Update (3/22/23): Revisiting the 5 Auburn St. request for proposals and vote turned out to be a brief affair, as you can see on the Pegasus recording at about the 1-hour, 11-minute mark. Board member Rich Sidney requested the agenda item and began by confirming with town counsel that the board is allowed to condition the negotiation of the development agreement as part of the award motion. He should have been allowed at the March 15 meeting where the 5 Auburn St. vote took place to propose an amendment to the award motion. As it turns out, he decided not to propose such an amendment out of concern that doing so could derail negotiations with the chosen outfit for this project, but by bringing up the issue he clarifies it and sets a precedent for future meetings.
Related, Chair Paul Joseph noted that the board received an influx of more messages on the topic of 5 Auburn St., and took exception to such messages and social media posts claiming “suspicious activities and backroom deals.”
We did a double-take when alerted to the fact that the subject of 5 Auburn St., had been added to this Wednesday’s Natick Select Board agenda.
Last week, the Board voted 3-2 in favor of a plan by a non-profit developer to build 32 units of “deeply affordable rental housing for families” on a dead-end road in South Natick that abuts the Charles River. The former school property at 5 Auburn St., is owned by the town.
Next up for the board was to be entering into a development agreement with the Metro West Collaborative.
However, a request has come to the chair of the board to reconsider the request for proposals and vote. So, the board on Wednesday night will discuss a possible vote on that request, and if it gets a positive vote, more dialogue and debate would ensue.
If you’d like to contribute $ to support our independent journalism venture, please do….