Update as of 4/29/2021
Please click the links below for more information:
|Library Trustee Letter
|Town Counsel/Foundation Email Thread
As many of you know, the Trustees are appealing the ZBA decision to deny certain zoning relief to the New Library. Litigation is moving along and the Trustees anticipate a filing with the court for summary judgement at the beginning of May. If summary judgement is not granted, a date for trial will be set.
The warrant for the May 2 Town Meeting includes Article 18 (page 41) relating to the property at 66 N. Main Street (the Freeman property), which was included as a placeholder in the event an agreement between the Town and the owner was reached. Since no agreement was reached, the motion at Town Meeting will be for indefinite postponement.
The Select Board has been negotiating for years to purchase all or part of this property. If the entire property were purchased, the purchase would include the use of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds and the existing home would become a 40B residence. The property would then be combined with 1 School Street in order to obviate the need for variances from the ZBA. It is not clear, however, that combining the Freeman property with 1 School Street would result in a viable solution whereby both the existing dwelling and the library could be co-located on one lot.
If the property were divided and a portion combined with 1 School Street, certain zoning issues could nullify the viability of the newly created lots, both the Freeman property and the Library property.
For these reasons, the Trustees have stated they will not endorse this effort until and unless there is documented proof that all issues have been clearly resolved to the satisfaction of our attorney. To date this has not occurred.
The Select Board’s lawyer contacted the Sharon Public Library Foundation with a funding request to help purchase the Freeman property. Due to the potential complications, the Foundation opted not to grant the request. Foundation funds will be used to enhance the new library
Due to all of the above actions, the Sharon Standing Building Committee (SSBC) has authorized the architect to complete 100% construction documents for submission to the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) by the August 1 deadline. Meeting this deadline will preserve the grant.