1 Lyman St.


Historic house  and mature trees currently on 1 Lyman St. All will be torn down if CMI site plan is approved

Swamp Friends.jpg

Swamp friend on 1 Lyman wetlands

hawk with food closer.jpg

Hawk with food

1 Lyman Street, a property on the corner of Lyman and Bartlett St., with a historically significant house, barn and several mature trees is for sale. The applicant, Cable Matters, Inc wants to tear down the house and barn and cut down the trees in order to build a 20,000 square foot warehouse with driveways onto both Bartlett and Lyman.  Even though the next door neighbor has challenged in Land Court the Zoning Board of Appeal's Land Use Variance to allow the buyer to build on Groundwater Overlay Protection 1, the proposal is continuing to go through the design review process and is seeking site plan approval and a special permit from the Planning Board as well as a demolition permit to raze the house and barns from the Conservation Commission.  The ZBA has approved the Land Use Variance even though (meeting linked here starting at the 2:05 mark):

  • They would drain directly into a Groundwater 1 Zone. Groundwater zoned 1 means it is closest to the aquifers, which means it is our back-up water supply if something happens to our current supply. In 2021, there is no reason to think everything will always be safe.

  • The world is heating up. Cutting down mature trees in order to build concrete buildings with paved parking lots is the opposite of what our planet needs right now. A mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Why would we kill something so productive and useful to our planet in this urgent time of climate change? 

  • There are existing buildings near the site that that Cable Matters could renovate instead. (In fact, there is a building for sale on Bartlett Street, a few doors up!) Earlier generations put us in the position of doing what's best for our environment, not what is easiest and cheapest.

We support our neighbor in her fight to appeal the decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals. As soon as we hear about when her appeal will be addressed by the ZBA we will let you know. In the meantime, we are requesting that the Board of Selectmen appoint new members to the ZBA, ones that can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas. There are 2 open positions which are currently filled with appointees who've been on the ZBA for 10-20+ years. It's our request that those open positions be filled by one of the many new qualified candidates that have applied.

EVIDENCE OF POTENTIAL POLLUTION--because it's happened before

The developer can say whatever they want about how clean any building project on this site is, and how many measures they have in place to protect the land—the fact is, we should expect there will be erosion, there will be polluted silt flowing into Stirrup Brook, and it will impact on our wetlands. That is why we have the bylaws in place for special permissions and permits—so our town representatives can say no when it makes sense to say no.

For proof, see below notes:

"Violations Discussion" of the 3/09/2020 meeting minutes of the Conservation Commission (pg. 5):

  • RE: 330/350 Bartlett Street - "Mark Arnold (Goddard Consulting) submitted a report. They were notified on February 19th about an erosion event on Basin C; it occurred near the outlet structure. The access road goes along the access of the basin. The pathway became flat which allowed water to pond on top; sink holes formed on the path; water went underneath the slope between the top of slope and the loam and came out at the top of the slope washing out 4-5 cubic yards down the slope."


Violations Discussion” of the 5/13/2019 meeting minutes of the Conservation Commission (pg. 4):

  • RE: 330 Bartlett Street, another Gutierrez property. The Conservation Agent "reported on conditions at 330 Bartlett Street; 8”-12” of silt deposits were against the siltation fence and silt was channeling out underneath; erosion controls was not significant enough for the size of the site.”

  • RE: 150 Hayes Memorial Drive, owned by another builder. “On April 16th [the conservation agent] was contacted by the Contractor, Borgard Construction, that there was a breach of the erosion controls, but it was reported that nothing had reached the resource areas. She visited the site; silt deposits did get in the wetlands; she required an impact report and additional erosion controls.” 

These builders “eventually” got the report from our conservation agent, and they “eventually” did something about them, but in the meantime, our water was polluted minute by minute--we don't know for how long.

Historical Provenance of 1 Lyman St.

The house and barn at 1 Lyman St. are considered to be an historical asset for the town and both historically and architecturally significant. Built in 1830, it was owned by Stephen Norcross, a Northborough Selectman and abolitionist 'who signed a petition for the creation of a new party that opposed slavery and was on a committee to carry out a resolution by the town to provide a day of observance for President Lincoln's death.'