Historical Commission instead approves six month delay
By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – A representative of Kendall Homes, Inc., was admonished by local residents and members of the Historical Commission during a public hearing held June 21 when he requested a demolition permit for a home located at 140 South St.
Tim Black, a manager for the Southborough-based company, said “due diligence” had been done to find a buyer to purchase and remove the circa -1725 home off the property that had last been owned by Lillian Grove, fondly known as Westborough’s “Blueberry Lady”. She had lived at the site, known as Denny Brook Farm, for 63 years, prior to her passing earlier this year.
Black told the historical commission that since his company was unable to find a buyer, they were requesting a demolition permit so that they could develop the property into a 2 lot subdivision. He added that it would be “too costly and too dangerous” to attempt to renovate the house in its current state.
Several residents then commented, disputing Black’s account, adding that they had attended a recent estate sale at the property.
Paula Skog, who now lives in North Grafton but was a Westborough resident for many years, said “there is a lot of rich history in this house. I was at the estate sale – its in excellent condition.”
Tina Baxter said that she grew up across from the farm. At the estate sale, she said she noted that “everything was immaculate.”
“There is no reason to demolish this property,” she said.
Her father, Donald Parker Jr. added, “You cannot tear this house down, you cannot tear this down. If Lillian was here, she would be [angry]. This is just a money grab.”
Several other residents commented as well, noting that they did not want to see another old home in Westborough taken down.
“I am not the bad guy here. I’m just a businessman,” Black responded. “But this house is not safe – it’s a fire hazard waiting to happen.”
But, he admitted to the commission, that Kendall Homes had not yet attempted to sell the home – just to have it bought and moved off the property.
“That’s ludicrous, to want to demolish a building without even trying to save it first,” commission member Jennifer Doherty said.
The rest of the commission agreed with her, and instead of issuing the permit, approved instead a six month demolition delay.
Hazel Nourse, the commission’s chair, advised Black to contact some local Realtors.
“I believe there will be a lot of people interested in this property,” she added.