Dear Medfield Residents, Board/Committee Members, and Colleagues –
The fall of 2018 was the wettest meteorological rainfall on record according to data collected at the Blue Hills Observatory since the 1800s and 2014-2017 were the hottest years on record. This combined with more unpredictable and severe weather events such as the four Nor’Easters in March 2018, our community may be at greater risk to climate change.
The Town of Medfield and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) cordially invite you to participate in preparing and protecting our community though a Community Resilience Building Workshop.
Climate Community Resilience Building Workshop
When: Thursday, January 31, 2019
(Snow Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2019)
Where: Medfield High School, Room 125
88R South Street
Medfield, MA 02052
Time: 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Lunch and refreshments will be served.
The Workshop will bring together community members like you to reduce risk and improve climate resilience. It is a participatory event where your local knowledge and expertise will:
Evaluate strengths and vulnerabilities of residents, infrastructure, and natural resources.
Create an action plan to protect citizens, neighborhoods, and businesses.
Prioritize climate actions most important to you and Medfield.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019, from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at Castle Island Brewing Co., 31 Astor Ave, Norwood, MA 02062.
Dear Mr. Peterson:
On behalf of MAPC, thank you for coming to the first TRIC/MetroCommon 2050 gathering on November 30th in Dedham.
During both the breakfast and lunch sessions, MAPC staff noted everyone’s comments and concerns, which are now being cataloged, categorized, and analyzed. This input, along with what we’re hearing from local officials and representatives from across the region, will be woven into the MetroCommon vision.
PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: Briefly referenced at the gathering, the next event where your community’s voice can be heard is planned for Wednesday, January 30, 2019, from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at Castle Island Brewing Co., 31 Astor Ave, Norwood, MA 02062. The event will be an open-house-style listening session for everyone: residents, the business community, non-profit organizations, etc. Please spread the word to your networks.
Additionally, as a local representative, please consider attending the first event in our MetroCommon Speaker Series: an invigorating lecture and discussion with the nationally-renowned Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law, on Thursday, January 24, 2019,from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM This should be of particular interest to local officials, as this topic is how government-imposed segregation laid the groundwork for today’s racial divisions in cities and suburbs, alike. Register here.
My best regards, and wishing you a Happy New Year,
I just responded to a great comment from Nic Scalfarotto, and since my general sense is that such comments and my replies are not likely seem by many, and sense Nic raised a big issue, I thought I would post both his comment and my reply here so more can see them.
As a new selectman, my first search was for businesses that wanted to locate in town, and when that did not seem a likely result, I have turned to having a town policy of building housing that is revenue positive to the town.
We know that people want to live in town, but mainly not build businesses here. The can make tax money and reduce our current residents’ taxes by building the kind of housing that is more profitable, such as Old Village Square (42 units paying over $600K/year in taxes, with one school child the last time I heard) or the two Larkin brothers projects (Glover Place off North Street and Chapel Hill on Hospital Road, again, both with few school children).
See the analysis that Kathy McCabe, the consultant to the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee, did of the potential taxes to the town from leasing the lot 3 land the town owns on Ice House Road to build 42 units of senior housing versus leasing to a commercial facility, and the town netted either more than double or more that triple the taxes from the residential use over the sports complex, depending on whether the housing was either 100% or 25% affordable, respectively. Those results were summarized in Steve Nolan’s 1/2/2018 memo to the Board of Selectmen available here –20180102-SN-Memo to MSHMPC re HinkleyIce House Road v2 – final sent to BoS and inserted below as well.
I think that many of the friendly 40B projects that we are currently allowing in order to be in safe harbor, will be revenue positive. Statistically, we are told that we will likely average about 1.5 school children per in single family houses, while we will likely average 0.15 school children per unit in multifamily housing. So multifamily housing may well be revenue positive for the town, even if not age restricted.
Additionally, the town is already mainly single family homes, so we really do not need any more single family homes options, while we do not have a sufficient variety of other housing opportunities for residents, especially for seniors. Current proposals in the pipeline will assist at filling in that gap:
8 units on North Street (two developments)
36 units on Dale Street
16 units on Adams Street, age restricted
42 units at the Rosebay, age restricted
56 units (from memory) at The Legion site
However, such diversification of the tax base can only accomplish so much with respect to reducing our individual tax bills. The other issue with which we need to deal is the town’s willing to spend, witness our vote at the last annual town meeting (ATM) to increase our tax bills by about 10%, over the objections of the Board of Selectmen and the Warrant Committee.
Why you have (probably) already bought your last car
By Justin RowlattBBC News
10 October 2018
I’m guessing you are scoffing in disbelief at the very suggestion of this article, but bear with me.
A growing number of tech analysts are predicting that in less than 20 years we’ll all have stopped owning cars, and, what’s more, the internal combustion engine will have been consigned to the dustbin of history.
Yes, it’s a big claim and you are right to be sceptical, but the argument that a unique convergence of new technology is poised to revolutionise personal transportation is more persuasive than you might think.
The central idea is pretty simple: Self-driving electric vehicles organised into an Uber-style network will be able to offer such cheap transport that you’ll very quickly – we’re talking perhaps a decade – decide you don’t need a car any more.
And if you’re thinking this timescale is wildly optimistic, just recall how rapidly cars replaced horses.
Take a look at this picture of 5th Avenue in New York in 1900. Can you spot the car?
Now look at this picture from 1913. Yes, this time where’s the horse?
So how will this latest transportation revolution unfold?
The driverless Uber model
First off, consider how Uber and other networked taxi companies have already changed the way we move around. In most major cities an Uber driver – or one of its rivals – is usually just a couple of minutes away, and charges less than established taxis, let’s say £10.
Add in the low cost of recharging batteries compared to refuelling and you’ve got another dramatic reduction in costs.
And it’s worth noting that the cost of electric vehicles is likely to continue to fall, and rapidly. As they become mainstream, returns to scale will drive down costs. That’s the logic behind Tesla’s $5bn (£3.8bn) battery plant, the so-called “Gigafactory”.
How does this affect our £10 journey?
It brings another dramatic reduction. Fully autonomous electric taxi networks could offer rides at as little as 10% of current rates.
At least that’s what tech prophet Tony Seba reckons. He and his team at the think-tank RethinkX have done more than anyone else to think through how this revolution might rip through the personal transportation market.
‘Transport as a service’
We’ve now cut our £10 fare to just £1.
Mr Seba calls the idea of a robo-taxi network “transport as a service”, and estimates it could save the average American as much as $6,000 (£4,560) a year. That’s the equivalent of a 10% pay rise.
And don’t forget, when the revolution comes you won’t be behind the wheel so now you’ll be working or relaxing as you travel – another big benefit.
You still think that car parked outside your flat is worth having?
What’s more, once this new model of getting around takes hold the benefits are likely to be reinforcing. The more vehicles in the network, the better the service offered to consumers; the more miles self-driving cars do, the more efficient and safer they’ll get; the more electric vehicles manufactured, the cheaper each one will be.
Don’t worry that rural areas will be left out. A vehicle could be parked in every village waiting for your order to come.
And range anxiety – the fear that you might run out of electricity – won’t be a problem either. Should the battery run low the network will send a fully charged car to meet you so you can continue your journey.
You’ve probably seen headlines about accidents involving self-driving cars but the truth is they will be far safer than ones driven by you and me – they won’t get regulatory approval if they are not. That means tens of thousands of lives – perhaps hundreds of thousands – will be saved as accident rates plummet.
That will generate yet another cost saving for our fleets of robo-taxis. The price of insurance will tumble, while at the same time those of us who insist on continuing to drive our own vehicles will face higher charges.
Human drivers banned
According to the tech visionaries it won’t be long before the whole market tilts irreversibly away from car ownership and the trusty old internal combustion engine.
RethinkX, for example, reckons that within 10 years of self-driving cars getting regulatory approval 95% of passenger miles will be in these electric robo-taxis.
The logical next step will be for human beings to be banned from driving cars at all because they pose such a risk to other road users.
Take a moment to think about the wide-reaching effects this revolution will have, aside from just changing how we get around. There will be downsides: millions of car industry workers and taxi drivers will be looking for new jobs, for a start.
But think of the hundreds of billions of dollars consumers will save, and which can now be spent elsewhere in the economy.
Meanwhile, the numbers of cars will plummet. RethinkX estimates that the number of vehicles on US roads will fall from nearly 250 million to just 45 million over a 10-year period. That will free up huge amounts of space in our towns and cities.
And, please take note: I haven’t mentioned the enormous environmental benefits of converting the world’s cars to electricity.
That’s because the logic of this upheaval isn’t driven by new rules on pollution or worries about global warming but by the most powerful incentive in any economy – cold hard cash.
That said, there’s no question that a wholesale switch away from fossil fuels will slow climate change and massively reduce air pollution.
In short, let the revolution begin!
But seriously, I’ve deliberately put these arguments forcefully to prompt debate and we want to hear what you think.
The Board of Selectmen will be appointing a committee on October 16 to do town wide master planning. Any residents interested in serving on that committee should submit an expression of interest and a resume to Evelyn Clarke – call her at 508-906-3012 or email her at email@example.com.
Below is the outline of both the master planning process and a proposed timeline put together by Sarah Raposa, Town Planner.
Email today from the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee –
Medfield State Hospital Master Plan Committee Update
The Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee is pleased to announce the release of the Medfield State Hospital Strategic Reuse Master Plan for the State Hospital site after four years of intensive effort.
The cover of the Medfield State Hospital Strategic Reuse Master Plan.
Preferred Master Plan Released
Residential, cultural, commercial, retail, and recreational uses are incorporated into the plan. Key features include:
· diverse housing types addressing needs for seniors, down-sizers, millennials, and affordability;
· restoration and reuse of almost all of the existing buildings;
· maximizing open space and vistas;
· buildings and open area for a cultural hub; and
· space designated for a recreational and athletic complex.
The plan balances the priorities and desires of the Community with the economic and financial objectives of minimal impacts on school and Town services, minimal effects on property tax rates, and the potential for profitable development from the investor’s perspective.
I started this blog to share the interesting and useful information that I saw while doing my job as a Medfield selectman. I thought that my fellow Medfield residents would also find that information interesting and useful as well. This blog is my effort to assist in creating a system to push the information out from the Town House to residents. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how it can be done better.
For information on my other job as an attorney (personal injury, civil litigation, estate planning and administration, and real estate), please feel free to contact me at 617-969-1501 or Osler.Peterson@OslerPeterson.com.