Abutters Meet Over Proposed Striar Property Park
Baseball fields, a football field and a soccer field could become part of the Manor community on Sprague Street.
The Dedham Parks and Recreation Board met Monday to inform abutters of the proposed park on the 24.6-acre former Striar property located next to 480 Sprague St.
The park, which Parks and Recreation showed two baseball fields, a soccer field, a football field, walking trails, and a 160-spot parking lot. The project hinges on the owner of a large warehouse adjacent to the property granting an easement to create a driveway off of Sprague Street to area behind the warehouse.
The Striar property was purchased by the town nine years ago for $2 million as part of a lawsuit. Over the last three years the town had created an agreement with the owner of the adjacent warehouse, but it was sold and the new owner will only allow an easement across part of their land.
Maria Menunez, an abutter of the Striar property, asked if there are funds in place for such a large project. Parks Commission chairman Jim Maher said they have not made any approximations of cost yet. Once the town attorney has finished the contract on the easement, the board will put out a request for proposal on design, the road, the fields and the infrastructure.
The town will evaluate line of sight and other traffic patterns to mitigate traffic issues, a concern Walter Rodriguez, a neighbor of the proposed park, raised during the meeting.
Maher added that they looked into coming onto the property from other streets, but the town did not want to turn quiet streets into noisy ones.
Board of Selectmen chairman Sarah MacDonald the town plans to put speed boards near that area in a hope that it will mitigate traffic issues.
Other concerns were water drainage on the property. The town recently repaired pipes on the property that groundwater drained into. John Nolan, of Sprague Street, asked if that would create a higher ground-water level as the current level is six feet.
Joe Flanagan, director of the Department of Public Works, said drainage won't be an issue at the proposed park.
Maher also alleviated concerns of nightlights on the fields. He said that if there are lights, which there are a good chance there will be, there are strict state guidelines that would prevent light pollution from going onto nearby properties.
Flanagan added that state penitentiary correction crews will be coming in to clean up garbage left by teens on the trails. The town will also clean away brush so police can see the land better from the road.
Parks and Recreation member Sal Ledda said that nothing is perfect saying, "It may end up being only one field."
But, Ledda added, that the commission will try to make it "a great place and an asset to the community."
For Maher, the project hits close to home, meaning he'll keep an eye on what goes on.
"I grew up in the Manor. I'll be the watchdog [of this project]," he said. "My children, my grandchildren will be going here."