Your Input on Market Street Parking Requested.

At the next meeting of the MarketStreet Advisory Committee on Thursday March 22nd at 7:00 PM at the Merritt Center 600 Market Street, they are requesting feedback on traffic and parking at MarketStreet. If you are unable to attend but want to provide input via email please send it before the end of the day Tuesday March 20th. Please send the email to:
Hope to see you there for this important meeting.

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Cineplex Update

cinemaGood news. At last Thursday’s MarketStreet Advisory Committee, the committee decided on an 11-1 vote to request National Development to submit a specific proposal, rather than have the committee develop a proposal. The motion, by Anne Mitchell, was:
I move that the MSAC, before spending any further time and resources on evaluating a general theater concept for MarketStreet as suggested by National Development,
• request National Development to provide a specific theater proposal (which shall include the actual proposed language to amend the zoning by-law) for this Committee’s review and evaluation, and
• after receiving and reviewing the specific theater proposal, that this Committee decide on the process for (a) reviewing the specific theater proposal from National Development, (b) conducting discovery and fact-finding on all of the relevant issues, and (c) agreeing on an advisement/recommendation on the theater proposal.
Members and the public described many issues that they believe National should answer. The issues included:
1. Traffic
2. Impact of Building 1350
3. Location of future of garage
4. Financial viability of Cineplex developer
5. Is the theatre a pure lease or will ND be participating in profitability of the cineplex?

More details will be provided after minutes are approved.
The next steps are up to National Development.

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Market Street Meeting

Market Street Advisory Committee
Al Merritt Center – 600 Market Street
Thursday February 22, 2018
1. Chairperson Bayer, calls meeting to order
2. Agenda review, meeting goals and expectations
3. Vote on minutes from February 8, 2018 meeting
4. National Development presentation on Theatre/Cinema concept
5. Committee has opportunity to ask clarifying questions
6. Expectations for next two meetings on March 8 and March 22.
7. Public Comment
8. Adjourn

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Golf: Westminster CC has new, familiar owners after purchase earlier this month

By Bill Doyle
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Jan 27, 2018 at 5:01 PMUpdated Jan 27, 2018 at 7:16 PM

When Bill Gustus and Donnie Lyons met with Westminster Country Club’s members a few days before purchasing the club this month, they received a warm welcome because some of the members knew of their improvements to Settlers Crossing after they bought that Lunenburg golf course five years ago.

“One of the Westminster members lives four doors down,” Gustus said, “from Settlers Crossing and goes by it every day. He’s excited about it. He said, ‘If you do up at Westminster what you did in Lunenburg, I’m telling you we’re going to have a good time.’”

Within the next week, about a dozen memberships were sold.

Gustus, his wife Laura Caron-Gustus, and Lyons purchased the 18-hole Westminster CC, including its function hall and restaurant, from Don Leblanc and his sister-in-law Sharon Leblanc on Jan. 11 for what Lyons said was $1.8 million. The threesome bought the nine-hole Maplewood Golf Course in Lunenburg for $1.4 million in November 2012, and renamed it Settlers Crossing Golf Course.

“It was a very similar situation to what we ran into at Settlers,” Gustus said. “Revenue had been declining over the last few years, but the fixes seemed pretty easy to us and the price was right as a result of what is happening in the golf industry over the last 10 years or so.”

The number of members at Westminster CC, a par-71, 6,521-yard layout, plummeted from nearly 300 in the early 1990s to about 100 last year, but the new owners hope to boost that number and attract more daily greens fee play. Gustus said the new owners also plan to increase the number and size of leagues and outings.

“I was looking at their marketing budget last year,” Gustus said, “and they spent like $358 all year on marketing efforts. That’s an ad in the local paper these days. You really need to market the facility if you want to do well, but you also have to improve conditions.”

Gustus rated the condition of the golf course as good, but his ownership group plans to make it even better.

“We’re going to make that initial investment,” said Gustus, the retired town manager in Lynnfield and the former chief administrative town officer in his hometown of Lunenburg, “to show people that we mean business, we want to improve the business, we want people to have a good time, and we’re committed to making that happen.”

“A lot of places go out of business,” Lyons said, “or their business goes south because they don’t control their overhead. We’re very good at controlling our overhead. You can’t control your income because you can’t control the weather, but you can control your costs, and a lot places don’t, and that’s what kills them. Or if you buy a place and you pay too much, you’re never going to make it.”

Gustus said the new owners will keep the cost of greens fees and memberships this year the same as last year. Standard greens fees for 18 holes will be $27 for weekdays and $34 for weekends. Carts will be $16 per person. Memberships will be $750 for weekdays and $1,300 for weekends. Juniors under 18 will pay $275.

“My philosophy is, ‘Don’t ask for a raise until you earn it,’ ” Gustus said.

The golf shop, restaurant and function hall had been run separately, but the new owners plan to operate all three together under the guidance of Gustus.

The 100-seat restaurant will be named, “The Albatross,” and Lyons said it will be open seven days a week. The function hall seats 225.

Laura Caron-Gustus and her daughter, Tanya Eberlin, will continue to oversee Settlers Crossing. Dan Anderson is in his third season as superintendent at Settlers Crossing.

Lyons lives in Danvers and runs two municipal courses in Lynnfield, Reedy Meadow GC and King Rail Reserve GC, but he’ll spend Thursdays at Settlers Crossing and Sundays at Westminster. Lyons said the new owners want to water Westminster less to make it faster and firmer.

Albert Leblanc opened Westminster CC in 1957, and upon his death in 1998, he left 60 percent of the business to his son Don and 40 percent to his son Robert, Sharon’s husband. Robert died in 2003.

Sharon Leblanc’s sons will continue to work at the course. Mike Leblanc has been head pro since 2002 after serving as an assistant pro for seven years.

“They’re good people,” Leblanc said of the new owners. “Donnie and Bill have good business sense, and they’ll put some changes into motion, and I see good things coming out of there.”

Bob Leblanc will remain as superintendent, and Tom Leblanc will continue as equipment manager. The new owners plan to upgrade the equipment, build some new forward tees and improve other tees and drainage.

“They were pretty much miracle workers given the resources that they were given to do their jobs,” Gustus said.

At Settlers Crossing, the Gustuses and Lyons improved the course conditions, renovated the clubhouse, reopened the pro shop that had been closed for several years and made the course more youth-friendly.

—Contact Bill Doyle at Follow him on Twitter @BillDoyle15.

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“For the 4th Plus Time”, Cineplex Back to Town Meeting For Vote?

Honor The Agreements
Committee To Perserve Lynfield

For the 4th plus time, National Development will be asking the town to allow a Cineplex. They will be making a presentation to the MarketStreet Advisory Committee on Thursday Feb 22nd at 7:00 PM at the Merritt Center, 600 Market Street Lynnfield.
Will update as information is available.

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Attorney Michael Walsh of Lynnfield is hoping to capture 300 write-in votes today. The needed 300 required votes will ensure a republican candidate and a contested race, occurs in the upcoming November election for the open State Senate Seat. The seat was recently vacated by Rep. Tommy McGee. Polls are currently open and will close at 8pm tonight.

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Changes At Sagamore Golf Course

Golf CourseAt Monday’s Selectmen meetings, a 55+ senior development was proposed for the Sagamore Golf Course. Currently the Sagamore Golf Course is taxed at a reduced rate under Chapter 61B, to protect open space. If the use changes, such as by development, the protections of Chapter 61B are triggered. The Townspeople have a right of first refusal to buy the golf course, instead of the developer, to keep the spaces green and open. The Town is also entitled to receive 5 years of back-taxes based on the full-rate rather than the reduced rate. Currently there are two major parcels, amounting to 168 acres of land. One parcel is valued at $1.2M and the other is valued at $1.8M.
I have submitted a Public Records Request to the Town asking about the valuation of the property and the estimated back taxes.
Please see below for more information:

Section 7: Land sold for other uses; conveyance tax; nonexempt transfers
Section 7. Any recreational land which is valued, assessed and taxed under the provisions of this chapter, if sold for other use within a period of ten years from the beginning of the fiscal year in which it was first so classified shall be subject to a conveyance tax applicable to the total sales price of such land, which tax shall be in addition to such taxes as may be imposed under any other provision of law. Said conveyance tax shall be at the following rate: ten per cent if sold within the first five years of its being first so classified; and, five per cent if sold within the sixth through tenth year of its being first so classified. No conveyance tax shall be imposed under the provisions of this section following the end of the tenth year of its being first so classified. The conveyance tax shall be due and payable by the grantor at the time of transfer of the property by deed or other instrument of conveyance and shall be payable to the tax collector of the city or town in which the property is entered upon the tax list. In the case of taking by eminent domain, the value of the property taken shall be determined in accordance with chapter 79, and the amount of conveyance tax, if any, shall be added as an added value. If there is filed with the board of assessors an affidavit by the purchaser that the land is being purchased for recreational use, no conveyance tax shall be payable by the seller by reason of the sale, but if the land is not continued in that use for at least 5 consecutive years, the purchaser shall be liable for any conveyance tax that would have been payable on the sale as a sale for other use. The conveyance tax shall be assessed only on the portion of land whose use has changed. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no conveyance tax shall be assessed if the land involved, or a lesser interest in the land, is acquired for a natural resource purpose by the city or town in which it is situated, by the commonwealth or by a nonprofit conservation organization, but if any portion of the land is sold for or converted to commercial, residential, or industrial use within 5 years of acquisition by a nonprofit conservation organization, the conveyance tax shall be assessed against the nonprofit conservation organization in the amount that would have been assessed at the time of acquisition of the subject parcel by the nonprofit conservation organization had such transaction been subject to a conveyance tax. The conveyance tax shall be assessed only on the portion of land whose use has changed.
Except with respect to eminent domain takings, this section shall not apply to the following: mortgage deeds; deeds to or by the city or town in which the land is located; deeds which correct, modify, supplement or confirm a deed previously recorded; deeds between husband and wife and parent and child when no consideration is received; tax deeds; deeds releasing any property which is a security for a debt or other obligation; deeds for division of property between owners without monetary consideration; foreclosures of mortgages and conveyances by the foreclosing parties; deeds made pursuant to a merger of a corporation or by a subsidiary corporation to a parent corporation for no consideration other than cancellation and surrender of capital stock of the subsidiary which do not change beneficial ownership; and property transferred by devise or other as a result of death. A nonexempt transfer subsequent to any exempt transfer or transfers shall be subject to the provisions of this section. Upon such nonexempt transfer the date of acquisition by the grantor, for purposes of this section, shall be deemed to be the date of the last preceding transfer not excluded by the foregoing provisions from application of this section; except that in the case of transfer by a grantor who has acquired the property from a foreclosing mortgagee the date of acquisition shall be deemed to be the date of such acquisition. If any tax imposed under this section should not be paid, the collector of taxes shall have the same powers and be subject to the same duties with respect to such taxes as in the case of the annual taxes upon real estate. The law in regard to the collection of the annual taxes, to the sale of land for the nonpayment thereof and to redemption therefrom shall apply to such taxes, so far as the same are applicable. Any classified recreational land which is valued, assessed and taxed under the provisions of this chapter, if changed by the owner thereof to another use within a period of ten years from the date of its classification for recreational use by said owner, shall be subject to the conveyance tax applicable hereunder at the time of such change in use as if there had been an actual conveyance, and the value of such land for the purpose of determining a total sales price shall be fair market value as determined by the board of assessors of the city or town involved for all other property.
Notwithstanding this section, no conveyance tax imposed by this section will be assessed on land that meets the definition of forest land under section 1 of chapter 61 or the definition of agricultural land under sections 1 and 3 of chapter 61A or the definition of horticultural land under sections 2 and 3 of chapter

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