THIS ITEM UPDATES AN EARLIER STORY.
THIS STORY UPDATED 10:45 a.m. Mon., Aug. 15, 2005
A letter from Williamstown Town Manager Peter Fohlin discusses the status of an 105-acre parcel on Henderson Road which since 2001 has been pledged to become conservation open space under a grant to the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation.
Fohlin’s Aug. 9 letter to the planning board explains that a trust with dot-com millionare William “Bo” Peabody as sole beneficiary bought a 167-acre farm from Norm Sweet in October 2000 for $800,000 – and has now sold most of it off to a partnership involving engineer Vince Guntlow for $2.3 million. Peabody’s trust also claimed ownership of 41 acres of adjoining land classified in town records as “owner unknown” – but is in litigation over the town’s assessment of $25,360 in back taxes on that parcel.
According to Fohlin's letter, Guntlow’s group “has made arrangements” whereby Peabody’s trust will pay the back taxes and give the land to the Rural Lands Foundation – if Guntlow’s subdivision of the 167-acre former farm proceeds. The planning board apparent blessed the subdivision last week although the formal decision wasn’t filed as of earlier this week. Peabody’s group promised when it got an earlier subdivision plan approved that it would give 100 acres to rural lands – and develop eight lots. Now it looks like the WRLF will get its 105 acres (the 41 acre piece plus another 64 acres of the rest) -- but there will be 13 lots developed for housing -- including one lot which will be given to the town as an "affordable-housing" lot.