Norwell: Officials Charge Hands Off Whiting Fields Property

The Norwell Board of Selectmen has voted to form a new committee to look into uses for the Carlton Property.

After taking some heat from residents, the board voted to charge the new Carlton Property Committee with developing a land use plan.

Included in the charge – the stipulation that the Whiting Fields portion of the property remain untouched.

Norwell Selectman Vice Chair Alison Demong had this to say about the issue.

“’In the consideration of a land use plan, the committee must start with the assumption that the Whiting Fields, the 10.5 acres of hay fields located on Main Street and Lincoln Street are to remain as open space, and not to be considered a site for community housing or active recreation development.’ There will be an accompanying map to go with that, to shows the fields highlighted. ‘Any proposed land use plan shall not alter the historic and iconic views of these fields along Main Street and Lincoln Street.’ So that would be in the charge, to this committee, in black and white.”

Demong said the committee will also seek input from various stakeholders in town.

“To develop a land use plan, the committee shall seek recommendations and comments from town officials and committees including, but not limited to, Board of Selectmen, Conservation Commission, Community Housing Trust, Pathways Committee, Planning Board, Recreation Commission, Athletic Fields Committee and Historical Commission.

The committee may also seek recommendations and input from youth sports organizations, local land trusts, neighbors, and abutters.

So, this committee’s job is to get the most input as they possible can, from as many different sources as the possibly can,” Demong explained.

The board will not activate or appoint committee members unless town meeting passes an article for $3.8 million dollars in Community Preservation Funds to purchase the 124 acre Carlton property.

The C.P.C. is scheduled to vote on the issue at their meeting tonight. 

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About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.