Public Meetings for Advocacy of preserving Busa Farm

This page documents the public meetings leading up to the Town of Lexington’s purchase of Busa Farm and the process to determine its ultimate use as defined by Lexington’s Board of Selectmen.

April 27, 2009: Community Preservation Committee (CPC) minutes

“The purpose of the meeting was to update the CPC on the progress of the negotiations for the Busa property and to discuss possible funding options…”

“Mr. McSweeney asked Mr. Valente if the neighborhood had any reaction to the Town’s proposal for the land, to which Mr. Valente responded that they had not yet been involved. He said the Selectmen would be holding a public hearing on the 30th to which the neighborhood had been invited.”

April 30, 2009: Board of Selectmen meeting with neighbors and abutters. – Meeting Minutes

“The purpose of the meeting was to discuss with the abutters the possible purchase of the Busa farm (approximately 8 acres) and what the Town is thinking of using the land for.”

“The Town showed a few options for possible uses of the land that included: affordable housing units, community gardens, playgrounds, soccer/little league fields, walking trail and parking.”

one of 3 concept plans developed by Sasaki for Busa FarmThis is one of three concept plans presented; to view all three, use this link.

Excerpts from Janet Kern’s statement at the meeting:

“So far, only a few people’s vision has been enlisted. Imagine what we could do together as more people are invited to think about the possibilities. What I like about these plans is that there is an effort to serve many interests. What excites me even more are the possibilities for connecting those interests into one broad vision that serves Lexington.”

“… in this day and age when the importance of “locally grown” is so critical to our environment and survival – we absolutely need to remember our roots as a farming town – and not stop at community gardens, but understand and encourage FARMING.”

“This is just one example of  dreaming about even bigger plans to reach outside the community. Imagine how we could connect visions of community with education – what are the possibilities for teaching our children about our environment and sustainable living, with a FARM at our disposal?”

Read Janet’s complete statement here.

May 5, 2009 – CPC Meeting and Town Meeting Information Session in advance of May 6 Special Town Meeting and vote to purchase Busa Farm with CPA funds.

Excerpts from minutes of both meetings:

“…The appraisal had come in at 4.4 million for the 7.93-acre parcel. Mr. Valente explained that the possible uses for the property included recreation, housing, community gardens, and “other” uses. He specifically noted that the latter category had been added because of neighborhood input. He showed a concept plan for the land, which highlighted a full soccer field, two lots devoted to housing, and associated parking for the recreational use…He stressed, however, that the concept plan was only one of many possibilities.”

“…The CPC then opened the Session to questions from the public. Mr. Rick Wilson, an abutter to the Busa property, expressed his concern that the neighborhood had had little time to comment on the plan. He said the plan for soccer fields appeared premature until it could be determined that there was a true demand.”

“Janet Kern, a resident on Lowell Street, echoed this sentiment and said she spoke for 15 of her neighbors in stating that she supported the acquisition, but wished to see a master plan for the property, and a process in which the neighborhood would be involved. She referenced Mr. Valente’s use of the word “other” in describing uses for the property, and wanted to know if preserving agricultural land was among them.”

See video of complete statement, including attempt to have motion use “and/or” language.

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See this video for clear statement from Selectman George Burnell regarding “no decision on use”, just purchase:

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Complete CPC May 5, 2009 Meeting Minutes
Complete May 5, 2009 Information Session Minutes

May 6, 2009 – Special Town Meeting –  Article 6 – Purchase of the Busa Farm property
Presentation by Janet Kern from the citizen’s microphone, made the following points:

“We hope that tonight begins a process in Town that we can all feel proud of – that considers all possible and appropriate uses of the property, that truly includes the whole Lexington community , that considers the particular concerns of neighbors, but most importantly that does not ultimately move forward with any particular idea before all uses are considered.”

Complete text from Janet’s presentation to Special Town Meeting

…and here is the accompanying slide show:

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Other Documents of Interest:

Custom Soil Survey of Busa Farm, including evaluation of Recreational Use.