The Natural Resources Trust of Mansfield

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Great Waves


After almost four years of controversy, the developer of the Great Waves Water Park has called it quits.

On January 4th, the developer, Blackstone Entertainment faxed a letter to the Mansfield Board of Selectmen stating “We are writing to inform you that Great Waves Limited Partnership has decided to withdraw its proposal to develop the Great Waves Water Park in Mansfield.

“What a cause for celebration” said Leonard Flynn, NRT president, when he heard the news.

He went on to say, “This case demonstrates that our system of town government works and allows every citizen to participate in important decisions that will impact their lives. The rich and powerful must play the game by the same rules as the rest of us. They should not be allowed to short circuit the normal permitting process required to develop land. All decisions and discussions, of this type, should be held in public session as required by law and not behind closed doors.”

The NRT has been fighting the development of the water park since its inception in 1997. Members have spent countless hours and thousands of dollars in an attempt to stop the project.

Realizing to stop the project on environmental grounds would be costly, the NRT decided to focus on zoning violation issues.

The Mansfield Zoning Board of Appeals agreed that the project did not conform to zoning by-laws, and on a 5-0 vote overturned the Building Inspector’s decision and revoked the building permit.

“We had just finished answering the interrogatories and were waiting for a land court date when we heard the news. It was unbelievable.” said Lou Andrews, NRT vice president.

Great Waves had sued the Zoning Board of Appeals, NRT, and Karl Clemmey (an abutter who was also fighting the project) in land court, in an effort to overturn the ZBA decision.

In a final statement Mr. Flynn went on to say,

“The NRT does not covet the industrial zoned land on South Main Street. We support its development for uses allowed by the Mansfield Zoning By-Law, as long as it is compatible with the neighborhood and the abutting conservation land. The NRT is willing to cooperate in its development for the benefit of the owners and the community.”

by Lou Andrews for the NRT


Natural Resources Trust of Mansfield, Inc. ©2013
     255 Fruit Street
     Mansfield, MA 02048