The following letter to the editor was submitted by Diane Hendricks. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT or its Board of Directors. Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to submit their own letter. To submit your own letter, e-mail [email protected]
Despite the scaled down presentation of the restaurant proposal at the May 24, Board of Selectmen meeting, the project is still too large. The structure will be about six times the size of the 5,000 sq ft country store currently located on the property, with inadequate parking for the patrons of the future business. As a point of reference, The 99 restaurant is 11,000 sq ft, has a maximum occupancy of 300 people, with 150 parking spaces. This new restaurant plan has multiple banquet hall rooms and is about three times the size of The 99 and will only have a little over 100 parking spaces for patrons and employees. If this project goes forward as planned, will the owner, because of business need, require to develop yet more farmland for adequate parking?
Once this farm land is paved over, it is gone forever. We need to pay very close attention to this project as it will impact the Town in many ways. When the 3 Drew Parcel APRs were purchased twenty years ago, they were purchased to preserve a resource that was quickly fading from the Massachusetts landscape, agricultural land. This is a very precious resource and it happens to be the gateway to our beloved, bucolic town. We need to focus on this very important asset to Westford. Yes, the land needs to become productive again, but not as a restaurant, which is a business that was never sanctioned in the original APRs. The Drew Parcel needs to become viable as an agricultural resource, enhancing the town; not an oversized, out of character restaurant that has no business destroying what the Town valued enough to protect twenty years ago in perpetuity.