Selectmen Revote Recommendation On Drew Gardens Warrant Article

The proposed restaurant on the former Drew Gardens property hinges on support from Town Meeting voters in April. After Tuesday, those voters will see a different recommendation from the Board of Selectmen.

Westford’s Board of Selectmen voted 4-1-0 to recommend amending the Agricultural Preservation Restriction on the southern third of 66-68 Boston Road, which would allow the restaurant to legally occupy that portion of the property.

A revote was needed to address confusion over square footage estimates described in the article that will go before voters at Town Meeting.

In what was described as a typographical error, the article indicated that the total square footage of the building would be approximately 16,000 sq. ft., when in fact that this referred to the total footprint of the building.

No changes to the proposed plan of the building had occurred, but both the Selectmen and representatives of the proposed restaurant felt it was important to reflect the accurate wording.

Selectman Andrea Peraner-Sweet, a former member of the Planning Board, indicated that small changes such as this are commonplace, a viewpoint agreed by the other selectmen with the exception of Don Siriani.

Don Siriani on Mar. 22, 2016

Don Siriani on Mar. 22, 2016

In the view of Siriani, changing the wording so close to Town Meeting would only cause additional confusion between the approximately 16,000 sq. ft. footprint and the total square footage of the building, which is expected to be near 40,000 sq. ft.

“Since this is not a very well-known concept here, I’d like to have more input from the folks in town at Town Meeting,” he said.

Siriani case the sole vote in opposition to recommending the article, which he originally supported at the Board of Selectmen’s Feb. 23 meeting.

There, the Selectmen voted 4-0-0 to recommend the article, with no vote from Peraner-Sweet due to absence.