Hotel on Park Land? Not Happening!

124 Anthony Lacina  Somerville Walking through the Hills

Proposal to build a hotel on Little Blue Hill conservation land: thwarted!

You probably don’t think of a hotel when you think of parkland, but that didn’t stop an individual from proposing to build a hotel on DCR conservation land near Little Blue Hill. Luckily, Friends of the Blue Hills worked with local and state officials to assess the community value in protecting this area from this sort of change in zoning… and the developer withdrew his proposal.

Paul Driscoll, a developer from Milton, proposed building on seven acres that is part of a designated Area of Critical Environmental Concern behind the Dunkin Dunuts and Blue Hills Grille in Canton… but he only has clear title for .78 aces.

The Friends of Blue Hills attended meetings and presented documents showing that the Department of Conservation and Recreation owns strict restrictions and land surrounding this developer’s small lot. FBH and the DCR consider the area surrounding this small lot valuable in natural and cultural resources including registered rare species, certified vernal pools, and a sixty foot scenic vista.

The Canton Planning Board, chaired by Jeremy Comeau, understood the restriction and the importance in preserving conservation land on this side of Royall Street and voted against the change in zoning that the developer requested for his hotel.

In mid-March, the developer’s attorney, Richard Staiti, withdrew the article he had submitted to the Canton Town Meeting to change the zoning from the conservation land to hotel overlay.

Many thanks to the Canton Planning Board for their support in protecting this rare resource!

Photo credit: Antony Lacina, Somerville

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