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Letter to the Editor: Property owners deserve better from town officials

by | Apr 6, 2022 | Letter to Editor

The Upper Charles Trail Committee (UCTC) passed along a response from the town dated March 21, 2022, which states that property owners have been contacted but that our property is not an abutter at this time. This is inappropriate, especially considering that the UCTC is seeking $411,600 at May Town Meeting for an adjoining segment of its plan that makes our segment the only option.

We own the 200-year-old brick house at the corner of Hayden Rowe and Chestnut Street. We were similarly told that we were not abutters and there would be no land taking when the town added a third lane and sidewalks to the streets and installed equipment in our yard. And now they want to use another 17 feet for a bike path along our yard. Hikers and bikers will have to cross our driveway and pass very close to our house. We will have to drive across the trail to enter or leave our property. How are we not abutters?

The corner of Chestnut and Hayden Rowe contains the support for the stop light pole, the control box, the power pole, the new sidewalk and ramp, and signage. It took several years to get the power and telephone companies to move the poles, and they just finished it a year or so ago. If the bike paths are approved, this installation will need to be torn out. Our historic granite wall will likely need to be removed, and all of this equipment re-installed further into our yard. But the plan says there will be no land taking, and the town says we are not an abutter.

The town said we were not abutters when they put in the sewer line down Hayden Rowe, when they added a sidewalk along our property on Chestnut Street, and when they added turning lanes, sidewalks and equipment along our yard. How many times can they cut into our yard before it actually does become a land taking?

We are disgusted by the way decisions were, and still are, made without respecting the residents who are affected. We urge the town to find other routes for the trail that do not so severely damage our neighborhood and that are not so dangerous to hikers and bikers.

— Nancy Haines, Hopkinton

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