Lawsuit Is Moving Forward
The lawsuit that the Town of Brookline and several neighbors brought against the developer, Chestnut Hill Realty, is moving forward. Recently the Land Court judge heard 9 procedural motions by CHR and Mass Development. After 3 hours of oral arguments, the judge ruled in our favor and denied all 9 motions.The lawsuit is slated to start in November and the judge has scheduled a visit to view the property.
We must not accept the notion that the 40B developments at Hancock Village are foregone conclusions. While something may be developed there, the size, scope and composition of any development has not been determined. With this in mind, it is important to continue to pursue the lawsuit. The lawsuit has strong merits on its own which may yield beneficial outcomes for our community.. It is also an incentive to stimulate productive conversations with the developer and a means for the town to be able to get the best possible outcome for the property, our neighborhood, and the schools.
The lawsuit has been expensive and the costs will escalate this fall — one hour of a lawyer’s time costs several hundred dollars and we are looking at several days of legal proceedings, in addition to time for preparation.
Many neighbors have contributed to fund the legal fees (thank you!) but we need additional funds to support the costs of the impending lawsuit. If you have already donated, please help and donate again. If you have not yet contributed, now is the time. Please donate funds to support this effort to benefit the entire neighborhood.
Conversations between the Town of Brookline and Chestnut Hill Realty
The town recently announced that it has entered into conversations with Chestnut Hill Realty to come up with a comprehensive plan for the future of Hancock Village. From the town’s website:
"The Town of Brookline has initiated discussions with Chestnut Hill Realty to explore alternatives to the Residences of South Brookline project which has been approved and the Puddingstone at Chestnut Hill project that has been proposed at Hancock Village. Town officials and neighbors are involved in these discussions. No other development plans are being contemplated at Hancock Village in Brookline outside of these discussions and the ongoing public 40B process and litigation. The parties have agreed not to disclose the details of the discussions until there is mutual agreement that there has been significant progress. Any development proposals that arise out of this process would be subject to a full public permitting and approval process, including involvement by the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and possibly Town Meeting.”
This conversation has included two neighborhood representatives. However, all participants have signed non-disclosure agreements and therefore the plans being discussed have not been made public at this time. Recently Chestnut Hill Realty used field paint to mark areas on the green space buffer and ribbons to mark trees, possibly in relationship to these conversations. While these conversations are ongoing, the ZBA hearings on the second 40B proposal have been continued to a later date. The next date is Oct. 26, but that could be continued as well.
Again the legal effort is intertwined with these ongoing discussions because it changes the nature of the playing field.
Donations can also be made by mailing a check to: Brookline Neighbor’s Group, care of William Pu, 249 Beverly Road, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 which avoids the 3% fee.