Along the north side of Route 2 in East Arlington lie seventeen acres of wetlands almost entirely in the 100-year floodplain. Despite its potential for flooding, this parcel has been the subject of various development proposals over the years.
Recently Oaktree Development of Cambridge showed Arlington town officials a preliminary sketch of a proposed 219-unit housing development on the parcel owned by the Mugar family and adjacent to the Alewife Reservation.
The Oaktree developer intends to invoke the state Chapter 40B statute to circumvent certain local permitting processes and bylaws by including a certain percentage of affordable housing in the development. No official filings have yet been made.
Arlington town officials have long expressed a desire to protect the parcel through both Arlington’s Open Space and Recreation Plans since 1996 and the newly approved Arlington Master Plan. Repeated efforts by the town and nonprofit organizations to negotiate a conservation outcome with the Mugar family have been rejected. The Arlington Board of Selectmen has instructed the town manager to renew the conservation negotiations.
For more information about the Mugar parcel, and efforts to halt development on the site, contact the Coalition to Save the Mugar Wetlands.