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Task Force to Eye Drew Farm Land

What do you think should be done?

Drew Farm. Credit: Patch
Drew Farm. Credit: Patch
Westford's Board of Selectmen is seeking residents who might be interested in joining a task force to study whether or not the town should purchase the Drew Farm property on Boston Road.

The store and farm are currently for sale and due to an agriculture restriction, the town has a right of first refusal on the parcel. Officials are looking for community members to come together and make a recommendation to the board on what is the best course of action, according to officials. 

The decision to create a task force comes after the Westford Land Preservation Foundation met and voted to request the board to "take the steps required" to have the town purchase the land, according to a May 7, memo. 

The property is considered, by some, to be a gateway to the community. The task force, according to officials, eye the property, have a professional appraisal done, and then make a recommendation to the board and later, if needed and depending on the recommendation, to Town Meeting. 

Anyone who is interested in participating in the task force should file an application form online here: westfordma.gov

If you have questions, call Tina Landry in the Town Manager's Office at 978-692-5501, Ext. 1.

What do you think should be done? Leave a note in the comment section of this post. 
Cori Ryan May 26, 2014 at 06:33 PM
Thank you for that clarification. Also thank you for the name of that group LARP). I thought they were pretty neat, especially when they went for dinner afterwards to Applebee's in costume. I miss seeing them.
June McMorrow May 26, 2014 at 08:31 PM
Mr. Dickens, so much for the Ghost of Christmas Past. Onto the Ghost of Christmas Present and Future. I have recently received a flyer from the Westford Friends of East East Boston Camp via the USPS. http://westfordfriendsebc.org/ They are trying to bring back the tradition of overnight camps. Please say it isn't so. If they bring back overnight camps, I am afraid that we will go back to the days of not being permitted past the chain link across the North Road. They are tying to build a new bath house on the site of the old bath house. Please say it isn't so. The initial projections to build this bath house were ~ $120,000.00. Now, they hover ~$ 200,000.00. They recently received a $100,000.00 grant from the Cummings Foundation for this purpose. http://www.cummingsfoundation.org/oneworldboston/ In addition, they asked for and were granted 2-$ 30,000.00 gifts from the Westford Planning Board for a total of $ 60,000.00. These gifts were from a Mitigation Fund. In my mind, this $$$$ ought to have been spent on doing something good for a Westford neighborhood which had been negatively impacted by development. Instead, they will be used for this new bath house. Why the Cummings Foundation would give them $ 100,000.00 to build a bath house that will probably serve the children of a private for profit camp (Marcus Lewis Day Camps) all the while excluding the children of the community is beyond my understanding. I am afraid that the new bath house will be inaccessible to the children who participate in the Westford Rec. Camp and to people like me who frequent the woods during the all to brief New England summer months. What if I want to take a swim and then to change afterward instead of walking out of the property dripping wet as I have done in years gone past? Will I be allowed to use the brand new bath house while camp is in session? I want to move forward and so very much don't want to take steps backward. But, if we don't pay attention to them, I fear the outcome. Please don't fence me and the doggies out!
Steven Sadowski May 27, 2014 at 08:04 AM
What it seems to me, reading all of these posts, is that the purchasing of land, the placing of restrictions (conservation or otherwise) and the outright designation of lands as conservation, has very little to do with creating a viable and affordable open space for the people of Westford to use and has more to do with locking up acreage so that---god forbid--someone builds on it. Either you trust the people or not. We have a planning board to guide the scope and size of all new developments. If you can be trusted to put a deck on your home, why can't your neighbor? It seems like a lot of people just want Westford to remain exactly in the footprint it has and will declare open lands as anything, to keep it that way. All of these stories about the EBC and other open spaces is proof that the CC and the town can't handle the open spaces it already has. The Stone Arch bridge near my home is covered in graffiti and the trail slowly eroding into the brook. I'm sure everyone else has tales of woe regarding trails or lands near their homes, but hey, at least someone isn't building on them right? Meanwhile, every privately owned home this weekend had people out pruning shrubs, mowing lawns, planting trees and flowers with their own money and their own time. The govt. was off. It's time to get past this knee jerk repulsion to privately owned land without restrictions. Private land is better taken care of than public. As proof, drop a wrapper on any trail and see how long it sits there. Now drop one in front of any of the loathed Market Baskets in town, or on your neighbor's lawn, and see how long it sits there. Private wins everytime.
Sam May 27, 2014 at 08:57 AM
SS, this sounds good but as you know the Straw Hats rule and they have a plan. After we get bamboozled into buying this, the plan will become clear to all but will be too late. Green grass and clear skies ahead :)
Steven Sadowski May 27, 2014 at 09:13 AM
You may be right, but I gotta give it a shot. I'm a Libertarian remember? We're used to the lost, yet noble cause!

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