Archive 2008 - 2019

Please Vote for Farming & Open Space

by Lixy Carey

At Town Meeting on Monday night, there are three articles regarding two properties that all Hollistonians can enjoy, but we need you to show up and VOTE.

The Community Preservation Committee is sponsoring Article 9 which is to approve funding for the purchase of a section of the Rail Trail (we have to vote for THAT!) and also funding to purchase 32.3 acres of prime farmland and forest that we can use for town agriculture (community farming, for example) and “passive” recreation (hiking, birding, cross-country skiing).

The land has been farmed by the same family for many years and is part of the estate of Frank Serocki.  The estate is selling the property and a buyer with commercial interests has made an offer of $550,000 to purchase and develop the land (a portion is industrially zoned).  But we, the Town, have the right to match that offer and use the land for our enjoyment.  The land is “Chapter 61a” meaning the farmers got a tax break for farming the land and the town has right of first refusal if the land is being sold.

And it’s beautiful land – 30+ acres of woods, wetlands, old cranberry bogs and fields ready to farm.  It abuts conservation land in Sherborn, and has been designated Priority Habitat for Rare Species.  This is a rare opportunity to preserve farmland in Holliston for future generations to enjoy and to create much needed open space in East Holliston. The funds for this purchase, and for a section of the Rail Trail are coming from the Town’s Community Preservation Act funds, which can only be used for open space, affordable housing and historic resources.

Please come to Town Meeting on Monday, October 27 at 7:30 pm at Holliston High School and vote YES on Article 9, then stay a bit longer and vote YES or Article 12 (that’s for the Rail Trail) and Article 13 for the “Serocki Farm” purchase.

Comments (2)

Thanks, Bill, for providing another side to the story. I would also like to get some idea about how much we would need to pay going forward to keep this property maintained to where we could "use the land for our enjoyment."

LT | 2014-10-26 07:04:56

There's more to this proposal than meets the eye. A sizable portion of this property is zoned industrial and the buyer is willing to donate the non-industrial zoned portion to the town at no cost. This is not as simple as keeping agricultural land undeveloped. In a town as challenged as we are with a very small non- residential base, is taking 14 acres of industrial zoned property off the potential tax base at an acquisition cost of $588,000 really our best option? Please do come to Town Meeting and get the whole story.

Bill Dowd | 2014-10-25 19:39:31