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The Weston Cultural Council would like to announce the 2011 Grant recipients.
Jessica Pohl / Budding Artists in Bloom
Weston Historical Society/ Exhibit, “Artists Look at Weston”
Marie Craig/Bancroft Art Annex Initial Call to Artists
Weston Drama Workshop/Theatre for Young Audiences in our Community
Hee/Young Park/Presentation of Korean dances & Taekwondo at Asia Night
Richard Clark/”Atticus” from “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Sally Pendleton Commonwealth Ballet Company
Leslie Havens/Concert by the Solstice Sackbuts
Therese Provenzano/Performance of Rutter Requeim
John Minigan/ Massachusetts High School Drama Festival
After 2009, the Weston real estate market had to improve. As of Jan. 2, 2011 there are 64 Single Family properties listed for sale in Weston up from 57 at the same time last year. As we go into 2011 the over $2M dollar market is showing signs of life. In the last 60 days of 2010, 3 properties in this price range (also interesting deals based on number of days on market) went under-agreement; 149 Meadowbrook Rd, originally listed for $3,275,000 in October of 2009, 100 Summer St. originally listed for $4,650,000 in September of 2006, and 77 Love Lane originally listed for $4,995,000 in May of 2006. All three of these went under-agreement with significant discounting off of their original list prices.
A lot of what makes Weston’s market unique is what happens with houses over $2 million in value. In looking at Sold properties over $2M during the past three years for 1/1/2010 -1/1/2011 in MLS there were 20 single families sold with an average list price of $2.8M, and average sale price of $2.6M with average days on market 289. For 1/1/2009- 1/1/2010 in MLS, there were 15 single families sold and average list price $3.0M, and average sale price $2.7M with average days on market 259. For 1/1/2008-1/1/2009 in MLS there were 19 single families sold and average list price $3.4M, and average sale price $3.2M with average days on market 272. In summary there was a drop in each list price and sale price average over the past three years of $600,000.
High profile foreclosures have for the most part subsided. In my report from last year the outcome of 30 Old Rd. was still uncertain, originally listed for $6,350,000 on 12/22/06 after exactly 4 years on the market, and a foreclosure, it sold for $2,725,000 on 12/21/10. 300 Glen Rd. was also sold after going into foreclosure originally listed on 6/6/07 for $5,999,000 sold or $3,430,000 on 5/15/10. Both 300 Glen Rd. and 30 Old Rd. could be considered the poster children of the nations high end housing crisis in Weston.
In addition to the two new construction foreclosures, Weston also saw discounting off of original list price of new construction become standard in 2010. 24 Country Dr. originally listed for $3,995,000 on 5/30/08 sold for $3,390,000 on 6/2/10 after 572 days on market. 17 Holly Circle listed for $3,999,000 on 11/1/08 sold for $3,637,000 on 5/28/10 after 528 days on market, 30 Bradford Rd. originally listed for $2,750,000 sold for $2,325,000 after 458 days on market, and 200 Concord Rd. originally listed for $3,625,000, sold for $2,500,000 after 501 days on market.
To note, 2010 has seen the birth of the ultra high end in Weston with 5 Willow, 63 Winsor, 75 Doublet Hill, and 15 Claridge Dr. all listed north of $12 million. Sellers can list properties at any price they wish but the buyers determine the market. So when 75 Doublet Hill actually went under agreement this fall it was the dawning of a new age for Weston.
I expect a better 2011 spring market than 2010, fueled by generous bonus activity, increasing interest rates, and more buyers moving into Weston from all over the world “for the schools” as indicated by the increased activity in the over $2M market. Since much of the new construction existing inventory was sold and there is limited new construction inventory coming on the market this spring there could be a spurring of demand, possibly benefiting the newly built resale and new construction market by reducing the level of discounting we saw in 2010.
Buyers are coming to Weston for the schools and with the internet showing the facts about test scores and college placement, savvy buyers from all over the world have been coming to buy in Weston “for the schools”. The property owners of Weston have been wise to prioritize our schools even in difficult fiscal times. The international market can read about our proposed new $12 million dollar state-of-the-art Science Facility at the high school, and our proposed new Field School for 4th and 5th grades and many curriculum enhancements such as Chinese language offerings for our younger youngsters. In this global world of information it is no longer only the familiar suburban town names like Wellesley and Newton that attract global buyers looking for the finest in public school options for their children… the word is getting out that Weston is THE TOWN to watch, providing a small town, centralized school system that stacks up to the best in the country and the finest in Massachusetts.
2010 has seen the tax rate in Weston increase from 11.10 to 11.39 dollars per $1000.
The proposed Stormwater By-Law is likely to be the most far reaching change to affect Weston residents this year. A Stormwater committee made up of 5 town officials is proposing to regulate stormwater on properties that currently are not, or have not been reviewed by the Planning Board. In other words all properties that do not trigger the Planning Board Review process (which already implements stormwater management). The far reaching impact and cost of this By-Law to private residents could come as quite a surprise. The committee plans to present the proposed By-Law at May town Meeting. Professional landscapers voiced a great deal of concern at the meeting where the first draft was presented this past December. Builders took a decidedly back seat in their concerns yet could see the impact for average Weston residents. Some local residents at this meeting were surprised to learn the town would be exempt from any implications of the Stormwater By-Law, including runoff onto private property from the public and private ways. No further meetings have been confirmed and the Rules and Regulations have not yet been disclosed. Please stay informed about how this By-Law could affect your property, and plan to attend public hearings on the matter in the early months of this year.
On budget, construction of the new DPW is nearly complete, with a move in date likely later this spring
The Cecil group hired to determine what Weston residents want to do about the much discussed Josiah Smith Tavern/Old Library had its first public meeting this past December. The Cecil Group believes they will have a proposal of some sort to vote on this May. Ideas proposed range from selling the two buildings to hosting a fencing academy in one of the buildings. The Women’s Community League has a lease that expires in 2012 in the barn/ connector which they improved and have been operating in since 1975.
On the affordable housing front, the construction of the new rental duplex approved at the May 2009 Town Meeting Weston is well under way.
At the May 2010 town meeting the Case Estate Alternative Plan was accepted by the towns people, whereby the town will pay $18,500,000 for clean land and Harvard will retain approximately 7 acres in and around the 60 acre site and allow residents limited passive use of these areas, which will not be completely clean of contaminants. If the town wishes to clean this land up in the future they can purchase it from Harvard at any time for $1. At a meeting this past December, Harvard disclosed some of the highest levels of contaminants yet to be found on the site when supplemental testing results were revealed in areas outside the partial re-mediation area. One of the reasons the partial re-mediation plan was thought to be a good idea is that it is thought that disturbing the soil and landscaping could pose more of a hazard than leaving it. It is not at all clear how the additional contaminated areas will clean up. The next meeting is thought to be in late January, early February.
Improvement or replacement of the Field School is clearly going to happen. The state has agreed to subsidize the construction of the school. The state has 9 votes and the town retains 3 so it is very unlikely the old building will be restored and much more likely a brand new Field School building will be constructed. The project is projected to cost just under $40M and the state plans to provide approx. 25M. In November, Jonathan Levi Architects LLC was chosen to be the architect of the new building. We will hear a lot more about this project in the coming months.
The plan for the new state-of-the-art Science wing at the High School which will continue to keep Weston students at the forefront of scientific study for years to come is moving along nicely. We will likely hear more about it at May Town Meeting.
|School||Ranking||Enrollment||Student/Teacher Ratio||Per-Pupil Spending||MCAS English||MCAS Math||MCAS Science||MCAS Critical Reading||Average SAT Writing||Average SAT Math||Graduation Rate|
|WESTON HIGH SCHOOL||1||711||11.0:1||$16463.||96||90||85||604||611||626||97.3|
HOW WE DETERMINED VALUE: Our rankings this year were computed by statistician George Recck, director of the Math Resource Center at Babson College. As in years past, we gathered data on area schools by consulting school officials and websites, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Education. With this information, Recck calculated mean scores for each data category and then ranked schools based on their distance from the averages. With this traditional performance ranking in hand, he also evaluated performance against tuition, producing a ranking that shows which high schools deliver the most academic bang for the buck.
|For schools that did not provide figures, the average was used as a placeholder when computing the rankings. Our rankings focused on schools in Eastern Massachusetts, mostly inside or around the 495 belt. If your school is not on the list, it does not mean it did poorly, it just means it fell outside our coverage area.|
|Public Schools Category Weight Breakdown