The Wellesley Select Board, which last week went into executive session (non-public) to discuss negotiations for land leases at the Tailby and Railroad lots in Wellesley Square, this week devoted the end of its regular weekly meeting to hear from the public on this subject. The board’s agenda originally included an agenda item titled “Discuss and Vote Rescind the Letter of Designation and RFP for the Railroad and Tailby Commuter Lots,” but Chair Tom Ulfelder proposed that the board hear from the public this week, then pick up that agenda item on April 12.
The Board voted in November of 2018 to enter negotiations with developer Trinity Financial Group for ground leases of the Tailby and Raillroad Avenue parking lots, with the possibility that the sites could become homes to luxury and mixed-income residential buildings, park space and even a theater and gallery space. But any such plans took a back seat during COVID-19, and in light of other development projects in town moving forward.
Resident Christine Crowley of Linden Street was the only member of the public to take the board up on its offer to speak. She called to express appreciation that the board is reconsidering its plans with Trinity. She cited serious traffic and safety concerns related to any such development in combination with others that are already going through on Weston Road and Delanson Circle.
Such an additional development, she said, could “exacerbate longstanding issues more common to large-scale urban settings.” Crowley has been involved with a neighborhood group dubbed Rescue Wellesley Square that’s opposed to the development.
Ulfelder followed Crowley’s comments, after being prompted by board member Beth Sullivan Woods to clarify where the board stands, by sharing the board’s latest thinking on this development effort.
“The board does not feel that this project should go forward at this time,” he said. “That is where we came out following a number of discussions after several years of trying to work through this project under the terms of the RFP.”
The board intends to elaborate further for the April 12 meeting.