Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Thursday, December 4, 2014
They Just Like To Dot The I's, Cross the T's, Loop The J's, Coil The G's, Bump The B's, and Wiggle The S's, That's All.
The hotel project for the corner of New Boston Road, and Route 20 that was given permission to begin construction back in 2010 is only just now rounding the last bend in the approval process.
Was it all the waiting necessary? Hard to say, I am not on any of the committee's, or boards that demanded adjustments along the way, and I am not up to speed on any of the requirements the town insisted on to get this far. However, I do own a calendar, and I am well adept at reading it, and my calendar has indicated that it has taken a very long time to get this far in the project. It took four years to reduce the project by 1.4 acres, and .35 acres of pervious area.
The landscape plan for the area surrounding the proposed hotel is going to have 88 trees, 200 shrubs, over 500 perennials including ground covers, and grasses. This is a pretty extensive plan. Although, the actual layout has not been shared, it must need a bit of a tweak since the Planning Board feels it could be done better. Apparently, the plan is not specific enough for the Planning Board.
They know best.
They want to be sure that this corner business is attractive to the eye for folks living in town, and those coming from all over the world. I like the way they think, but I also think at this point in the process, and it being over two years since the old hotel was torn down, and the ground has been left looking like a playground in Chernobyl, that a daisy in a milk carton would make the site look 100 % better.
Simple Rule # 23: When there is no urgency felt by those making decisions, then decisions will be made without any urgency attached.
Is four years a bit long to get to this point? Probably. Would the process moved faster in another community? Only if there was an urgency to attract new business, get it up and running ASAP without compromise, and create a welcoming atmosphere to attract other businesses.
The current plan is to begin hotel construction in the spring if the current plans pass muster with the Conservation Commission, and the Planning Board in a few weeks. Drainage is the next topic.
I guess the bottom line is that a new facility is coming to town eventually, and it replaced the old American Motor Inn that desperately needed to come down, and, it will be nice to see a new facility welcoming those that come into town off of Exit 3b. Visitors will smile when they drive down Route 20, and look around them, and see that not much more has changed over the past 10 to 15 years. I guess that is why most visitors come, to experience the history, and ambiance in a history loving town where time doesn't really stand still, it just moseys real slow.
Just as nature supposedly abhors a vacuum, Sturbridge isn't too fond of change, especially fast change.