Offer Proposed to Complete Upper Charles Trail

An attorney who represents the Walden Woods development has proposed a substitute: if the town will lift the 55 and older age restriction for sale of units at the development, the developer will complete construction of the missing section.

A long-held wish to have a complete, paved, off-road path crossing through Milford, and connecting to similar trails in surrounding towns, may soon be reality.

An attorney representing the developer of Walden Woods has proposed a kind of a swap: in exchange for the town eliminating a provision that a portion of the development sales be reserved for people 55 and older, the developer will pay for completion of the third phase of the Milford Upper Charles Trail.

Milford Selectmen are expected to discuss the proposal in their meeting Monday, which begins at 7 p.m. The Friends of the Milford Upper Charles Trail, in an email message sent last week, have urged supporters to attend.

The trail is now comprised of two off-road, paved sections, separated by undeveloped land owned by the town, which follows an old railroad line.

One completed segment runs from Route 109, across from Friendly's, to the Holliston line. Another continuous segment runs from the Milford Senior Center to the Hopkinton line, and includes thecompleted in 2011.

The Phase Three portion of the trail would connect from behind Sacred Heart of Jesus Church to Veteran's Memorial Drive, following the old rail line, said Town Counsel Gerald Moody. The town purchased the rail line more than 20 years ago, he said.

In a letter to Selectmen, Moody described the proposal as a substitute, allowed under a special permit granted to the developer of Walden Woods, with permission from Milford Selectmen.

Walden Woods received a "density bonus," allowing construction of up to 165 units, as opposed to 110 units, on the site, in exchange for agreeing to sell a certain number of the units to people age 55 and older, Moody wrote. The density bonus for a planned residential development, under zoning bylaws, could also be granted for "construction of recreational facilities," Moody wrote.

About 65 of the units at Walden Woods are now occupied, he wrote.


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