Last year, our families and Edgewood College were excited to enter into a partnership on turning 40 acres on our land into athletic fields and a wetland preserve. This was an opportunity we explored with our Fitchburg alders and city leadership. It would have been a win-win-win for Edgewood College, city residents, and us. It would have turned current farmland into wonderful open space and an ecologically diverse area for wildlife and study. Lastly, it would have contributed to solving water retention issues, which did not exist 10 years ago prior to nearby industrial, commercial and residential development.
Unfortunately, elected officials over the past two weeks voted to accelerate the comprehensive plan, which effectively eliminates this land from being included in the urban services area. Urban services required for the Edgewood College project will already be extended to within twenty feet of our property. City residents will be deprived of a park-like atmosphere at Lacy and Seminole, where they could otherwise take a bike ride to sight-see cranes and other wildlife that took advantage of the wetlands. It will deprive our family of the ability to utilize our land for what we believe to be its best intended purpose. It deprives Edgewood College of a great resource for its student- athletes and Environmental Sciences students.
For a city that missed out on the opportunity to have Epic headquartered in Fitchburg and has a slogan of “City in Motion,” you would think the Common Council would be more flexible and open to responsible growth opportunities. Additionally, it may require us to consider alternative uses of our facilities and farmland less desirable to Fitchburg residents. Our first choice is to partner with city planners and Edgewood College to build the beautiful, value-added facility that will exist in perpetuity as seen in the rendering attached.
Please reach out to your elected officials if any of the above concerns you.
Make your voices heard.
Tom & Lyn O’Brien
Pat & Jean O’Brien
City of Fitchburg