let me know if you have additional questions or concerns.

Best,

Sarah

Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027
sraposa@medfield.net

www.town.medfield.net