Thanks to Susan Elliott for the two maps above.

By Theresa Knapp

Local Town Pages – Hopedale, March 2022

The Hopedale Select Board has received a letter from an attorney representing the Overdale Parkway Association which claims the settlement agreement reached in August on the Black Brook matter is not valid and that all work must stop on the site at the end of Overdale Parkway or they will take “an appropriate action in court.” 
The letter dated Feb. 7 to the Select Board from Mark S. Bourbeau of Drohan Tocchio & Morgan PC in Hingham says the OPA residents “are opposed to and intend to vigorously contest the Town’s plans and agreement to grant rights in the publicly-owned parkway for the principal purpose of conferring a private benefit on Black Brook Realty Corp. and Mr. [Ricardo] Lima (the “Developers”), under the pretext of the Developers granting a “gift” to the Town of improving the unpaved portion of the parkway.” 
They say the development owner “was observed to be digging up a section of the town land which comprises a part of the unpaved portion of the parkway” and that the town “must immediately prohibit any further such conduct by a private citizen on town land.” 
The OPA claims the agreement signed by the Select Board and developers on August 9, 2021, is “unlawful and will fail under challenge” because: 
The Agreement ignores and violates the holding in the 2004 case involving the Town of Hopedale and Black Brook. The town lacks authority to divert public resources to principally benefit private parties. The contemplated grant of rights in the Parkway to developers for subdivision access would effectuate an eminent domain taking against the OPA Residents’ real property interests. 
The Town Meeting vote relied on as authority for the Agreement is stale and of no effect. 
Since Overdale Parkway is not a town way, and the Developers lack rights of private access, the Planning Board would be without authority to approve the subdivision of land which relies on access to the Parkway. The unpaved portion of Overdale Parkway is subject to Article 97 restrictions. 
At its Feb. 14 meeting, the Select Board acknowledged receipt of the letter but did not discuss it any further. The letter can be found on the Select Board’s webpage and at Or find it without going through loads of other items by clicking here.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
General Court
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.


Ryan Fattman
State Senator
Worcester & Norfolk District

Brian Murray
State Representative
10th Worcester District

Cc: Town Administrator, Jeff Nutting; Select Board Chair Glenda Hazard