Castle Farm Property Acquisition


At its October 2022 Fall Special Town Meeting, Town Meeting Members voted to authorize the Select Board to acquire approximately 34 acres of open space in a partnership with Northland Residential that would provide public access to the Charles River, walking trails, and recreational opportunities.

This land is a portion of the Castle Farm Property owned by the Foster Estate. The Town will acquire two parcels of land totaling approximately six acres along Charles River Street and an additional approximately 28 acres of meadowland along the Charles River. Each of these parcels directly abuts a portion of the existing Ridge Hill Reservation that was acquired by the Town in 1981. The acquired land will allow the Town to retain its existing trail network (a portion of which travels across currently private land along Charles River Street), preserve the scenic road view for residents and passersby, and expand public access to the Charles River. 

The Select Board has collaborated with Northland Residential on the plan to purchase the entire approximately 64.16 acre-Castle Farm, a partnership critical to preserving 34 acres from development. Northland has proposed building a residential development (including an affordable component) on an approximately 14-acre parcel and setting aside approximately 14 additional acres to serve as an open space buffer and setback from Whitman Road. In total, the partnership is projected to keep an estimated 48 acres, or 75 percent of the current property as open space, and prevents the type of clear cutting of trees that could take place if the land was sold to a private developer for the construction of a conventional subdivision.

Northland has until the spring of 2023 to complete its permits and approvals (from the Commonwealth and the Town) and the balance of the property would be conveyed by late spring, 2023.