In-Town Report  10-15-11
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In-Town Report 10-15-11

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☆ In-Town Report 10-15-2011

☆ In-Town Report 10-15-2011

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    In-Town Report  10-15-11 In-Town Report 10-15-11 Document Transcript

    • ASK THE MANAGER ITR:Could we have an update on the new Stop & Shopand also what will be going on at the old Stop & Shop site. (includingCVS)PAUL COHEN:The new Stop and Shop is expected to be open within the next few weeks.  Company officials willcontact the Building Department for an Occupancy Certificate.  Once the appropriate Town Depart -ments, such as the Board of Health, Fire Department, and Building Departments, approve of the construction, the store will be allowed to open.  I am awaiting information from Stop and Shop officials regarding the companys plans for the center location.  Fortunately, the Friendlys restaurantthat leases space at that location was not included in the recent store closures.  The work on thenew CVS building may begin this fall.ITR:Will there be a new proposal coming up on a newcenter fire station and will it include Wilson street?PAUL COHEN:The Permanent Building Committee, Fire Chief Michael Curran, and I are in the preliminary planningstages for a new center fire station proposal.  We are exploring the possibility of constructing a newcenter fire station adjacent to the Town Offices.  The apparatus bay would be constructed to the rearof the current parking lot, where the elevation drops.  The office area and firefighter quarters wouldextend towards the gymnasium of the Town Offices.  The gymansium may be converted to a trainingroom/community room, which would be similar to the one at the police station.  This new proposal isexpected to cost less than the previous ones by reducing the amount of new building construction.   ITR:If the new fire station proposal succeeds,will the follow up plan still be to move theDutton house to the old center fire stationsite to become the new home to theChelmsford Housing Authority?PAUL COHEN:If the current center fire station location were to no longer be used by the Fire Department, then itmay make sense to raze the building and relocate the Dutton house to that location across from thecommon.  The architectural style of the Dutton house is similar to the adjacent properties.  Sincethere would be approximately two years from a Town Meeting vote until the occupancy of a new firestation, there would be ample time for the Town to consider the future use of that site.  I would notrecommend the sale of the center fire station property/land.  Another possibility may be the reuse ofthe center fire station building as a location for Chelmsford Telemedia studio operations.  I expectthat other suggestions will be raised in the months and years ahead.        
    • ITR:On the fall Town Meeting warrant articles 18 & 19, there are proposed zoning changes toresidential neighborhoods can you explain a little about what kind of changes they are andhow it will affect the residents in those areas?PAUL COHEN:Both of these articles are intended to preserve neighborhoods.  Article 18 would change the zoningon portions of Manahan Street, Morgan Drive, and Maple Avenue from Neighborhood Commercialto General Residence.  Article 19 would rezone the portion of Groton Road located between Route3 and the Westford town line from Single Residence to General Residence.  This would allow fortwo-family dwellings.  ITR:Concerning the fall Town Meeting warrant articles 22 & 23 which center around the Oak Hillproperty, has any other land in Chelmsford had studies done on them before they becameconservation land?PAUL COHEN:During my five-year tenure with the Town of Chelmsford, I am not aware of any land studies, sidefrom the recently completed Open Space and Recreation Plan and the 2010 Master Plan.  Ascalled for under these two planning documents, the Town has been reviewing and brining to TownMeeting a large number of Town-owned undesignated parcels for permanent conservation protec -tion.   Article 10 would place another 30 parcels of land comprising 48 acres into conservationland.    ITR:Could you fill us in on the special Town Meeting that will precede the 2nd night of Fall TownMeeting by a minute?PAUL COHEN:The Special Town Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 20 prior to the second session ofthe Fall Annual Town Meeting.  Voters will be asked to approve a Tax Increment Financing (TIF)Agreement for Kronos.  The company is seeking to retain its headquarters in Chelmsford.  The TIFagreement would also result in an investment of $6M and the creation of new jobs.  This will add tothe Towns property tax base, while providing quality jobs in the service industry.ITR:Since the town is in need of a few good men & women, is there a place to review thequalifications and requirements/expectations of each position on the town website?If not, what are the chances that it could happen in the future?PAUL COHEN:I think that the best way for one to understand the requirements and demands of serving on a volunteer government committee is to speak with those who currently serve on the committee.The Towns website lists the names and contact infromation for committee members.  A diversity of talents populate the Towns boards and committees.  Therefore, there are no required qualifications to serve as a committee member. ITR Extra: CLICK  HERE for TOWN OF CHELMSFORD FINANCE COMMITTEE Report, Recommendations and Copy of the Warrant for the Fall Session of Annual Town Meeting
    • Opinion www.chelmsford.patch.com LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Oak Hill is Not a "Land Grab" By Conservation Grab A letter from David McLaughlin. October 1, 2011As the October Town Meeting approaches rumors are surfacing that the Conservation Com-mission’s support of Article 23 to place 66 acres of undeveloped land under the Commis-sion’s jurisdiction is nothing more than a blatant “land grab” by the Commission. Where isthis coming from and why is such a vindictive attack being made on the Commission? Towhat purpose is this attack being made? The term “land grab” connotes ulterior motives andsuggests that there is something going on behind the scenes unbeknown to the public.Shades of 9 North Road!! I hoped we had left those attacks behind. Perhaps the rumor-mongers themselves have ulterior motives.Conservation Land has never been acquired and sold off for gain or development. In factonce under ConCom control it would take a significant effort on the part of Town Meeting andthe State to dispose of conservation land. That is the way it is supposed to be in order topreserve open space for conservation.The ConCom is charged by Local and State laws to protect the wetlands, water resources,flood prone areas, and adjoining upland areas in Chelmsford by controlling activities likely tohave a significant or cumulative effect on recreation and aesthetic values deemed importantto the Community, wildlife habitat, rare species habitat, public or private water supply,groundwater supply, flood control, erosion and sedimentation control, storm damage preven-tion, and water quality.The ConCom manages approximately 850 acres of land in Chelmsford of which 642 acresare represented by 10 reservations that range in size from 10 to 180 acres.
    • This represents less than 6% of the total acreage in Town. The reservations in town areused by all of us for passive recreation such as walking, jogging, nature observation, horse-back riding and in a few locations trail biking. Most of the reservations have historical signifi-cance. A portion of one reservation, Russell Mill, is used by the Chelmsford Youth SoccerAssociation.Contrary to what one Selectman has recently said the ConCom never approved the MasterPlan, as it was not asked to. Consequently, the ConCom is not changing its mind. The Con-Com did approve the Open Space and Recreation Master Plan prepared by a group of citi-zens, of whom two were ConCom members, in September 2010. In that plan there was onerecommendation of many: 4.3.A-Conduct a detailed site analysis of Oak Hill culminating in amaster plan emphasizing protection of open space and creation of recreationalopportunities.” (Bold for emphasis). Subsequent to the completion of that plan the Con-opportunities.Com finished a survey of private and public open space suitable for possible acquisition ifand when available and affordable. The Greater Oak Hill area consisting of 130 acres ofwhich 70 acres are privately owned and 66 acres the Town owns was first on that list basedon a variety of criteria. Since we represent conservation interests we must only speak forthem. As a result we felt it was important to secure Oak Hill now for conservation.Another argument for studying Oak Hill, Article 22, and a cost to the taxpayers of $15,000-$20,000 has been tossed around, is to prepare a plan for the use of Oak Hill as conservationland before it becomes conservation land. Isn’t that is putting the cart before the horse?Why go to the time and effort to develop what others call a master plan for conservation if itis not going to be conservation? And lest anyone think that some huge involved plan mustbe made for Oak Hill for conservation purposes please disavow yourself of that. We haveplans for all our reservations, some of which are written down, some of which are not; someof which are very specific, some of which are not. Most of our plans involve trail locationsand maintenance, maps and signage. One-off projects are undertaken as needed with theassistance of the Land Stewards and DPW. In the case of Oak Hill, trails and maps exist al-though it is not conservation land. The trails are in relatively good shape and adequate.Signage will need to be located at trail entrances to the site and along private property lines.Signage will indicate “Conservation Land” and our show our Land Use Regulations. A park-ing lot and entrance will need to be determined. We have 8-10 unpaved parking spaces forthe 180-acre Cranberry Bog Reservation and that is adequate. An initial review suggeststhe parking might be located near the DPW salt shed off Swain Road with a path and smallstream crossing to an existing trail on the parcel. Emergency access will be designated.If past experience is any indication substantial funds will not be needed to maintain and im-prove Oak Hill as a conservation reservation. The ConCom has an annual land maintenancebudget of $250 (that’s right). We have augmented that with donations, private citizen helpand CPC assistance. There is a $40,000 trust fund for Wright Reservation that has not beentouched since it was established.So let me assure the townspeople that this is not a “land grab” on the part of your Conserva-tion Commission. This is one of the last large open forested lands in town that should be se-cured for everyone’s enjoyment.David McLachlanChairman-Chelmsford Conservation Commission51 Brentwood Road, Chelmsford
    • Chelmsford voters will have final say on Oak Hill By Monica Jimenez/Wicked Local staff writer GateHouse News Service Oct 05, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —A long-ignored piece of town property off Oak Hill Road has landed on the fall Town Meetingwarrant – twice.Made up of hills, woods, wetlands and historic granite quarries, the 66-acre Oak Hill parcelserves as a scenic recreational area and has long been deemed too difficult to develop; theterrain is rough and road access is limited. A citizen petition article proposes placing the landunder a conservation restriction, reversible only by the state legislature.Another warrant article calls for a study of the property, estimated to cost $15,000. Submit-ted by the Board of Selectmen, it would be the logical next step according to the town Mas-ter Plan, Open Space Plan and Affordable Housing draft plans.Some conservation officials and citizen petition signers oppose the study, believing it wouldbe used to justify forcing roads and buildings onto Oak Hill. Meanwhile, a number of townplanners oppose throwing the land into conservation without the study, arguing it’s irrespon-sible not to explore all options.The town’s Master Plan, Open Space Plan and Affordable Housing Plan characterize OakHill as a potential site for housing or recreational development, directing officials to pursuethese possibilities until they are ruled out. And the town’s ultimate guiding document — itscharter – gives private citizens the final say over whether those possibilities will become re-ality.Master Plan and Open Space and Recreation PlanIn three sections of the 2010 Chelmsford Master Plan, Oak Hill is characterized as a promis-ing site for housing. “The Master Plan Committee feels that this parcel would be best used for housing and ac-tive and passive recreation, or a combination thereof,” reads the Land Use and Zoning sec-tion, referring to Oak Hill.An action item in the document reads, “Target the identified Potential Housing sites for de-velopment and complete a Master Plan for the Oak Hill site that includes housing and openspace uses.”The Open Space and Recreation Plan, in keeping with its name, does not suggest develop-ment on Oak Hill. However, it leaves an opening for other uses of the land.“The Town should conduct a detailed site analysis of Oak Hill culminating in a master planemphasizing protection of open space and creation of recreational opportunities,” reads thedocument. “Oak Hill should be retained as at least 50 percent open space and the remainingportion may be developed for recreation, up to 50 percent of the total acreage.”Chelmsford selectman and 2010 Master Plan Committee chairman Jim Lane stressed thewords “up to” at the selectmen’s meeting Monday night; they suggest the rest of the 50 per-cent may be used for something other than recreation. The writers may well have meantmore open space, as indicated by the words “at least,” but the loophole remains — as doesthe call for a detailed site analysis.“I feel we’d be doing a disservice to residents if we were directed by two dif -ferent plans to perform a study, and didn’t,” Lane said. didn’t,
    • Affordable Housing draft planChelmsford’s Affordable Housing Committee performed a housing feasibility study on OakHill last year with money from the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP), and accordingto member Paul Haverty, the parcel is central to the Affordable Housing draft plan.Redeveloping existing properties for housing would be ideal, said committee adviser andChelmsford Housing Authority director David Hedison, but Oak Hill tops the committee’s listof focus sites, most likely because the town already owns the land.The town could stagger the development of affordable units on Oak Hill to meet the annualproduction goal imposed by the state, Hedison said, which would allow Chelmsford to turnaway unwanted private developers.As few as 10 to 12 acres would be needed for housing, he said.“The 66 acre parcel for the most part could be preserved as open space,” Hedi- space,son said. “Further study of the site may show how a great balance could bereached, protecting the nature and protecting the history while addressingthe housing needs.” needs.The MHP-funded study, which might have revealed or ruled out this balance, never made itto a conclusion – the MHP asked the town to commit to putting affordable units on the site,recalled Town Manager Paul Cohen, which was impossible without Town Meeting approval.The same will be true this time around, he said.“The town makes the decision,” Cohen said. “It’s not made on behalf of the decision,town; it’s made by the town.”town.Laws of natureWritten plans may abound, but what’s not on paper is proving just as important. There are noinjunctions against Oak Hill development in the Master Plan or Open Space Plan; there areno deed restrictions barring buildings on the property. Likewise, there is no guarantee astudy will produce useful results and no way of knowing whether development on Oak Hillwould be worth the prohibitive cost.But as people realize how much they don’t know, Cohen said, something good is happening.“The best thing is that people are finally paying attention to Oak Hill,” Cohen Hill,said. “It’s an important resource. This is drawing out the difficulties with theland.”land.Cohen admitted the town has largely neglected the land since acquiring it in 1998. Now anincreasing number of people are discovering its contribution to a rich wildlife corridor; itsovergrown depths waiting to be weeded and walked; its acres of timber, some of which maybe sold to keep the woods healthy and generate revenue for the town.Whether residents decide to study or save the property, Cohen suggested, their choice willbe correct – like the land, the town grows in any way it wants.“The right answer is whatever the town wants to do,” Cohen said. do,“Ultimately, all we can do is pro -pose. The town decides.” decides.Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
    • CONSERVATION CONVERSATIONIN Response to the 10/2/11 ITR Q&A with Phil Stanwayby David McLachlanThe questions raised by Phil Stanway in the interview in Roy Earley’s ITR aren’t particularly rele-vant to Warrant Article 23, which places 66 acres of land under Conservation responsibility. Frommy perspective none of them have anything to do with whether or not Oak Hill should be conser-vation land and protected from development. If all of those questions had problematic answerswould the conclusion be to develop the land? I would hope not. Let’s look at the questions.1. “What about the billboards and how will they be built and accessed?”Answer: We have evidence about how it (there is only one billboard site zoned for Oak Hill, thereis another one on private property owned by the North Congregational church) might be builtfrom the site at the High School where there was minimal footprint and disturbance. Access forany billboard is an issue whether it is conservation land or not.2. “What about the private land the roads cross (they are ATV and Snowmobile roads and notwalking trails?”Answer: There is no private land taking proposed for Oak Hill to become conservation land. Con-Com prohibits all motorized vehicles including ATV’s and snowmobiles on its land, as would bethe case if this were conservation. Right now ATV’s and snowmobiles cross the property with norestrictions. More ever, ATV’s and snowmobiles may use private land if allowed by thelandowner. Enforcing this always requires help from the police.3. “What about the land that the Lowell Sportsmans Club has been paying taxes on for decades -who owns that?”Answer: Who owns this piece of private land is irrelevant to making Oak Hill conservation land.Yes, people walk this parcel, as I am sure they walk many private parcels throughout town. Itwould be nice to formally link Deep Brook to Oak Hill, but not necessary. And since the LSC is infavor of Article 23 I would hope they would support limited acess.4. “Trails cross the Sportsman’s Club land and people need to stay out of the area of the shoot-ing ranges.”Answer: Yes. The Club is private land and is well marked. The range is adjacent but does notabut Oak Hill. The Club is on record supporting Article 23.5. Will it be possible to get access across the old dump? Scotty Hollow Condominiums has “NoTrespassing” signs posted along the Swain Road and Oak Hill side as they have had concernsabout that area for many years.Answer: The access does not have to be directly over the dump. In any event people walk thecapped old dump now. Why would the town deny a limited crossing access near the salt shed?Scotty Hollow has every right to post “No Trespassing” signs on their private land. The main ac-cess would be placed elsewhere. Remember this is to be conservation land not a park. In everyinstance in town, Conservation Land abuts someone’s private property and it is managed.
    • 6. ATV’s and Snowmobiles are very active in the Oak Hill and those vehicles have been an issuecoming into Deep Brook Reservation from time to time. Its more than just an issue that the Con-servation Commission can address - it needs to be addressed at the town level with all the par-ties out there hammering out a real plan for the area.Answer: I am not sure the ATV and snowmobile issue is any worse here than elsewhere on otherConservation land. As one example, look at the Cranberry Bog where we have had the problemfor years. ConCom’s Land Use Regulations prohibit motorized vehicles of any type and violatorswill be fined. With police help we limit the problem.Article 23 is a proposal to secure this land for conservation purposes no matter how it is to beused. Conservation land is not a recreation park. And if it is not conservation land it will be de-veloped. If we “study” it there is always a chance it will not be developed. Q and A withCONSERVATION CHAIRMANDavid McLachlanITR:Why is Oak Hill important to conservation?DAVID MCLACHLAN:The Conservation Commission is responsible for 849 acres of wetlands anduplands in Chelmsford. This represents only 6% of the 14,835 acres ofland in town. This 66.4-acre parcel is part of the Greater Oak Hill-DeepBrook-Swain Road area in North Chelmsford, which encompasses DeepBrook Reservation, the Lowell Sportsmen’s Club, the landfill, undevelopedland owned by the North Chelmsford Congregational Church, and a small DAVID MCLACHLANamount of land owned by private parties. The parcel is land locked by pri-vate land.The ConCom’s mission is to protect the wetlands, water resources, flood prone areas, and adjoiningupland areas in Chelmsford by controlling activities likely to have a significant or cumulative effecton recreation and aesthetic values deemed important to the community, on wildlife habitat, rarespecies habitat, public or private water supply, groundwater supply, flood control, erosion and sedi-mentation control, storm damage prevention, and water quality. Recent environmental studies haveshown the global impact that forests have on limiting the carbon dioxide in the air. Oak Hill meetsour mission and has substantial forest canopy that should be protected.As part of its ongoing responsibilities the ConCom completed an inventory of all undeveloped land intown early in 2011 that supports the mission and identifies land that should be considered as con-servation land if available and affordable. The Greater Oak Hill area topped the list based on the cri-teria used. A portion of that is available now, as it is town owned, and at no cost to the taxpayers. At66-acres it is a large parcel and very appropriate for a reservation that the public can use for con-servation activities. ConCom has 10 reservations that range in size from 13- to 180-acres. The par-cel is predominantly forested uplands but does have significant wetlands on it the flow to DeepBrook. It fits the criteria in the ConCom’s mission.
    • ITR:To quote some Town Officials, "Why the rush to make Oak Hill conservation."when we can use Community Preservation funds to do a study on the land tofind the best use for it?DAVID MCLACHLAN:I hardly think that a decision now to place Oak Hill under Conservation responsibility is a “rush” deci-sion. The Town acquired the property in 1998 from a commercial developer, Ray Carye, for $1.3 mil-lion in unpaid real estate taxes. The town has had 13 years to “study” possible uses for Oak Hill withno conclusions ever reached. The ConCom believes that Oak Hill should be conservation land. Thereare no other opportunities for conservation land today. If a study concludes that some use other thanconservation should be undertaken we would disagree. If a study concluded it should be split up intoa variety of uses then a smaller parcel diminishes the conservation value. If a study concludes itshould be conservation land, then taxpayers’ money has been wasted. Today the 16-acre Deep BrookReservation is the only conservation land in North Chelmsford that the public can easily use. Ma-honey’s Garden Center and the Light House School property are on the ConCom’s inventory for possi-ble acquisition but that is not very likely in the foreseeable future, if ever. North Chelmsford is prettymuch developed. However, two other sites could have significant impact on North Chelmsford if de-veloped - the UMass-Lowell, West Campus on Princeton Street and the possible location of a com-muter rail station in North Chelmsford. Protecting land as conservation now is imperative. If all threewere developed there would be no conservation option to balance that development in North Chelms-ford. Good planning protects open space for its physical and psychological effects on people and theenvironment.ITR:If Oak Hill were to be turned over to the Conservation Commissionby Town Meeting what would happen next?Would the Conservation Commission do a study and create a plan for the land?DAVID MCLACHLAN:The ConCom has started to have discussions about planningfor Oak Hill that includes among other things: locating a smallparking area and access into Oak Hill since the parcel is landlocked; conducting a survey of the flora, fauna and historicalattributes; improving trails where necessary; posting Conservationproperty signs on Oak Hill; completing and publishing trail maps(there are trail maps now); and communicating with abutters.Many abutters use Oak Hill and trails exist across private property.If those trails cannot continue to be used there still is adequateland for a good trail system throughout the 66 acres.The ConCom has a published list of Land Regulations, whichwould apply to Oak Hill. All Conservation reservations abutprivate property and enforcement of these Regulations can bedifficult but not impossible. With the help of users, ChelmsfordPolice and the Land Stewards we have done a reasonable job ofprotection and enforcement. Another consideration is thatbillboard zoning exists on the property owned by the NorthCongregational Church and this Oak Hill site. If billboardconstruction is undertaken, access to either or both these siteswill have to be addressed whether the Oak Hill site is conservationland or not.
    • If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it mean affordable housing will be built in its place? place Oak HillITR:What is your vision for housing on Oak Hill?Will it be for seniors? Veterans? Or families?How big of a project do you imagine it will become?A couple of units? A dozen units? Or more?Will it be feasible to make them all rentals thereby 100%of the project will count as affordable housingDAVID HEDISON:Executive DirectorChelmsford Housing AuthorityThe Town of Chelmsford (residents and leaders) need to have aplan to address the production of affordable housing within theTown of Chelmsford. At the Chelmsford Housing Authority, wesee the high need for rental housing for all residents ofChelmsford.There remains a high demand for rental housing for seniors, fam-ilies and veterans. There is no perfect site to develop what isneeded in Chelmsford. The Town of Chelmsford must considertheir options. DAVID HEDISONIf the Town takes a pro-active position - clearly one of the optionwould be the development of some portion of the Oak Hill Property. I have indicatedin the past that I personally believe that 10% to 15% of the site could be utilized forhousing.This would provide a balanced approach to preserving the majority of it for conserva-tion and historical purposes. It would also allow the Town to dictate - how many units,what kind of units and who develops that small portion.If the Town was able to create about 120 units - the Town could be protected fromother projects and not approve any other applications submitted under 40B. If the
    • Town takes this route, it will assist the whole community from seeing projects - largeand small from popping up in their neighborhood.If the Town does not feel that Oak Hill is an appropriate site and it still wants to controldevelopment - sites like Richardson Road, the Westland School or the back field ofWestland School could be considered as alternatives. Again, none of those sites willbe received with open arms and supported by the whole community.If the Town takes the position that nothing will be pro-actively done with land thatthey control, the residents in Town will be vulnerable to small, medium and largescale projects in their neighborhood.It would not be unheard of to see the land on Old Westford Road behindthe Armenian Church come back at some time in the future.It would not be unheard of to see a large 8 acre parcel on North Roaddeveloped under 40B.It would not be unheard of to see the Catholic Church sell or develop the parcelsadjacent to St. Marys Church.It would not be unheard of to see large scale development on Littleton Road.And of more concern, does anyone even know what smaller scale developments maycome forward close to either sensitive conservation areas, water resource areas oreven very residential neighborhoods.As the Executive Director of the Chelmsford Housing Authority, I have provided onlylimited guidance to the Affordable Housing Committee and allowed them to fulfill theirmission on behalf of the community.At the end of the day, our agency will have to work with either with the Town onparcels that they have selected or with private developers that decide where housingshould be built.We see the faces, we know the stories and we see the need. Our mission is to bea resource to the Town and to the residents.However, the leaders of the Town and the residents have the right to say yes or no tothe development of Town owned land.The community will not have the same luxury when a private developer comes forwardwith a project.I remain hopeful that the Town will see the value of a balanced approach to Oak Hilland allow a study. If the study shows that 10 - 15% of the site can be developed forhousing.I feel that it should be considered as it would keep the futureof affordable housing in the hands of the town vs turning the future over to private de-velopers.At the end of the day, it is the community that must decidehow it wants to proceed. We will be there for whatever the outcome.
    • ITR:Can you give a status update on your housing projects in North Chelmsfordand in the Westlands that Town Meeting approved last year?DAVID HEDISON:Construction is estimated to begin for the Richard O’Neil Housing for Veterans thisSpring. We have finalized our final round of funding applications for the project andhave secured a number of grants from foundations.We are excited about assisting the Veterans that have been waiting anxiously for theproject to begin. This development has been named after Richard O’Neil a local vet-eran that helped serve our seniors, families, veterans and disabled through his servicewith the Chelmsford Housing Authority.Construction is 90% complete on the Lynn M. Marcella Residences at James Street.We anticipate five families to move in before Thanksgiving. This building is beingdedicated to Lynn M. Marcella who served on the Chelmsford Housing Authority’sBoard of Directors for over 15 years.She has continued to be an amazing resource to all members of the Chelmsford Com-munity – the CHA, Chelmsford Rotary, Chelmsford Business Association, the Chelms-ford Parade Committee and many other organizations. She embodies so many of thequalities that shows “Chelmsford Cares.”
    • Background•April 2010 – Board of Selectmen approved Town’s application for a $12,100 technical assistance grant• TA grant used to conduct preliminary site assess- ments to determine if it is appropriate to continue with further feasibility and assessment studies CLICK  HERE to review the original Oak Hill study ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- The minutes from the 2/28/11 Selectmen meeting ------------------------------------------------ Evan Belansky-Oak Hill MHP Presentation Mr. Belansky explained the Town received a grant to determine if further feasibility studies are appropriate to create a mixture of housing and recreation space on this 66 acre town-owned parcel. The parcel is currently zoned heavy industrial. Katie Enwright of Hancock Associates explained the parcel has natural resource constraints due to the presence of wetlands on two sides, perennial streams, vernal pool habitats and Scotty Hollow Brook. It is all mature trees and trails presently. The Lowell Sportsmens Clubabuts another side, and the Scotty Hollow condominiums abut another side along with the capped Swain Rd. landfill. Easements exist for abutters on Ledge Rd and this road would need to be reconfigured to gain access onto this parcel. To accommodate access from Swain Rd. would require modification of the landfill cap. All utilities would need upgrading, as they are not sufficient for any additional development. Any development would require work in buffer zones, replication, work on ledge, and Conservation Commission and DEP approvals. Items for further study would require additional grant funding and public hearings with abutters and concerned stakeholders. Audience comments: Pam Armstrong, Precinct 3 and Scotty Hollow Board member noted that previous studies were done on this parcel, and development was not pursued due to difficult access issues. Ms. Armstrong felt grant funding would be better served for investigating other parcels. Ms. Armstrong felt the Town has enough ball fields that are not being maintained andCLICK HERE doesn’t need any more. A nearby site was approved for a Billboard. The previous studies that were done should be reviewed beforeto watch the presentation. spending additional funds. Mr.Belansky noted that prior studies didYou can fast forward the video to the Oak Hill not address engineering concerns and constraints.presentation which starts around the 1:18:15mark on the video. Maria Karafelis, Precinct 2, questioned how much of this land was actually developable, and how many housing units would be proposed here. Mr. Belansky felt about 42 acres were usable for development. To meet 40B requirements, the town needs 400 units; however density is not a driving force behind this study. There is about 50,000 gallons available for sewer capacity, in which studies are being done under Chapter 43D funding.
    • “In Chelmsford: Yes on 22, No on 23 ″ by John Edward http://www.richardhowe.com/2011/10/07/in-chelmsford-yes-on-22-no-on-23-by-john-edward/#more-12034John Edward, a resident of Chelmsford who earned his master’s degree at UMass Lowell and who teaches economics atBentley University and UMass Lowell, contributes the following column.The notorious 9 North Road property caused a huge controversy in Chelmsford. The recall failed, buttownspeople seemed to send a clear message that they wanted to preserve open space in the center oftown.A much less well-known property on the outskirts of town will present Town Meeting Representativeswith an opportunity to send a clear message. Warrant Article number 22 would confirm the town’s com-mitment to determine the best uses for a valuable piece of town-owned property. Article 23 would sub-vert the planning process and lock the town into a commitment before we even know what the optionsare.The choice is not whether to preserve open space. The choice is whether to plan the future of Chelms-ford. The choice is about the ability of our parents and children to live in Chelmsford. The choice is aboutwhether or not we want to control where development occurs.The property in question is commonly referred to as Oak Hill. It is 66 acres of town-owned property inNorth Chelmsford between Dunstable Road, Swain Road, Groton Road, and Route 3. The property ID is11-4-1 if you want to check it out online at the town’s GIS mapping system .If the property does not sound familiar, it may be because you have not read the 2010 Town of Chelms-ford Master Plan. In recognition of the value of the property and the importance of using it properly, theMaster Plan declares that the town should develop a distinct master plan for Oak Hill. The Master Planissues this declaration in the Land Use and Zoning section, the Economic Development section, theHousing section, and the Open Space and Recreation section.Preservation of open space is clearly an important consideration. The 2011 Open Space and RecreationPlan says, “The Town should conduct a detailed site analysis of Oak Hill culminating in a master planemphasizing protection of open space and creation of recreation opportunities.” The latest CommunityPreservation Plan makes a “commitment to the Master Plan” by allocating money to conduct “propertysurveys and site feasibility studies where open space, recreation, affordable housing and or historicpreservation efforts are being considered.” The plan specifies Oak Hill as a target property.Town planners recognize both the desire for open space and a critical need for affordable housing. Ac-cording to U.S. Census data, one out of every three homeowners in Chelmsford, and almost half ofrenters, are living in conditions that are unaffordable. One out of every five renters in Chelmsford is pay-ing over half their income toward housing. As the population of the town ages, the problem will only getworse. We need a plan to address it.Approval of Town Meeting Warrant Article number 23 would sabotage the planning process. It would ef-fectively repeal the Master Plan clauses related to the property. It would bypass the site analysis require-ment and “transfer care, custody, management and control” of Oak Hill to the Conservation Commission.It makes perfect sense that the Conservation Commission would have an interest in this property. Anyplans for Oak Hill should preserve most of it for conservation purposes. What does not make sense is arush to judgment without collecting data to inform a decision as to how to take best advantage of one ofthe town’s most valuable resources.You may have heard conjecture as to possible access roads, how much of the property could be devel-oped (if any at all), and how much it would cost. It is all conjecture. No one knows the answers to thesequestions until we perform a study.A study does not have to cost the Town of Chelmsford anything. A study that considers open space, his-toric preservation, and the potential for affordable housing hits all three targets for Community Preserva-tion funds. Further, the town has already acquired funding from the state, and more grant money may beavailable.
    • If there is historic preservation required it would cost money. If the townspeople decide this property isappropriate for recreation space in North Chelmsford, it will cost money. Development of affordablehousing on a limited footprint could provide the investment needed to support these other goals, whilepreserving Oak Hill primarily as open space.Warrant article 23 would forego all these opportunities, and for all practical purposes be irreversible. TheTown of Chelmsford may forever lose an opportunity to help address a dire need for affordable housing.Further, it may expose the town to the unwanted development we have been working hard to avoid.I am currently serving on the town’s Affordable Housing Plan Committee. The Oak Hill property is an es-sential component of our draft plan. Our plan acknowledges and embraces conservation of open space,historic preservation, and the need for recreational facilities in the Oak Hill area. We also explicitly desig-nate compatibility with other town planning documents as a criterion for assessing potential sites for af-fordable housing.The committee initiated a grant application for a preliminary site assessment. The Community Develop-ment Department submitted an application. The Board of Selectman approved it. The resulting report in-cluded a set of recommendations for further investigation, including an endorsement of the goal toconduct a Master Plan process.The Board of Selectman formed the Affordable Housing Plan Committee in recognition of a need for af-fordable housing and a desire to give the town control over where housing opportunities are created.The committee’s research shows the need is critical, and the options that are compatible with town plan-ning objectives are limited.If Town Meeting approves warrant article 23, it will eliminate an essential option from the affordablehousing plan. The most likely result is that Chelmsford will never achieve the desired control, and “un-friendly” Chapter 40B developments will further undermine town planning.Fortunately, an alternative Town Meeting Warrant Article was submitted. Article number 22 would “under-take a planning study on the potential future municipal uses for the Town-owned parcel of land, com-monly referred to as ‘Oak Hill’.”As stated in the Master Plan Vision Statement, “open spaces and recreation areas enhance our qualityof life.” The Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust and the Open Space Stewards deserve credit for help-ing make Chelmsford a place where people want to live.The vision statement also sets a goal of “diverse and affordable housing opportunities for people of allincome levels.” If we want to make Chelmsford a place where people can afford to live, we need to fol-low through on the planning process.Many people said that voting against the recall was not a vote in favor of 9 North Road. A vote againstwarrant article number 23 is not a vote against preservation.Town Meeting Representatives should vote No on article number 23 to preserve the integrity of thetown’s planning process. They should instead vote Yes on article 22 to keep our options open and to col-lect the information we need to make an informed decision – a very important decision about the futureof Chelmsford. Affordable housing plan DRAFT 2011-08-08 Thanks to Paul Haverty a member of the Affordable Housing Committee, for providing this "Draft" document ●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●● Attached is the most recent draft of the Affordable Housing Plan, which has been submitted to the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen for pre- liminary review. The plan is not finished, in fact, we met with landowners last night whose properties are listed on the Plan so we could get their input. There will almost certainly be additional changes before it is completed. However, it does contain the table which indicates that just under 200 units are being proposed for Oak Hill. Also the owners of the properties listed in the plan have not yet agreed that their property should be included. - Paul Haverty CLICK  HERE
    • A residents plea to Town Meeting Reps 10/12/11Dear representative,I am asking you to carefully consider protecting and preserving the little openspace we have left in town. The parcel of land at Oak Hill is a wonderful piece ofwoodlands that my husband and I have gone to often, in all seasons. Whether westrap on snowshoes or simply meander around, the area is a serene place to gowithin our town that affords us the "feel of living in the country". There is so littleleft of the woods that I was fortunate to grow up in within the town limits now.We do not have children, so our reason for staying in this town is not the benefit ofthe great school system. It is because of the lifestyle we are able to have in thiscommunity which encompasses the best of suburban living, proximity to both con-veniences and nature. Will you please do your part to assure that our future gener-ations are given that same opportunity. It would be a shame if we had to go out oftown or out of state to experience that which we currently have within our town. Tothat end , I respectfully request that you transfer control of that parcel to OURConservation Commission at the upcoming Town Meeting.Thank you,Andrea Morgan5 Ideal Ave. CLICK HERE for the Patch’s Oak Hill Poll How Do You Feel About Oak Hill? But remember this is not a Gallop Poll
    • WHY  SO  SERIOUS ?Ok, take a breather... Ok, back to the news...
    • New fire station may land behind town offices By Monica Jimenez / Wicked Local Chelmsford GateHouse News Service Oct 06, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —A new fire station may land behind the town offices onBillerica Road if Chelmsford residents approve the proposalin the spring, according to Permanent Building CommitteeChairman Pat Maloney.An addition to the back of the town offices building couldhouse Center Station’s engines and emergency responsepersonnel, Maloney said. The station would not have drive-through capabilities, he said, but thanks to a wide parkingarea, engines would not have to back in from the street.With the Department of Public Works moving into a new facility on Alpha Road, Maloney continued, the sewerand engineering offices in the Billerica Road building would be vacated, and the space could be used for the firedepartment’s administrative offices.“We do not have a concrete proposal yet. It’s a high-level concept at this point,” Maloney said. pointThere is no official cost estimate, but the targeted cost of the project would be in the mid $7 million range,Maloney said. Voters rejected a $9.1 million debt exclusion for a station at Wilson and Chelmsford streets inthe spring.“I think there might be some economies there that would benefit us and give us a lessexpensive station,” Maloney said. station,Timing was key in the development of this concept, he said. The space freed up by the DPW move will enablethe town to build a smaller station and reduce new construction costs.Chelmsford already owns the land behind the town offices, he pointed out, which eliminates the cost of propertyacquisition.Added benefits include more parking space for the girls’ softball fields and the Chelmsford Housing Authorityheadquarters, which are behind the town offices, Maloney said.“We would clean up that whole back area of the town offices,” he said. offices,Maloney suggested a debt exclusion for the projectcould be considered in the spring. If the project wereapproved at spring Town Meeting, he said, the newstation could open 18 to 24 months later.More details will be revealed at the Oct. 17 TownMeeting, giving Chelmsford residents ample time tovoice concerns as the plan takes shape, according toMaloney. He said he hopes people will speak up earlyand give the town time to address problems.“We really need to get it done this time,” time,Maloney said. Pat Maloney talks with Dennis Ready about the new planCopyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved CLICK  HERE
    • MEET THE CLERKITR:For those readers who do not yet know our new town clerktell us a little something about yourself.Onorina Maloney:My background is quite diverse which has contributed to many of my applica-ble strengths as Town Clerk. I have worked in marketing, design and training.In 2002 is when I first began working in Municipal Government and have hadthe privilege to serve Groton and then Natick as Interim. I do practice the DaleCarnegie methodology, and the servant leadership model which is why I havereturned to serve as Town Clerk: I thoroughly enjoy serving the public while Onorina Maloneyadding value to others. Reading, learning and personal development are myhobbies, and my inspirational public figures are Dale Carnegie, StephenCovey, Marshall Goldsmith and John Maxwell (just to name a few). My favorite pastime is of coursespending time with my family. Currently, I am completing my Bachelor’s degree at Merrimack Collegeand do have my sights to go on to graduate school. My husband and I have been married 26 years andhave a beautiful 22 year old daughter. What attracted me to the Chelmsford position was the Town itself:its vibrancy, sense of a close-knit community, its leadership and of course the well- run, professional TownClerk’s office. Raymonde Legrand and Bernadette Gilet are two loyal and dedicated team members whohave graciously welcomed me. Following in Betty Delaney’s footsteps is quite the task; I am committedto continue her fine work as well as to continue to elevate the bar in excellence. I am honored to be partof the family at the Town Offices and I am looking forward to serving the community for many years tocome.ITR:The upcoming fall Town Meeting will introduce electronic voting to the mix.Is there anything special you need to do as town clerk to make this run smoothly?Onorina Maloney:MIS is the driving force behind the electronic voting. Our job in the Clerk’s office is to provide themost up to date list of Town Meeting Representatives for the recording of votes at TM, as well asmarking the devices.ITR:Besides tracking how each individual Town Meeting Rep votes on each article, can youuse the electronic voting to track Rep attendance as well?Onorina Maloney:Yes, the electronic voting is a valuable tool in providing accurate attendance.ITR:What are the attendance requirements for a TM Rep at Town Meeting and what happensif a TM Rep does not meet those requirements for the year?Onorina Maloney:Thanks to its dedicated Town Meeting Representatives, Chelmsford does enjoy full representation at itsTown meetings. In the event a representative does miss more than one-half of the TM sessions in ayear, then the provisions in the Town Charter, Section 2-5 (c) or -5(d) would come into play:Forfeiture of Office. If any person elected as a town meeting member shall fail to take the oath of office Officewithin thirty days following the election of such person, or shall fail to attend more than one-half of thesessions of the town meeting held in a calendar year, the member shall be deemed to have resigned andthe members place shall be declared vacant. Any such vacancy shall be filled as provided in section 2-5(d).ITR:Thanks Onorina and may your first Chelmsford Town Meeting be a successfully one :)Onorina Maloney:Thank you for this opportunity, Roy.
    • Chelmsford is seeking volunteers By Monica Jimenez/Wicked Local staff writer Wicked Local Oct 10, 2011 www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsfordChelmsford —The number of town committee vacancies in Chelmsford is higher than normal, according to Town Manager Paul Cohen.Current vacancies include two alternate positions on the Zoning Board of Appeals, one positionon the Finance Committee, one on the Historic District Commission, one on the Town Hall Advi-sory Committee, two on the Community Action Program Committee and two on the Bicycle and Paul CohenPedestrian Committee.Cohen said the Board of Appeals vacancies are particularly unusual, especially considering thepositions have been open since August.“We’ve never had a problem before,” Cohen said. before,There may indeed be a problem with this board. Alternates fill in when regular members cannotattend meetings and are often needed to fill out the quorum. The board has already ended uppostponing one hearing on a resident’s porch-building project because a member was absent,Cohen said.The lack of volunteers is probably unrelated to the lack of compensation, Cohen said, although he acknowledged townservice may not be a priority for people at this time.“In this economy, people don’t have time. They feel they have to be working harder, which makes itchallenging. It’s just stressful,” Cohen said. “When the pressure lessens, people may give more time.” stressful, time.Former selectman Eric Dahlberg agreed.Eric Dahlberg “My sense is that it’s due to the lousy economy,” Dahlberg said. “Folks are working economy, harder and are anxious about money – their free time is limited.” He added, “Folks limited. are busy with work, family, and leisure activities, so the prospect of another time commitment can be a bit intimidating.” intimidating. The issue of time factored into his own decision to step down as selectman last year, Dahlberg said, but not because he didn’t value town service. He respected the job too much to do it poorly, he said. “I would not have been able to fulfill my duties as a selectman with my travel andwork schedule as it is,” Dahlberg said. is,The modern Chelmsford resident is always on the run, Dahlberg said – and always on the job. The advent of socialmedia has made it difficult for town workers to take a breather.“Every day I get updates, invitations, and requests related to town goings-on on Facebook,” Dahlberg Facebook,said. “This may be a double-edged sword. It’s a great way to keep residents constantly informed and en-gaged, but it may reach a point where it becomes overkill and ends up turning people off.”Online arguments contributed greatly to the negative atmosphere surrounding the August special election for the recall offour selectmen. Some Chelmsford volunteers and officials believe this negativity turned residents off town service.“You have to wonder if it’s fallout from the recent land use litigation,” Cohen said, referring to the past litigationyear’s battles over a building at 9 North Road, which eventually led to the recall effort. “People don’t want to exposethemselves to that kind of burden.” burden.Still, the flow of volunteers may have slowed, but it has not stopped. Three residents were appointed to town committeesthree weeks ago, including Dahlberg, who is now a member of the Economic Development Commission.He would have returned to town service sooner, Dahlberg said, but he was waiting for his work schedule to settle down.“Local government is where the rubber meets the road as far as public services and quality of life is -sues are concerned – you can make a huge, direct, lasting impact on the community,” Dahlberg said. community,“Neither state nor federal government service offers such opportunities.” opportunities.Those few who find their way onto town boards may reap great personal rewards, he suggested.“It’s fulfilling, challenging, and, believe it or not, fun,” Dahlberg said. fun,Copyright 2011 Chelmsford Independent. Some rights reserved
    • Chelmsfords Susan Gates: Leader of the CCA By Marie Donovan, Sun Correspondent 10/04/2011 www.lowellsun.comCHELMSFORD --Things have really come full circle for Susan Gates -- well, almost.When renovations to the Chelmsford Center for the Arts are completed in June,Gates will be presiding over a gleaming new hardwood stage in the auditorium ofthe building, which is most familiar to residents as the "Old Town Hall."The first chairwoman of the CCA, which opened less than two years ago, Gatesstarted her career as a stage manager in California, before forays into local govern-ment, practicing law and being a stay-at-home mother."My father was a jazz musician, so I grew up around music and I Susan Gatesalways sang when I was a kid," she said. kid,About seven or eight years ago, Gates indulged a longtime goal in signing up for opera voice lessons with alocal instructor.Now a member of the 10-singer Illumination Opera, she was the first person to suggest the Old Town Hall beturned into an arts center after its most recent tenants, including the towns recreation, community education andveterans service departments, as well as a charter school, had vacated it.When a public hearing was scheduled on reuse proposals, she arrived armed."I made this little flier that said Chelmsford Center For The Arts -- music, dance, etc. I handedit out to all the people coming into the building," she said. building,Her proposal went over so well with the public, the town manager appointed her to chair the CCA, which is anumbrella organization for theChelmsford Arts Society, The Community Band, the Merrimack Valley Chorale, the Illumination Opera and Toast-masters, which all have space in the building and use it for performances.Currently, Gates, who is a mezzo-soprano, is spearheading a drive to raise funds for furnishings at the CCA thatwould ideally include a new Steinway piano."The goal is sort of a moving target. We need $170,000 minimum to make this work -- $200,000would put us in good standing," she said. standingChelmsford residents John and Elaine Thibault helped kick off the fund drive by pledging $10,000 towardthe effort. "Im incredibly grateful to them for being willing to do this for us," Gates said. us, Because the CCA is nonprofit and receives no annual stipend from the town, it has rented out four offices in the building for artist stu- dios and plans to rent out performance spaces to small piano en- sembles and other private musical groups. "Community Preservation Funds can only use bricks and mortar. It would be a shame to have old bent tables and plastic, falling-apart chairs in this gorgeous, renovated building," Gates said. building, Gates moved to Chelmsford about 24 years ago when her husband got a job in the area. Both of her sons attended the towns public schools. She practiced trademark law and served for a while on the Board of Selectmen, chaired the Historic District Commission and served as a Boy Scout leader.
    • Will Chelmsford have a district of its own? No way By Chris Camire, ccamire@lowellsun.com 10/10/2011 www.lowellsun.comBOSTON -- Chelmsford is poised to lose one House seat when redistricting wraps up this month,according to the House lawmaker in charge of drawing new maps.But thats cold comfort for those looking to elect a hometown candidate to Beacon Hill."Unless we get a tremendously charismatic individual who may have Lowell roots,its not going to happen in Chelmsford," said Jon Kurland, a member of the towns Board of Chelmsford,Selectmen.A 2001 redistricting battle left the town carved up among four House districts. Although, at nearly34,000 residents, Chelmsford is nearly large enough to consist of a singular district, none of thetowns four representatives, all of whom are Democrats, lives in town. Jim Arciero lives in Westford,Cory Atkins in Concord, and Tom Golden and Dave Nangle in Lowell.Having four representatives is unique, but some wonder if Chelmsford would fare better on the Hillif one of their own was fighting for them."Do we have anyone who is exclusively representing Chelmsfords interests? Theanswer is no," Kurland said. no,Kurland and others have been pushing state lawmakers to make it easier for a Chelmsford residentto be elected to the Statehouse by reducing the number of districts in town to two or one.State Rep. Mike Moran, who co-chairs the redistricting committee, said last week he is willing toaddress their concerns -- but only to a point."I have said all along, unequivocally, we will not get one state rep from Chelms -ford," said Moran, a Brighton Democrat. "Were working toward the right direction thereford,in lessening the number of reps in Chelmsford.” Chelmsford."The likelihood of them getting one state rep is not very good," he added. good,"The likelihood of them potentially going in that direction, I think, is much better." better.While Kurland acknowledges that having three representatives in Chelmsford is an improvementover the current crop of four, he doubts it will improve a homegrown politicians chances of gettingelected.The four-district split lumps three precincts of Chelmsford with Lowells Centralville and Pawtuck-etville neighborhoods, represented by Golden; three with Westford and Littleton, represented byArciero; two with Concord, represented by Atkins; and one with Lowells Belvidere and South Low-ell sections, represented by Nangle.The most likely redistricting scenario, Kurland said, would see Nangles precinct move out ofChelmsford, leaving the town with three districts.
    • A town redistricting committee hatched a plan earlier this year that would have moved Atkins andNangles precincts out of town, resulting in two districts. The plan received a cool reaction from thetowns four representatives.Under the proposal, Littleton, which is now represented by Arciero, would move into Atkins district.Arciero would then take on Atkins two Chelmsford precincts. Golden would assume NanglesChelmsford precinct, and Nangle would, in turn, take on one of Goldens Lowell precincts.Atkins told selectmen at a recent meeting that she is opposed to adding Littleton to her district."Id much prefer to represent Chelmsford than Littleton because I know it better," better,she said. "I represented this community for 10 years, and my former husband (ChetAtkins) represented it for eight years. You hate to give up that body of knowledge,especially when were going through these troubling economic times and transi -tions. I have an issue with that." that.Arciero said he is willing to accept whatever the redistricting process brings, but he questionswhether Littleton residents want to be moved into another representatives district."I dont have an issue with it, but I think my constituents in Littleton do," he said. do,Nangle said he enjoys representing Chelmsford but acknowledged it makes the most sense for hisprecinct to be absorbed by another district. Golden said he prefers to keep his current district in-tact."I have continued, and I will continue, to push for the neighborhoods I represent," represent,Golden said. "Ive worked it well. The constituents I have are happy, and I think I havea good handle on the issues in those neighborhoods, and I think my constituentsfeel the same way." way.With 160 members of the House each trying to protect his or her district, Moran said satisfyingeach lawmaker will be a challenge."There is that pressure, but thats part of the process," he said. "I can tell you now processthat there are going to be members who are unhappy. And you try to work withpeople. You try to take all of that into consideration, knowing everyone is going toleave the table, and no one is going to be 100 percent happy." happy.That was the case after the 2001 redistricting, when former state Rep. Carole Cleven, a Chelms-ford Republican, decided not to seek re-election after the redrawing of electoral lines would haveforced her to run from a district where 70 percent of the constituents lived in Lowell and were rep-resented by a popular incumbent.Moran said lawmakers are trying to avoid a situation in which a representatives district is radicallychanged this year, but said the geography of the state may prevent that from happening."When you get to corners of the state, youre bordered by an ocean and New Hamp -shire, and it is very tough to draw those districts," he said. "Were trying to avoid districts,that at this point in time. Where there have been problems, weve tried to pointthem out extremely early so people knew of them." them.
    • Flash Mob To Raise Awareness for Breast Cancer A local event planner is organizing the fundraiser. By Krista Perry October 7, 2011 www./chelmsford.patch.comDiane Riley wants cancer to know it picked the wrong family.Rileys grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, and instead of living her life in fear of her own potentially deadly diag-noses, shes turning the tables to raise awareness about the disease.Rileys grandmother, 88, was diagnosed with breast cancer 15 years ago. Shes since been declared cancer free. How-ever, because Riley now has the family history of cancer, every six months she gets mammograms or ultrasounds tocheck for cancer.Once she found a lump in her breast and was terrified. Her days waiting to found out what it actually was were spent infear, constantly crying."Its very scary," she said. "It was just a cyst, which is actually very common." scary, common.But Riley is still glad she got it checked out just in case."The important thing is to stay on top of it and make sure every woman has their mammograms," mammograms,she said.To raise awareness and collect donations for research, Riley decided to organize a fundraiser for the cause. After doingsome research, she found PinkGloveDance.com and decided she wanted to do a flash mob, just like on the site.The Pink Glove Dance involves flash mob dancerswearing pink gloves to raise breast cancer aware-ness. The dance is videotaped and sent into thewebsite, where it is eligible to win a prize. The topprize is $10,000 donated to breast cancer reasearch.Riley thought it would be fun to partner with herdaughters dance school, the Dancing CenterUnlimited, to lead the flash mob."Bring as many people as they you can,theres no cost but we will acceptdonations," she said.donations,The flash mob will be Sunday, Oct. 23 at 3 p.m. onthe Town Common.Pink gloves will be sold for $2 at various storesaround Chelmsford, as well as on flash mob day."Dancers will ... teach the dance to peopleand then lead them," she said. them,Riley already has a few familiar faces around town onboard to dance on the video, including members ofthe Fire Department, Town Manager Paul Cohen andhis offices staff. Any other town organizations arewelcome to join, Riley said."Wed love to make it a town-wide event," she event,said.
    • Help Chelmsford High School Theater raise money for their much needed storage shed by voting as often as possible! THE REWARD: THE MISSION:Great music is all about teamwork. That’s why thesethree champions - Fox, Ryan Murphy (the creator of 3 Grand Prizes (total value of $150,000)GLEE), and the National Association for Music Educa Each Grand Prize winner will receivetion- have joined together through GLEE Give A Note $50,000 Cashto fight for struggling programs all across the country. for their school music program.GLEE Give A Note will support music education byawarding $1 million dollars in prize money to music 10 First Prizes (total value of $250,000)programs in jeopardy throughout the United States. Each First Prize winner will receive $25,000 CashIn this difficult economy, state legislators and school for their school music program.districts are trying to cope with serious budget woesby slashing education funding— music programs are 73 Second Prizes (total value of $600,000)often the first to go. Each Second Prize winner will receive $10,000 Cashfor their school music program.Interested in getting involved? You can do this.All you need is the right attitude and a love for music. Lend your voice to the cause by supporting your favorite school music program. CLICK HERE to view, vote and share.
    • WN  with Dennis Ready and Mary Gregoire10/05/11 CLICK  HEREPat talks buildings Monica talks news 10-12-11 CLICK  HERE Pat talks Town Meeting Frank talks Education David talks Oak Hill ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ Politically Incorrect 10/11/11 with Carmen Christiano Guests: TM Rep Mike Combs, Selectman Pat Wojtas, Town Moderator Dick Defreitas & State Rep Tom Golden. CLICK  HERE Topics include: Presidential race State Senate race Oak Hill
    • EXTRA Extras
    • CraftersSt. Mary Parish, Needed!25 North Road, Chelmsford,will be holding a Holiday Craft Fair and bake sale on Saturday, November 26, 2011 from9am–3pm in the St. Mary Parish hall.Proceeds to benefit St. Mary Parish 80th Anniversary fund, andSt. Mary Music Ministry. Tables are $40 for a single and $75 for a double. Please contact Diane Earley at dianealex@comcast.net or Michelle Caron mishcaron@yahoo.com for more information.★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★Carmen Christiano and Kathy Duffett would like to invite youto the next "Support Our Town Coffee" at the Java Room, onLittleton Road, in the Ginger Ale Plaza, on Thursday, October 27th,from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.Please stop by and join us for just a few minutes to talk aboutwhats happening in town and to catch up on the latest local news.These Support Our Town Coffees are organized primarily to supportfor our local small businesses and to informally talk with some ofour political leaders and representatives.Should you have any questions, please email Carmen at:tchristiano@comcast.net
    • Board of Health SponsoredSchool Based Flu Clinic 10/20 Click here to download the necessary forms. Call (978) 250-5243 with questions
    • Members of the Chelmsford community are launching a new community web platform for town residents, called The ChelmsfordCommonPlace. The goal is simple: to connect neighbors with neighbors and streamline all the great existing communications that arealready established and beloved.It is free, safe, and easy to use.You can create a profile at: www.Chelmsford.OurCommonPlace.com.The Chelmsford CommonPlace is an online bulletin board. Its designed tomake it easy to share events, announcements, offers, and requests with yourneighbors and to stay up-to-date with whats happening in Chelmsford.Notify your neighbors about a lost cat, ask to borrow a ladder; use it to keepup with local events happening in Chelmsford, or to publicize your own; re-ceive announcements from city services and other organizations in town, orstart your own group in the community.The goal is to get neighbors connecting directly with neighbors.
    • CLICK  HERE CLICK  HERETheIn-Town PlayersSPOOKTACULAR CLICK  HERE
    • QUOTE OF THE WEEK:"Heres to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers,the round pegs in the square holes ... the ones who see things differently -- theyrenot fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. ... You can quotethem, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you cant do isignore them because they change things. ... They push the human race forward, and while some may seethem as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the peoplewho are crazy enough to think that they can change theworld, are the ones who do."- Steve Jobs
    • In-Town Report News Links: LOWELL SUN CHELMSFORD INDEPENDENT CHELMSFORD PATCH ITR on FACEBOOK linkIf you have any comments or suggestions on the In-Town Report write Roy at intownreport@gmail.com ROY EARLEY Town Meeting Representative Precinct 6 In-Town Report Westlands Watchdogs Open Space Steward