Monday, August 11, 2014


As you may know, the former Peace Abbey and Life Experience School property on North Main Street is proposed for redevelopment as an age-restricted development. The proposal is to convert the existing brick building (originally built as the Town library and often referred to as "the Library building") at the front of the property into a single family residence, convert the existing house to the rear of the property into a duplex, and add five new triplex buildings for a total of 18 units. The plans and other information about the project can be viewed here

A Preliminary Development Plan for the project and rezoning of the property to EA was approved at the 2013 Annual Town Meeting. Now an application for a special permit for the project along with a Final Development Plan has been submitted to the Planning Board. The public hearing for the special permit opened on July 23, 2014 at which time an overview of the project was presented. The hearing was continued until August 27 (and will likely be continued again into September).All are welcome to attend the hearings or otherwise provide comments on the project.

The project will eliminate the property's two curb cuts on North Main Street and provide an access driveway from Village Way. The project also requires a land swap from the Town. Authorization for the land swap was also approved at the 2013 Annual Town Meeting and the Board of Selectmen is currently in the process of executing that land transaction in accordance with state requirements.

The project also needs approval from the Board of Health (for septic system and wells) and the Conservation Commission (because part of it is within 100 feet of wetlands). An Environmental Health Impact Report (EHIR) has been submitted to the Board of Health. That report includes stormwater information which is also part of the review for both Planning Board and Conservation Commission. Consequently, the three boards have coordinated to select a single engineering consultant to provide peer review services for the project. That consultant is scheduled to be selected at the Board of Health meeting on August 20.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


The Town of Sherborn Planning Board needs a clerk. The primary duties are to attend bi-monthly evening meetings for the Planning Board at Sherborn Town Hall; take, transcribe and distribute minutes; and additional minor clerical duties. The position averages about 2 or 3 hours per week. This includes attending evening meetings (2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, generally) and then drafting the minutes (which can be done at home the following week). Pay is $16.49/hr. Good opportunity for those interested in workings of local government. For more information call 508-651-7855. Apply to Town Planner, 19 Washington Street, Sherborn, MA 01770 or

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


The results of the General Plan Survey of Residents are now in! They have been compiled into graphs in a draft PowerPoint report that is currently being edited. The report will be presented to the public shortly.

While that report is being finalized, the Planning Board is ready to move into the next phase of updating the General Plan. In order to ensure a wide range of perspectives and views, the Planning Board will appoint three committees to provide input on updating various elements of the Plan. This phase will follow the pattern of the 2001 General Plan when 34 citizens were organized into three committees to help develop the plan.

If you are interested in the future of Sherborn and/or wish to become part of Sherborn's history, you may wish to volunteer to serve on one of the General Plan committees. The work will consist primarily of reviewing the 2001 General Plan to identify information that needs updating, reviewing the results of the 2014 survey, and presenting ideas for consideration to be incorporated into the 2015 General Plan. Staff support, including researching and providing statistical and technical data  will be provided by the Town Planner. The effort is expected to be completed within 6 months to a year.

The three committees and the subjects that will be addressing are as follows:

Land Use -- Land use, open space and recreation, and natural and          cultural resources

Built Environment -- Town Center, housing and transportation

Fiscal and Economic -- Economic development and  public facilities         and services

Serving on a General Plan committee is a great way to become involved in the Town, to learn new information about the Town's recent and past history and to ensure that your views are represented as decisions about the Town's future are made. If you are interested, please contact a member of the Planning Board or the Town Planner at or 508-651-7855.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Survey of Residents -- Deadline Extended to February 28!

Sherborn residents will find a little something extra in their Town Census envelopes this year! With the assistance and cooperation of the Town Clerk Carole Marple, this year's census envelope also contains a survey form designed to solicit residents' opinion on a variety of topics related to Town services and facilities as well as quality of life.

The survey is among the first steps to update the Town's General Plan. The General Plan, adopted in 2001, is a document to provide guidance for the Town's future development. That General Plan  also started with a survey of residents. Three volunteer committees were appointed to review the responses and other data and then make recommendations. Similarly, several committees will be appointed to review the results of the survey and other information needed to make recommendations regarding the General Plan update.

A new feature of this year's survey has been added to make response easy: It can be completed online (the preferred option). Instructions are on the survey form. Thus, there are three options for responding to the survey: (1) online; (2) the paper form can be filled in and mailed in with the Town Census form; or (3) the paper form can be dropped off or mailed in separately from the Census form.

The Planning Board encourages all residents to complete the survey as input from the public is critical to updating the General Plan. It is a chance to express your opinions and it can be done quickly and easily online. THE DEADLINE FOR RESPONDING HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 28!

If there are any questions about the survey itself or how to fill it out, you can contact the Town Planner at 508-651-7855 or at

Monday, November 18, 2013


The Town web site lists a number of committee vacancies. In particular, I would like put in a plug for the Energy Committee (of which I am also a member) and the Open Space Committee. Both of these are associated with the Planning Board so I am particular concerned with them.

The Energy Committee has accomplished some great work for the Town. We have secured Green Community designation by the state Department of Energy Resources and obtained a grant of $137,450 which is being used to implement a number of energy efficiency projects that will result in the Town saving more money while also reducing its carbon emissions.

It is also a good time to serve on the the Open Space Committee because the Town's Open Space and Recreation Plan is due for an update. That is always an interesting and fun project to be involved with. In addition to serving as a road map for the Town in pursuing the protection and expansion of open space and recreation resources, having a current plan means the Town is eligible for state grants for the purchase of open space and the improvement of recreation facilities.

Therefore, I strongly encourage interested residents to consider applying for membership in one of these committees. You should contact Assistant Town Administrator Diane Moores (  in the Selectmen's Office to express your interest.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Proposed Age-Restricted Development off Maple Street

While still in its early stages, there is a proposal to develop a 66-unit age-restricted housing development on 70 acres off Maple Street. Pulte is the developer and there are many steps that are necessary before this project can become a reality. More information on this project will be posted shortly. However, for now, there is a PowerPoint presentation (now in PDF) on the Planning Board web site that explains the process of rezoning land to the EA (Elderly and Affordable) zoning district. Within the list under "Additional Links" is an item labeled "Pulte EA Rezoning Process."

Monday, July 8, 2013


The Sherborn Energy Committee is pleased to announce that it has selected SolarFlair as the partner company for the Sherborn Solar Program. The Sherborn Solar Program is designed to encourage the installation of solar photovoltaic panels to serve residential properties. The panels can be installed on roofs of houses, barns or other accessory buildings or on the ground in locations that receive adequate solar radiation.

The Sherborn Solar Program is based on a state-sponsored concept known as "Solarize Mass." The idea is that each town selects a particular solar company to partner with and then promotes the installation of solar panels. The program operates for a limited time and by grouping the purchases residents get a better price on the installations. In fact, the program is set up in "tiers" so that the more people who sign up, the better the price becomes for everybody. Sherborn is not part of the Solarize Mass program but it uses the same model.

The program consists of promoting the installation of the panels at community events. Information sessions called "Solar 101" and Solar 201" are also scheduled to present information about the program including the technology, suitable locations, financing options, potential savings, maintenance issues, etc. The selected company, in this case SolarFlair, will also identify houses with suitable orientation, adequate exposure to the sun, etc. and contact those residences.

SolarFlair is a Framingham-based company that specializes in solar installations for residences and small businesses. In addition to Sherborn, it has been selected as the vendor in several communities who are part of the Solarize Mass program including Arlington, Brookline and Newton.

Interested residents or businesses may contact the program at