What Happened to “Save the White Cliffs”?


Letter to the Editor logoIn response to a Letter on February 22, 2023, The Northborough Planning Board received a petition by citizens asking not to change the current split zoning on 167 Main Street a/k/a White Cliffs, the Town Planner proposed this change for the 2023 Warrant to help potential development of the lot.  The citizens who signed the petition felt strongly that it was not in the best interest of the town.  Its potential impact would be devastating to this area for many reasons.

Metrowest Collaborative Development proposed a 40b housing project of 52 apartments to the White Cliffs Reuse Committee on January 12, 2023 that would include using most of the mansion for some of the apartments. There were no public comments allowed and the committee panel were allocated 2 questions each.  Mansion restoration was not discussed. 

The usual concerns of developments are their impacts on the area and community.  No questions were asked about traffic impacts or reports submitted regarding it.  No questions were asked about the impact of additional goods and services, such as; police, fire, school and intersection re-engineering, that would impact our taxes.  No breakdown of expected additional tax burdens were submitted or discussed. What does the town gain or lose in tax revenue? 

There was no discussion of the purchase offer of only $100.  

CPC funds ($2,400,000) were allocated in 2016 to purchase the land and the mansion for historic preservation.  Add to that, Metrowest asked for an additional $800,000 of CPC funds from our affordable housing bank, with a potential continued ask, indefinitely. 

The Reuse Committee spent little time discussing the pros and cons of the 3 offers. Rather than going to Town Meeting before the RFP was written and asking the Town what they wanted, this advisory committee voted 4 to 1 for Metrowest Collaborative Development.  Now a Reuse Committee member is publicly promoting this project as “most viable”.  Why?  

How does this project preserve the land and the building or really benefit Northborough?

Anna Servideo