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Minutes of two 2001 meetings of the Williamstown Planning Board show that a subdivision was approved for the Sweet Farm property on Henderson Road after the then-owner assured that half the 200 acres would be donated to the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, and based upon the assumption that the development would be “low density” – eight lots dispersed over a 100-acre hillside.
Subdivision plan was approved via a Dec. 28, 2001 planning-board order, according to public documents provided to GreylockNews.com by the town. The applicant for the subdivision at the time was the Sweet Farm Nominee Trust, whose beneficiary, according to minutes, was dot-com millionaire William “Bo” Peabody. The trust was represented by attorney Sherwood Guernsey at a Nov. 13, 2001 public hearing.
According to the Nov. 13 minutes: “Mr. Guernsey explained that the property in question is over 200 acres, if this project is approved, over ½ or 100 acres will be donated to the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation. The remaining 100 acres or so will be divided into 8 building lots with 1 lot equaling about 20 acres, another 34 acres and the remaining six lots ranging in size from 5.8 to 8.6 acres. Mr. Guernsey also explained that with the amount of land in question, this property had the potential to be a 46 – 120 lot subdivision, however they chose not to do that.”
The Dec. 28, 2001 order granted a series of seven variances for subdivision requirements, based upon a finding that the project was “low density” – eight lots dispersed over a 100-care hillside.