What Will Happen to the Anticos’ Property at Prospect Hill?

 

 

by Chris Wangler

January 12, 2022

Will the City of Waltham purchase a 5-acre parcel in Waltham Highlands near Prospect Hill Park and thereby prevent it from being developed?

Or will the city’s Board of Survey and Planning approve a proposed road extension that could pave the way for housing?

0 Prospect Hill Road
0 Prospect Hill Road is undevelopable currently, but a road extension could change that.

Currently an attorney for Antico family members, who own 0 Prospect Hill Road, is negotiating with city attorneys over a potential sale. 

The steep undeveloped parcel is covered in trees and granite ledge and abuts the city’s sprawling Prospect Hill Park.

The City of Waltham, which owns several neighboring parcels, previously made an unsuccessful offer to acquire the property. 

The possible acquisition simmers as the city’s Board of Survey and Planning (BSP) mulls an Antico request to extend Prospect Hill Road, a steep private way that leads to the property.

That extension, if approved, would open up the land to potential development―a major worry for neighbors who feel the land should be incorporated into Prospect Hill Park for recreational use.

For years, the property has served as an unofficial entrance to the park’s trails.

During a BSP public hearing in fall 2021, an attorney for the Anticos said they had no development plans and only one house could be built under current zoning.

But if the extension were granted, the city council could consider a special permit application for potentially dense development.

Petition
An online petition opposing the proposed road extension.

Neighbors at the hearing vocally opposed the proposed road extension as a step toward development.

And a change.org petition to prevent the land from being developed has collected more than 1,100 signatures. 

“Development of this property,” reads the petition, “would both block access to trails used by residents and visitors to Waltham and negatively impact residents who live in both the Highlands and Lanes neighborhoods.”

The attractive neighborhood offers scenic views of the Boston skyline, and there is new home construction nearby.

But would a developer spend money to blast the steep grades to level the property and extend utility infrastructure?

44 Willard
Could this Anticos-owned house offer development access to the property?

Whatever the case, there’s another X factor. Antico family members bought a house on Willard Street a while back that abuts the property in question.

If the Anticos knock the house down, would it offer street access to the property in question down the line and open up the parcel to development? It’s unclear.

After several postponements, the Waltham Board of Survey and Planning is expected to vote on the Anticos’ street extension request in the coming months.