I have been the primary sponsor on the Waltham City Council of open space acquisitions #6 through #13. Co-sponsors are noted where applicable.
|1||1996||MetState||475 Trapelo Rd||50 ac|
|2||1996||Beaver Brook North Reservation||475 Trapelo Rd||230 ac|
|3||2000||Former Coleman Stanton land||Chesterbrook Rd||25.5 ac|
|4||2000||Smith & Trapelo wetlands||1433 Rear Trapelo Rd||16.27 ac|
|5||2001||Jericho Hill parcel||Lincoln/Larchmont||6.49 ac|
|6||2005||Our Lady’s land||880 Rear Trapelo Rd||34 ac||Former Ward 1 Councillor Kelly|
|8||2005||Former Gaebler School||285 Trapelo Rd||7 ac|
|9||2009||Middlesex Hospital Lot 1||775 REAR Trapelo Rd||6 ac|
|10||2012||Arcadia Avenue lot||84 AFT Arcadia Ave||0.13 ac|
|11||2012||Whitney Farrington Cook House||385 Trapelo Rd||1 ac|
|12||2012||Sanderson Heights parcel||167 BEF Lincoln St||26 ac||Former Ward 2 Councillor Tarallo|
|13||2018||Arrigo Farm #2||342-344 Warren St||4 ac||Ward 4 Councillor McLaughlin|
|14||2014||Fernald School parcel||200 Trapelo Rd||196 ac||Mayor McCarthy & Full Council|
|TOTAL ACREAGE||599.39 ac|
I am happy to report that over the past 24 years we have protected 599.39 acres of open space in North Waltham, preventing overdevelopment and yet providing passive recreational opportunities to all Waltham residents. North Waltham is an accidental wilderness.
During my tenure on the City Council I have fought for the installation of automatic powered doors at every development that has required a special permit from the Waltham City Council. Powered doors provide safer access for people using wheelchairs and walkers. Typically the cost of their installation is miniscule compared to overall building cost. On numerous occasions I have witnessed people in wheelchairs having to wait until a kind citizen opens the door for them. Unfortunately Massachusetts’ current building code does not require their installation.
Recent sites now with automatic doors now include Starbucks at 1019 Trapelo Rd, Panera Bread & Five Guys Burgers at 1030 Main St, and Marriott Courtyard & Holiday Inn Express at 385 Wyman St. In the fall of 2020 I intend to submit an ordinance change to require automatic powered doors as a condition of the special permit.
Over the past 15 years I have been the primary sponsor of 6 following rezonings of land in Waltham from Residential to Conservation/Recreation (C/R) zoning district. Below is the list of rezonings which total 114 acres. The rezonings to C/R add an extra layer of protection to ensure that these parcels remain undeveloped and protected.
|2005||Former Coleman Stanton land||Chesterbrook Rd||25.5 ac||Residence A2 (RA2) to Conservation/Recreation (CR)|
|2009||Smith & Trapelo wetlands||1433 Rear Trapelo Rd||16.27 ac||Residence A3 (RA3) to Conservation/Recreation (CR)|
|2010||Former Our Lady’s land||880 Rear Trapelo Rd||34 ac||Residence A2 (RA2) to Conservation/Recreation (CR)|
|2012||Jericho Hill parcel||Lincoln/Larchmont||6.59 ac||Residence A2 (RA2) to Conservation/Recreation (CR)|
|2012||Sanderson Heights parcel||167 BEF Lincoln St||26 ac||Residence A2 (RA2) to Conservation/Recreation (CR)|
|2012||Middlesex Hospital Lot 1||775 REAR Trapelo Rd||6 ac||Residence A2 (RA2) to Conservation/Recreation (CR)|
|TOTAL ACREAGE||114 ac|
I advocated for and supported the renovation of 3 playgrounds in Ward 3 in 2019 totaling over $4M:
All 3 playgrounds have perimeter walking paths. Unique features of each playground include a splash pad sprinkler and bocce court at Graverson, new state of the art softball field at Elsie Turner, and basketball and hockey court at Hillcroft.
I thank Mayor McCarthy for appropriating these funds as well as Waltham Recreation Director Nick Abruzzi and Assistant Director Kim Scott for their guidance and direction in renovating these beautiful parks.
To improve the safety of pedestrian access along Trapelo Road I successfully advocated for $2.5 million funding to install one mile of new concrete sidewalks on Trapelo Road from Smith Street to Lexington Street, where none previously existed.
New concrete sidewalks were also installed on the north side of Trapelo Road. The solar powered pedestrian traffic signal at Pine Vale was moved to the center of Graverson Playground. Trapelo Road will be resurfaced and re-striped in 2020.
In the summer of 2019 the Waltham Community Preservation Committee and City Council approved my MetFern Cemetery Signage CPC application and associated $79,750 funding request to erect signage listing the full names of all individuals interred at the cemetery.
The MetFern cemetery is located on the grounds of the former Metropolitan State Hospital on Trapelo Road behind Mackerel Hill. Approximately 300 individuals, former residents of both the Fernald and MetState institutions, are interred there. Existing monuments are etched with a code, comprised of a letter (“C” for Catholic or “P” for Protestant) followed by a number. See photo above. The interred souls are thus currently nameless. This project will finally add some level of dignity to those individuals who faced great difficulties during their lives.Metfern Cemetery
In 2017 I submitted a City Council resolution to investigate bringing back skiing and other sports at Prospect Hill. Prospect Hill is the 2nd highest peak in eastern Massachusetts (485 ft or 148 m) and has a 350’ vertical drop and a 6,700’ trail length. Two things have occurred since its closure back in 1990:
Fun fact - the vertical drop of Prospect Hill is greater than that at the Blue Hills Ski Area in Canton. The City’s Law Department is currently investigating the legal aspects of my proposal. I look forward to seeing this project though and what it will bring to Waltham.
In 2019 the Waltham Community Preservation Committee approved the request that the Recreation Department and I submitted for $50,000 for restoration of the former Wellington Farm at 735 Trapelo Rd. This parcel is located between the Wellington House and the Engine 8 Fire Station. This 6 acre parcel was farmed as late as 1990 by the Ricci Family who operated Ricci Farms. They leased out the parcel from Middlesex County to grow vegetables (squash, corn, etc.) for their farmstand.
The trees growing onsite are mostly invasives under 30 years old. Clearing of the 6 acre parcel is expected to be completed in 2020 with the first crops grown the following year. All old growth trees on the perimeter(mostly maples and oaks) have been flagged and will be preserved. In addition, several nut bearing trees in the interior will also be preserved for wildlife purposes. We are awaiting the Mayor to sign the purchase order to move forward with the clearing.Wellington Farm
The farm will enhance the historic 1787 Wellington House and will be used in conjunction with educational programs to be administered by the city's Recreation Department.
I have supported the recommendation of the Waltham School Building Committee and School Committee with respect to the location and funding of the new high school.
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