A depiction of what the proposed 66-68 Boston Road building might look like, as presented on Nov. 5, 2015

A Wide Array Of Viewpoints In Our Drew Gardens Poll

Last week, we asked you whether you voted for the amendment at Annual Town Meeting that would have allowed a restaurant to be built on the southern part of the former Drew Gardens property.

A depiction of what the proposed 66-68 Boston Road building might look like, as presented on Nov. 5, 2015

A depiction of what the proposed 66-68 Boston Road building might look like, as presented on Nov. 5, 2015

The result: two answers. First, opinions are very mixed and second, the people who stayed for the vote were generally more opposed to the project, at least according to our sample.

Of the 36 respondents, here’s the overall percentage from our poll.

“Did You Vote For The APR Amendment At Town Meeting?” Percentage
Yes 5.56%
No 19.44%
Would Have, But Wasn’t There 36.11%
Wouldn’t Have, But Wasn’t There 22.22%
Unsure 16.67%

Here is a sampling of verbatim responses from the respondents. After intense deliberation, we’ve omitted the respondents’ names to ensure candor and attempt to obtain a greater number of viewpoints. However, we may change this policy for future questions of the week.

Support

  • “I think it’s a fabulous idea and would be a beautiful addition to the town.”
  • “I think Ebi’s proposal was a good one. I hope he does return in the fall to Town Meeting with another, similar proposal. I plan to attend and vote in favor of his proposal. This town needs better dining options and Westford would benefit economically from the addition of this restaurant to our town. Right now, people who are looking for a similar dining experience are driving to Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton or The Bancroft in Burlington and those towns are reaping the economic benefits of those restaurants.”
  • “I am definitely in favor of having a tax revenue generating, job-providing business at that site and Westford could definitely use another restaurant. Perhaps the proposed plan was a bit too large, with the banquet space, but I hope a revised plan will succeed there.”
  • “Good Proposal…. Much better self sustaining establishment…. than ‘gateway’ than the dump that is there now.”
  • “Anything that looks good. Certainly not McDonald’s but a nice restaurant or a worthwhile garden or farm stand that has the values of Westford and would not bring in “crazy amounts of traffic”.
  • “I like the initial proposal and would like to see something like this go here. That said, I do think the size of the structure should be smaller.”
  • “I love the idea of a farm to table restaurant!”

Opposition

  • “Already enough large meeting places in the area; smaller restaurant using local food might be OK. My wish – large dog training center, boarding kennel and doggy day care. State Dept Of Agriculture regulates dogs.”
  • “The proposal would have exacerbated the traffic problem on Boston Road. The town has land use needs, clearly identified, for which the six acres would be great fit. The town should not “throw away” the $525K they already spent on “agricultural preservation restrictions” and let the property become a commercial development. The town should first acquire the land from the current owner, then approach the public at Town Meeting, seeking relief from the agricultural restrictions and permitting the building of a fire station and a permanent home for the Recreation Department.”
  • “I hated the idea as I felt it would be another traffic nightmare in that area. Westford is still a “rural” town in my eyes and we don’t need to have all these shopping plaza’s and restaurants. We don’t need to be like Chelmsford or worse, Billerica and Tewksbury! I would love to see it remain agricultural with perhaps a community garden space, volunteer farm stand, greenhouse space you can rent for those who want to grow their own plants and vegetables.”
  • “The proposed restaurant and function complex was shockingly large and inappropriate for the “Gateway to Westford” we fought to preserve. I agree that the agricultural easements should be kept in place for all parcels. I also agree that a working farm, orchard and farmstand would be the most appropriate use of the property.”
  • “Smaller restaurant and smaller greenhouse and Ebi should have paid a lot more $ to the town then the 50 k. Most importantly if he’s such a great guy he should be cleaning up the property NOW vs waiting for next town meeting!!”
  • “Town should buy the land and commemorate Westford’s early history by planting flowering trees. Someday the land might be needed for a well designed public facility.”
  • “No commercial restaurant! Town buy property. Make it an orchard–rented out as is Hill orchard. Or make into park/ recreational area. “Real Gateway to Westford””

Unsure

  • “Nice park, waking trails, playground, water feature ( splash pad) etc. or more condos :(“
  • “That property should have been purchased by the town. We should have put there the new fire station and leave the rest as natural habitat/trails for the community to use. Can we purchase the property back from Mr. Masalehdan?”
  • “Was just curious to see how it would play out. How about a Walmart? Haha!”
  • “Sounds like a nice idea in theory but what happens if the restaurant is unsuccessful? I believe the large building will be hard to sell. The town should purchase the land and home the new fire station and rec center. Both need new homes. What a great welcome to Westford. The current site for the fire station needs major excavation and blasting, this property appears to need less ‘prep work’. Having the rec center right off the highway would create less town traffic for visiting teams and is a more central location for Westford than other fields.”
  • “Post a huge billboard that says ‘Don’t Bother'”