Clear-cutting off Swains Pond Ave in September 2020. This seven-acre parcel, the “Colucci Estate,” is being stripped and dynamited to make way for nine luxury homes. Melrose had numerous opportunities to purchase this land for conservation, but ultimately failed to act.

Note: the following piece was co-authored by Ryan Williams.

Melrose residents are passionate about our little city. Volunteerism and community engagement abound here because so many of us we share a desire to protect the Melrose of today while planning the Melrose of tomorrow. We have collectively invested thousands of hours to give input to our city and our elected officials as we work together toward that future. We created a comprehensive Open Space Plan in 2015 and an overarching Master Plan in 2017. We have begun the work to create an affordable housing plan, design the future of Ell…

31–39 Wyoming, one of the many potential TOD buildings in the pipeline in Melrose.

The Melrose, MA Planning Board is currently looking at whether or not the local zoning ordinances should be changed to encourage more housing around transit-oriented locations. This is great! I applaud it! Concerningly, though, at the last session, the following thoughts were uncorked by one of the Board members, Paul King:

“We could be going down a rabbithole. We talk about a space per unit because they’re near train stations. You’ve gotta remember, a trip to your work is one trip, for one part of your life. I’ve never driven to work in like 40 years, okay? But I could…

A thick bed of water chestnut on the surface of Ell Pond, Melrose MA. This invasive species has the potential to ruin the ecology of Ell Pond in the next 5–10 years. Will we permit it to happen?

Ell Pond, which sits at the lowest point in Melrose, MA, is roughly a million square feet, or 22 acres, in area. It is our largest body of water, and sits more or less in the center of the city, making it a highly accessible destination. Throughout the year, it is host to numerous species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, insects, and birds; a nesting pair of swans, Mel and Rose, famously patrol its waters. It has been a key recreation area, and an important urban park, for centuries.

Legend has it the pond was so named by white settlers…

Like most other cities around the country, Melrose is currently debating its FY21 budget in times of great uncertainty, amidst two interrelated public health crises: COVID-19, and state-sponsored racism and violence against BIPOC communities.

With just under two weeks remaining in the Appropriations process, Melrose mayor Paul Brodeur submitted a memo to the City Council asking them to reject his existing “free cash” appropriation for the police department, which Chief Mike Lyle was going to use to replace the force’s 14-year-old service weapons, and instead agree to “reallocate” this money — $26,000 — to the City’s HR department, as a…

Coronavirus got you down? Social distancing have you going crazy? Here’s an idea: hop on your bike and take a ride to Boston.

I know, I know. It seems far. It sounds wild. Won’t that take hours? Who do I think you are, Kate Courtney? Here’s the thing: it’s actually really easy. It’s almost completely flat. A substantial portion of it is on dedicated pathways. It takes the same amount of time — if not less! — than taking the bus to Oak Grove and then riding in on the orange line. It’s also, you know, free. …

At the recent public meeting of the Melrose Planning Board over the 141-unit, 172-parking space, 30-bike space, 100% residential Marty’s Furniture proposal, a resident of Ward 5 asked — somewhat in jest — for the city to explain exactly what “smart growth” meant. His point was that all he sees in the smart growth district is apartment complex after apartment complex. Meanwhile, in Oak Grove Village, you have something that actually seems like smart growth: apartments mixed with businesses and restaurants. The subtext is that Oak Grove Village, Melrose’s signature smart growth development, is not in the smart growth overlay:

Oak Grove Village sits in BB-1; the Smart Growth overlay in the I-A district is basically nothing but apartment buildings.


Local transit dad. Melrose, Massachusetts.

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