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Next Steps in Dialogue with Parcel Owners

posted Jul 1, 2018, 4:19 AM by Deb Beatty Mel
Following the May meeting at City Hall with the owners of 104-108 Walter Street, we received an email from their attorney indicating a purchase price of $1.75 million for the site. The Roslindale Wetlands Task Force responded this week by sending the letter below, indicating that the next step is an appraisal of the property. Purchasing the parcel from the current owners would mean that it would remain conservation land permanently. We now await the owners' response. 

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We are writing in reply to the proposed terms of sale provided June 18, 2018 by your clients for the Walter Street site:

$1.75 Million Purchase Price; 10 Days to accept Offer in writing;
10 Days from signing Offer to provide proof of funds and execute a purchase & sale agreement; 30 Days from that to close.

The Task Force thanks you and your client for this response to our original suggestion at the May 16, 2018 meeting and in the subsequent May 21, 2018 letter: an up to 6 month “hold” period during which there could be an independent valuation followed by possible negotiation of price and other terms of sale.

The Walter St. site is a prime candidate for conservation, in that it includes wetlands and wooded uplands and borders an existing City conservation area. The site provides local flood protection benefits together with public enjoyment and natural habitat values. Conservation rather than development would also not add to the already existing peak hour traffic volumes and speeding along Walter St, especially as site entrance and exit is at a blind curve. For these reasons, wide, long-standing neighborhood interest exists in the future of the Walter St. property. 

The Task Force intends to make a bona fide offer to your client. To do so we must first complete an independent evaluation of fair value. We have taken specific steps to that end, having identified companies that specialize in appraisal of land for conservation purposes and sent them background information and a proposed scope of work. 

We are ready to proceed and request agreement from your client of a defined time for taking necessary next steps including, for example, permission to access the property with reasonable notice for the purpose of evaluation. As during the past month we have completed the initial steps indicated, an up to 5 month period is requested at this point. 

We recognize that an owner is free to proceed with development proposals for their property. At Walter St. – a site with great conservation potential and wide, longstanding neighborhood interest - we believe that a time-limited effort to reach agreement on a fair value purchase-and-sale is preferable to a City review process which is time-consuming for all involved and uncertain in final result.

Thank you to your client for considering this cooperative approach and we look forward to their response.

Very Truly,
Roslindale Wetlands Task Force
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