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The Orchard Estates subdivision, billed as the largest housing development in Shirley’s history, has fallen far short of the lofty goals sold to both town planners and the homebuyers who bought into the hype.

There are some very nice homes there, but there are also a great many empty lots and unkept promises.

This Wednesday, a civil complaint was sandwiched between criminal charges on the Ayer District Court docket. Plaintiffs Adam and Kristyn Frauton asked the court to attach Real Estate owned by defendants GFI Shirley and MUUS Note Aquisition to the tune of $25,000.

The couple plans to file a complaint alleging that developers failed to complete work on their home in a timely manner. The attachment was requested, according to the motion submitted, because the plaintiffs fear that defendants will “transfer, assign, convey or otherwise encumber said real property,” taking it out of the court’s reach, if they are notified in advance of the planned complaint against them.

Judge Michael Brooks allowed the motion.

More legal action against the developers is likely.

Quorum

Special Town Meeting voters in Townsend this week agreed to reduce the quorum needed to conduct Town Meeting business to 75 voters, from 100. Officials were seeking 50, but voters said no.

Reducing the number of voters it takes to act at Town Meeting is risky. The fewer voters required, the more power they have, and the easier it will be for special interests to pack a Town Meeting.

While reducing quorum to 75 will enable business to be conducted with a smaller number of voters, perhaps it will also encourage a better turnout.

Regardless of how many voters make the decision, the cost will be borne by everyone.