Conservation officer opposes Sasseville Way proposal


Conservation officer opposes Sasseville Way proposal
Marlborough City Hall stands on Main Street. Mayor Arthur Vigeant recently criticized the conservation officer and a Conservation Committee member from participating in a public hearing on a zoning proposal for a property on Sasseville Way. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – During the public hearing on a proposed zoning change for Sasseville Way on Sept. 11, the city’s conservation officer spoke against the proposal.

Priscilla Ryder also recommended asking the city to purchase the 23-acre parcel, currently assessed at $523,000.

Ryder’s comments, as well as those from Conservation Committee member Allan White, drew an objection from Mayor Arthur Vigeant – not on the proposal itself but in speaking out during the public hearing.

“It was inappropriate for either the conservation officer or the conservation committee to participate in the public hearing on the issue,” he said. “That is the time for the public to be heard, speaking in favor, in opposition or asking questions.

“The conservation commission and conservation officer have always given opinions on all projects such as this through written communication, and I would have expected nothing less. Their opinion is important, as all information is helping the City Council make their decision, and that may be positive or negative,” he added.

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Vigeant said he had a discussion with Ryder and the commission’s chair, Edward Clancy, and “hope we can avoid this in the future.”

As to the suggestion on the city purchasing the parcel, Vigeant said that based on the last open space plan that Ryder has completed, the parcel is not among the “recommended purchases.”

“I’m hoping the conservation officer finalizes the updates to the plan soon,” he said.

Should the city approve the zoning change from limited industrial to residential, it could open the way to a housing development.

The proposal has been sent to the Urban Affairs Committee.

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