walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Walden Woods, the DOC and affordable housing

I won't think worse of you if you feel compelled to hold your nose while reading this:




R. tells this story about Don Henley saving some part of Concord from a 40B development long ago. I tracked the details down and was mildly appalled by them -- only mildly, because for all that I roll my eyes at the worship of Walden (it's like people have completely forgotten the concessions that were there for decades), I do see some value in its preservation as a historic/nature site.

I am now more appalled. Even the people involved in saving Walden from DeNormandie's condos and offices realized there was a bit of a problem involved in putting preservation above affordable housing (42 units out of 139), and have made efforts in the succeeding decades (!) to come up with an alternate site. Well, dear readers, they have succeeded in coming up with a replacement. "It is a culmination of the Walden Woods Project’s commitment to affordable housing in Concord that dates back to 1990 when the organization acquired its first conservation site in historic Walden Woods." So instead of 42 units of affordable housing by Walden, nestled amongst market rate units, there will be slightly fewer units (probably), exclusively affordable housing, _on land transferred to the town by the department of corrections_.

Yes, dear readers, Concord is a place that will say, no, you _can't_ live in this nice place with richer neighbors, but 20 some odd years from now you might be able to live at the prison, but only with other people like yourself.

It's a nice prison. They have a farm. And it's not like the preservationists completely forgot the alternative moral issues involved in their project (<-- that counts for a lot. Not being sarcastic. It really does). And access to the Assabet is cool, and it really is pretty close to the train station and the bike path. It'll probably be a very pleasant place, and the schools are good.
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