April 27 2018,  Lynnfield

Selectmen to approve mitigation agreement of Fairways Edge at Sagamore development

The Board of Selectmen has reached a tentative agreement with the Fairways Edge at Sagamore team regarding mitigation of the impact of the proposed active-adult community development at Sagamore Spring Golf Course. The Board expects to sign this agreement at its meeting on Monday, April 30, just prior to the annual town meeting that evening. This proposed agreement would result in financial benefits to the Town of Lynnfield totaling approximately $1.7 million. This amount is in addition to the estimated $1.8 million in annual property tax and other local taxes expected to be generated by the development.

Chairman of the Board of Selectman Richard Dalton said, “Town Administrator Rob Dolan and Town Counsel Thomas Mullen, under the direction of the Board of Selectmen, have reached an agreement with the project development team that the Board feels will be of great benefit to the Town. Not only will the Town receive the significant financial benefits of this agreement as well as a major upgrade to one of its most traveled intersections, it will also create recurring annual tax revenues and avoid the severe consequences to the Town’s school population and financial outlook that would result from the alternative use of the golf course land: an 82-house subdivision.”

In return for the Town waiving its right to purchase the property under Mass. General Laws Chapter 61B, the Town is proposing that the developer pay to the Town $10,000 upon the sale of each of the project’s 154 residential units.

In addition, the developer would fund improvements to the “four corners” intersection at Lowell and Main Streets that would improve vehicular and pedestrian safety. These proposed improvements would be done by the developer at his expense, under the supervision of the Town. The developer would also fund a peer review study of the proposed intersection improvements by a consultant chosen by the Town. The Board of Selectmen would approve the traffic improvement proposal, and the project would be completed prior to the building permits being granted to the developer.

Under this proposal, the developer would agree to fund up to $154,000 for this and any other off-site mitigation work required by the Town and its boards. The peer review of the traffic proposal would not be counted against this amount. Should off-site work cost less than the $154,000, the developer would write a check for the difference to the Town.

The developer would also fund any on-site improvements required by the Town during the project permitting process, including a peer review of the proposed wastewater treatment system by a consultant chosen by the Town.

Under Massachusetts law, the developer will also be responsible for payment of taxes owed as the result of its conversion of a portion of the golf course from recreational to residential use. The Town estimates this payment will be about $50,000.

At its meeting of April 23, the Board of Selectmen unanimously recommended passage of four articles necessary to pave the way for this development: rezoning a portion of the Sagamore Spring Golf Course to Elderly Housing District; increasing the number of residential units allowed in an Elderly Housing District to 154; allowing an on-site wastewater treatment system in a Groundwater Protection District, subject to the granting of a special permit for that purpose by the Board of Appeals; and adding a golf course as a permitted use in an Elderly Housing District.

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