Sunderland: No progress with land developers

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SUNDERLAND — Not much has changed in recent months in the negotiations between the town and Plumtree Road landowners.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Scott Bergeron, the town’s representative in negotiations, said the two sides are exploring the same options.

But he said, “The dialogue was really healthy.”

Paul Boudreau of South Hadley and Gerard N. Aubrey of Holyoke are the new owners of 67 acres on Plumtree Road that have been considered for an apartment project for several years now, much to the consternation of town officials.

Bergeron said the two sides’ objectives haven’t changed.

“They were very clear that some kind of development will be there,” Bergeron said.

The town, on the other hand, continues to hold steadfast to its own goals — to keep a water source available, explore use of the land for open space and have any proposed housing option fit within the town’s own housing plan.

The town and business owners will meet again soon, but no specific date has been determined.

The land has been a contentious issue in the past. Its previous owner, Scott Nielsen of Amherst, and the town spent years in a court battle after the Zoning Board of Appeals denied a permit for a proposed affordable housing complex.

Last January, the state’s high court ruled the developer may build on the property for affordable housing. The state Supreme Judicial Court upheld the 2008 decision by the Housing Appeals Court and ordered the town to give the developer a permit it had denied for a 150-apartment project.

Last summer, Nielsen sold the property to Boudreau and Aubrey’s newly formed company, Bourey LLC, for $880,665. Nielsen originally bought the property in 2003 for $620,000.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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