Fiske Pond

Fiske Pond successfully preserved eighty-six of 118 acres through the limited development of a horse farm located in Sherborn and Holliston. A family in Sherborn learned that a horse farm that surrounded their house on three sides had been offered for sale at $2.7 million. The farm included 118 acres (twenty-five acres of which were a working gravel pit), a house and three stables and two paddocks. Most of the farm’s acreage was located within an important Holliston well protection district, and abutted the 150-acre Bullard Memorial Farm to the south. If the horse farm had been developed as conventional tract housing, 120 new houses would have surrounded the owners’ home. The SIF’s staff conceived a limited development plan for the farm that allowed the owners to acquire the farm at market value and preserve the greater part of the farm’s 114 acres. The owners used this plan to create and sell two residential building lots in Sherborn, one containing the existing house, and transform the gravel pit into 15 single family homes. The gravel pit was regraded, and a large pond created near Fiske Street. The new subdivision road – designed to complement the surrounding country lanes in Holliston and Sherborn – curved around the pond, with common driveways serving clusters of three or four residences each. Proceeds from the sale of the two Sherborn lots, combined with the market value of the fifteen residential building lots along Fiske Street, substantially exceeded the acquisition price of the farm. At the same time, eighty-six acres have been conserved in perpetuity and form a contiguous whole with the Bullard Memorial Farm.