On 9/9/2021 the Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously (3-0) to DENY the developer’s Special Permit Request. On 9/30/2021 the developer filed a lawsuit against the ZBA asserting the denial exceeded the ZBA’s authority and should be annulled. It is possible that the Town will negotiate with the developer in advance of the trial, which is set for 3/31/2022.

Join the fight.

SAVE 1442 Main Street

Together we can defeat the proposal and reject the developer’s assault on our town.

A Bad Deal for Concord

A developer is planning to create a subdivision with 16 large houses on a currently wooded, two-house lot on Main Street in the heart of West Concord. This proposed development requires clear-cutting eight acres of healthy trees, and flattening the natural topography of the property to accommodate roads, traffic circles and the large houses.

This will dramatically impact the character of the neighborhood, irreparably damage the natural environment, and be detrimental to abutters, the neighborhood and our town.

An Assault On Our Land

After clear-cutting all the trees and vegetation from the current site, the developer intends to remove 60,840 cubic yards of earth, which will require over two thousand round-trips of large dump trucks on Main Street.

These fully-loaded trucks will emit large volumes of hazardous diesel emissions less than 750 feet from Thoreau elementary school, the Concord Montessori School and a community garden, and less than 1100 feet from the Concord Children’s Center and the Fowler Library.

The volume of earth removal and required trucks is STAGGERING: picture one truck accelerating under full load from the site onto Main Street every ten minutes for six hours a day, for sixty days straight.

An Assault On Our Health

Earth and tree removal of this scope will instantly expose the MBTA commuter rail to Main Street for the first time in Concord history. This will substantially increase noise pollution, toxic ambient diesel particulate, and negatively impact property values — not just for abutters, but for all homes in the area.

Constant exposure to fine diesel particulate matter is also a health issue. Studies have consistently linked diesel emissions to increased risk of asthma and respiratory disease, particularly among children and older populations.

Based on the amount of soil to be removed, the capacity of each dump truck, and the distance traveled to the Concord town line (excluding the additional distance to the drop off site in Acton), the developer will require almost 7,400 truck miles within Concord.

The result of this activity is a substantial quantity of hazardous diesel emissions, including fine particulate matter:

Source: EPA

Violation of Town Sustainability Principles

This ill-suited subdivision plan violates every one of Concord’s stated Sustainability Principles:

  • Reduce dependence on fossil fuels, underground metals, and minerals
  • Reduce dependence upon synthetic chemicals and other manufactured substances
  • Reduce encroachment on nature
  • Meet human needs fairly and efficiently

This project requires a significant amount of fossil fuel to cut down 8 acres of trees, chip the trees, unearth the trunks, load the trunks, load the earth, move the earth, deposit the earth beyond the Concord town line in Acton, and return for reloading.

Clear-cutting 8 acres of healthy trees and removing >60,000 cubic yards of earth to flatten the natural topography is an assault on our land and significant encroachment on nature. It is a slap in the face of Concord’s sustainability principles and climate resilience goals.

The developer has refused to provide any open space in the plan. In fact, Symes Development & Permitting LLC is suing the Planning Board in Land Court because the Board requested that two lots be reserved for open space as a condition for approval. Public records are available here (case: 21 MISC 000021).

The developer appears completely indifferent to the needs of the community.

Violation of Town Climate Goals

One of the pillars of the Concord Climate Action and Resilience Plan is protection and improvement of the town’s natural resources. According to the plan, the goal is to enhance and support Concord natural resources…

“to provide resilience benefits to the community and to maximize biodiversity and carbon sequestration.”

The proposed deforestation and earth removal will remove important carbon sinks within town. As a result, the developer is forcing Concord to internalize the externalities of this project .

In other words, the developer is forcing the town to incur future climate-related mitigation costs related to the loss of carbon sequestration capacity. Ultimately the residents of Concord must bear this cost through tax revenue.

Below are estimates for economic loss to the town due to tree removal as well as added emissions due to earth removal.

Economic Loss Due to Tree Removal
Cost of Carbon Sequestration Loss

The Zoning Board of Appeals Decision

In order for the project to move forward, the developer is requesting a Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals to remove >60,000 cubic yards of earth from the site. This is almost 4X the maximum allowable earth removal for a project of this scope.

The fate of this project – and we believe the future of West Concord – hinges on an upcoming decision by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The ZBA has the authority to reject the developer’s ill-suited plans, so now is the time to make your voice heard.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 8 at 7pm. Note that this meeting could be rescheduled, so it is important to confirm the date and time on the town’s website.

Join us to Save 1442 Main Street!

Sign Our Petition

Sign our petition and share the link with friends and family. We will share the petition results with both the ZBA and Planning Board prior to the next meeting on Thursday July 8. Please sign the petition today.

Important Documents

Join the Fight

We are a group of Concord neighbors who want to stop this unsuitable development before it is too late. We have followed this project for 18 months as the developer has sought to put their interests ahead of our community’s concerns.

We have attended countless meetings of the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals where we have spoken on behalf of Envision Concord, our Town’s commitment to sustainable development.

But we need YOU to get involved and join us to stop this project.

The current site
For each lot, the developer removes all trees and vegetation.
Aerial view of the site at 1442 Main St. in West Concord, MA

Save 1442 Main Street

  • Reject the developer’s assault on our town
  • Preserve the natural environment of the site
  • No clear cutting of mature trees
  • No excessive earth removal from the site
  • Conserve the land for drought resilience
  • Honor our town’s commitment to sustainable development