The wastewater bond vote is your last chance 

to stop/change/reconsider the plan to redevelop the town center. 

Please consider the following consequences carefully. 

The Westford Wastewater Bond

 was Voted down on November 7, 2023.

No: 532, Yes: 488, Total Votes: 1020 

The 30-day period where a reconsideration petition could be filed has passed; no petition was filed. 

Update:  The Westford Selectboard unanimously declared at their December 14, 2023 meeting that the November 7, 2023 vote was a NO-VOTE on the Community Wastewater Project (not simply a rejection of the $400,000 bond). 

Update:  The selectboard has formed a Wastewater Study Committee to explore alternative options to the Maple Shade community wastewater system that was rejected by the town last November.   Currently the grant funding for the Maple Shade community wastewater proposed system remains intact. 

Overdevelopment threatens Village Center and the Common.    click to learn more

The proposed wastewater system and the town plan will support approximately 50-60 new residences (or equivalents) to be built in the Town center. 

The wastewater leach field has been calculated to support 24,300 gallons/day (gpd).  It is estimated that initially approximately 9,800 gpd of this capacity may be used by existing structures leaving 14,500 gpd as excess. Each single-family home represents 245 gpd, so approximately 60 additional residences or equivalent could be connected. See appendix item #1


For the properties around much of the Common, the Form Based Code requires the front of the building to only be approximately as far back as the Town Office (9.5’ setback), allows up to 80% of the lot to be covered by a building, and requires that the building cover a minimum of 60% of the frontage. This means that if the property is 100' wide, the building must occupy at least 60' of that width. In addition, 4 buildings/acre are allowed.  This relates directly to the safety/traffic/parking/green-space topic discussions here on the Keeping Westford Rural website.

To visualize this, consider the initial proposed plan for the 1705/Pigeon/bus garage property. Imagine you are standing in the Gazebo on the Common looking north toward what was the Pigeon property. You see Rt 128 and beyond it, cars parked along the road, a sidewalk, and 2 or 3 buildings nearly twice as large as the hotel with parking lots behind and perhaps beside the buildings. No significant green space.

Stand on the Common and imagine the scene of the future. What future do you want?

Here is a link to the Town center zoning map

Some people have tried to convince you that the town center is currently in a wastewater crisis.  

click to learn more

Additional Consequences for the Common.

Future development will likely take space from the Common for additional Parking and lead to 

Safety and Traffic Considerations.     click to learn more

Does it make sense to increase the density of buildings along VT Route 128 at the 90 degree turn in the highway?  The current Westford town plan designates this area for future development.

  The 1705 project conceptual plan shows us what the build-out of the town plan might look like.   Please look at the Planning Commissions' rendering of the 1705 project showing high building density at the bend in Rt 128 near the intersection of Cambridge Road.

  Please think about the current high-density traffic flowing north/south thru Westford during the commute hours.  How will development along Rt 128 effect traffic on Westford north/south thru roads?  Are we creating another "Jericho Center" safety problem area in Westford?

Have you been listening to comments about "suburban sprawl"?

Light green in Westford Map is ALL 10-acre zoning.    click to learn more

There have been statements suggesting that if Westford does not build-out the town center, development will move to our rural countryside. FACT:  Development in most of our countryside is already restricted by minimum 10-acre zoning per residence. And, clustering of houses with common or conserved open land is encouraged.   current zoning map  

What about Vermont's plan for rural communities?

We are fortunate that Vermont has over 250 municipalities!  We can sometimes determine our own future! The state recommendations are not "one-size-fits-all-towns".

Town Center Zoning

Violet: T5 - 4 buildings/acre

Yellow: T4 - 3 buildings/acre

Blue: T3 - 2 buildings/ acre

click to learn more

We don't have municipal wastewater and municipal water right now so much of this current state zoning proposal, Bill H68 (aimed at solving problems in large municipalities like Burlington), will not apply to us --- but it will if you vote "Yes" on the municipal wastewater bond.

In 2019 Vermont state experts warn that we must be careful that state financial incentives don't change the character of rural towns. 

This from the Westford Planning Commission's 5/20/2019 meeting minutes.  see appendix Item #2

The Westford Town Planner reports that Westford received approval from the state for the Westford zoning districts T4 and T5 which line-up with the state's Neighborhood Development Area Designation strategy.  However, the Westford Town Planner was "greatly surprised at the reception she received and the comments made at the Downtown Development Board meeting. She said Board members questioned whether rural villages should be given state incentives that promote development. Concerns were voiced that incentive programs would change the character of villages."  

If the state was designing a plan specifically for Westford, do you think they would consider building-out the town center on the 90 degree turn in Route 128 to be a good idea?  

If Westford builds the proposed wastewater system, with over 50% excess capacity, expect to see multi-unit structures around the Common and on Brookside Road.  Say "Good-Bye" to the quaint small-town center we enjoy today.