Mugar site, Google EarthMugar: Most of it is the triangular tract west of Thorndike Field. / Google Earth

UPDATED April 3: The town's Conservation Commission is due to meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4, via Zoom.

The public may register here >> View the meeting's agenda here >>

The agenda includes discussion, continued from March 21, of wetlands issues at the proposed Thorndike Place. The intended multifamily development on Dorothy Road in a part of East Arlington also known as the Mugar property has been the subject of controversy since 2015. See a full list of hearings below.

The nonprofit Arlington Land Trust continues to fund hydrologist Scott Horsley and his colleagues to analyze data presented by the developer’s consultant, BSC Group, and to present new data based on its own research. Numerous peer reviews, consultants’ reports, public comments and other correspondence regarding the hearing are posted on the commission’s Thorndike Place Wetlands Permit web page. 

Denial to perform monitoring

Letters include some stating objections to the developer's refusal to agree to comply with the commission’s request that wells be installed and monitored on the site.

YourArlington had asked a Concom representative twice to confirm the claim, and David Morgan, town environmental planner and conservation agent, responded April 3, confirming the claim: "In a letter dated Feb. 28, 2024, the applicant's consultant, BSC Group, issued the denial to perform additional groundwater monitoring requested by the Conservation Commission for the proposed development at Thorndike Place. The letter was written and submitted by Arlington Land Realty LLC's representative at BSC, Dominic Rinaldi."

Scott Oran, a representative of the developer, also has been asked to comment.

A Feb. 22 post from the Coalition to Save Mugar Wetlands about the Feb. 15 Concom meeting notes that BSC, the developer's representative, "made a presentation of their groundwater analysis process and findings. Conservation Commission Vice Chair Susan Chapnick then referenced an email from the commission’s peer reviewer Hatch  reenforcing their concerns and of the applicant’s decision not to abide by the commission’s request for additional wells/monitoring. Ms. Chapnick expressed concern over the inconsistent groundwater measurements restating the need for additional testing to confirm the findings, stating that if she were to vote on this project now, she could not support it and would deny the NOI [notice of intent]." 

Hearings:

1.) Request for Determination of Applicability: 36 Peabody Road (Continuation from 3/21/2024).

This public hearing will consider a Request for Determination of Applicability for an addition to the existing structure at 36 Peabody Road in Arlington along with landscaping and hardscaping activities within the 100-foot Buffer Zone and Adjacent Upland Resource Area to Spy Pond.

2.) DEP #091-0278: Amendment to Order of Conditions: 88 Coolidge Road (Continued from 3/21/2024).

This public hearing will consider the peer review report for an amendment to an Order of Conditions for construction of a new house at 88 Coolidge Road in the Buffer Zone to a Bordering Vegetated Wetland. The Commission will vote to continue this hearing to the meeting of April 4, 2024.

DEP #091-0356: Notice of Intent: Thorndike Place (Continuation from 3/21/2024).

The Conservation Commission will hold a public hearing under the Wetlands Protection Act to consider a Notice of Intent for the construction of Thorndike Place, a multifamily development on Dorothy Road in Arlington.


 Feb. 15, 2024: Conservation Commission met Feb. 15 about Mugar, other issues

This news announcement was published Tuesday, April 2, 2024. based on information from the town website, the Arlington Land Trust and the Coalition to Save Mugar Wetlands. It was updated April 3, to add confirmation that the developer denied a request for testing.