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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Forest sale is scratched

After much hoopla in town and beyond, Burlington officials are putting the brakes on an ambitious development proposal to turn a large swath of forest land into the state's largest life sciences complex, senior housing, and playing fields.

The Board of Selectmen has decided against selling the 247-acre landlocked parcel near Route 3, saying the community is not ready to let go of the property.

"The land is not for sale," said Sonia Rollins, chairwoman of the panel.

But Patriot Partners, the development group that holds an option to buy the land if the town does decide to sell, is not giving up on its vision for the site bounded by Route 3, Interstate 95, and the towns of Lexington and Bedford.

"It's incumbent upon us to show that we have something that warrants further discussion," Patriot Partners attorney Robert Buckley said after the board announced last week it isn't selling the property. "We think the project has some merit. We'll see where it takes us."

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The painting is by Laura Tasheiko

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