Why We Can’t Expand at the Existing Library

For years we studied possible ways to retrofit the existing library but the parcel is just too small to allow us to expand it enough, and any attempt to do so would cost the town about the same as the proposed new library but would give us an inferior library — while also ruining the historical beauty of that building.

Note that the current parcel is constrained by the Wetlands Protection Act, our Zoning Bylaw, and Wayland’s Aquifer Protection District, which only limits the possibilities further.

Here it is per the civil engineering Feasibility Report, June 15, 2016: (click image below to expand)

Feasibility Report on problems with 5 Concord Road (click to expand)





  • This map, taken from the Town GIS system, shows the wetlands, wetlands boundary, and the outline of the already paved parking areas on both the library parcel and the Freight Shed parcel (click image to expand)

    Some argue that the wetlands are not on a federal flood plain, and thus there is an option to ignore those protections. THE TRUTH: is that this point is irrelevant because the wetlands behind 5 Concord are protected by the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, and there is no option to ignore the state law.

  • Some mistakenly believe that if we merge lots with the freight shed lot then we can get around the Aquifer Protection District issue by paving with a permeable surface. THE TRUTH: is that merging the lots would not help because 1) the other lot already has its full allotment of impermeable surface, and we are already over the limit; 2) Permeable surfacing is hugely expensive, involving excavating the entire area for a deep bed of gravel; and 3) ultimately there just is not enough parking for expanded use, no matter what else we do.
  • Some mistakenly believe that if we can squeeze additional parking by various means, this will solve the parking issue. THE TRUTH: is that even if we could eke out a handful of additional spaces (which is questionable), it wouldn’t be nearly enough because we need many more than could possibly be created at that site. Ultimately there is not enough parking space for expanded use, no matter what else we do.
  • Keep in mind that Wayland, at the insistence of townspeople, has already spent lots of effort and resources in due diligence on this issue, concluding for sure that expanding 5 Concord can’t work. It can’t. It’s time to recognize this fact. No matter how much some want it, it simply cannot work.