Thanks to Susan Elliott for the two maps above.
By Theresa Knapp
Local Town Pages – Hopedale, March 2022
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
State House, Boston, MA 02133-1054
November 25, 2022
Secretary Bethany Card
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114
Dear Secretary Card,
We are writing to request input from your office relative to an Article 97 question arising in the town of Hopedale.
Property located at 27 Overdale Parkway has frontage and, we believe, ownership rights on real estate that is currently seen as a pathway to the parklands in the town of Hopedale. The issue is whether this particular pathway is protected through Article 97.
We are attaching a timeline of the status of this land that has been compiled by a constituent resident and dates back to the origin of the landowner deed in 1916 for your reference.
Based on this timeline, and the included reference links, we are looking to EEA for guidance as to what additional information may be required, including but not limited to the need for a possible judicial decision by the court system, for a determination as to whether this land is considered protected through Article 97.
Given the status of the pathway in question, if it is considered park land, legislative authorization for a disposition or change of use would be necessary, and if not, we believe it would be considered a local issue.
Therefore, the clarification of this Article 97 status would be immensely helpful to the determination of the process moving forward for this particular land which exists over an unpaved portion of the parkway.
Any guidance or assistance that your office could provide would be certainly much appreciated.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. If there is any further information that we can provide, please just let us know.
Worcester & Norfolk District
10th Worcester District
Cc: Town Administrator, Jeff Nutting; Select Board Chair Glenda Hazard