The McLean Land Management Committee (LMC) was created by Memorandum of Agreement between the Town of Belmont and the McLean Hospital Corporation. The Committee is comprised of eight members equally divided between the two entities.
Ms. Ellen O’Brien Cushman serves as Chairman, Ms. Lauren Meier serves as Vice-Chairman. Additional members of the Committee are: Mr. Michael Flamang and Mr. Richard Pichette representing the Town and Ms. Michele Gougeon, Mr. Stephen Kidder, Mr. Andrew Healy, Mr. Frank Keefe from McLean. The Committee enjoys the expert staff support of Mr. Tim Higgins, Senior Planner for the Town. In addition, the cooperation and assistance of Wes Ward of The Trustees of Reservations continues to be invaluable. The Committee is charged with administering the 119 acres of public open space resulting from the McLean redevelopment. We continue to benefit from the contributions and attention of many devoted Belmont residents who actively participate at our meetings.
At year’s end one legal milestone remains before McLean redevelopment can proceed the Appeal to the Department of Environmental Protection of the Conservation Commission’s designation of “Junction Brook” as an intermittent, not perennial, stream. More than three years have passed since the appeal was filed. The appeal filed by the American Retirement Corporation to the Land Court concerning the affordability component of the development has been decided against the Town and remanded to the Planning Board with strict guidelines. Finally, an appeal to DEP of Northland sewer connection permit by Sue Bass et al has been settled between the parties, terms not yet disclosed.
Committee Work Completed 2004
The Committee reviewed and approved the re-siting of the public safety/telecommunications tower to the inactive cemetery land. A detailed plan for landscape screening was approved, to be implemented in 2005. Ownership of the land parcel containing the new tower has been transferred to the Town.
Reviewed and approved the planting plan for the Zone 1A buffer proposed by Northland Development.
The Committee worked with McLean to remove the “newly identified” debris piles in the North Meadow per the Memorandum of Agreement. McLean has filed an application with the DEP for ultimate disposition. The Committee looks forward to McLean completing any required activity in 2005.
The Committee has begun analysis of the trails around the site, their conditions, users and impacts. We are grateful for the offer of a financial grant by the Judith K. Record Memorial Conservation Fund to engage a trail consultant to complete this work. Decisions regarding the uses of the trails will continue to require significant public input. Enforcement of regulations and restrictions will continue to be a major focus of the discussion.
Committee Work for 2005
Trail decisions to be made.
The Committee will continue preparations for and to assist where possible in the transfer of land, including developing policies and regulations, day to day management, neighbor relations and impacts, hours of access, orientation and signage, parking access and enforcement practices among others.
Ellen O’Brien Cushman, Chairman