Congratulations to the Indian Meadows neighborhood. Excellent job of sticking together and voicing your opinions. It paid off! I'm happy for all of you!
I should start out by saying this post is not about the Indian Meadows neighborhood. They did what anyone would do if it were your neighborhood.
As I read the article on the ZBA denial of the baseball facility, I can't help but wonder what the ZBA reasons are for denying one project while carelessly approving another. Yes people, I am talking about the 130 Main St; a safety and quality of life issue!
Can someone explain to my neighbors, other concerned citizens, and I—how you can deny a baseball facility for these reasons:
"Board members agreed with neighbors' complaints that the planned facility of four baseball diamonds would change the character of the neighborhood and present a significant detriment to quality of life."
Yet, approve another project across town that is a danger to all vehicles and pedestrians that travel Route 20, Brigham Street, Maple Street and Stratton Way? This intersection is a well known failed intersection. Per the Mass Dot since at least 1998. A cross walker was struck by a vehicle there. Therefore, we no longer have school children cross the street to attend Peaslee School. Can you say -Dangerous! Yet, the ZBA approved a project that will dump another 462 cars into the mess - daily. I am a realist, and I do believe a builder has a right to build on this site. The neighborhood and other concerned citizens should have rights too. The ZBA should protect both sides; there needs to be a better balance.
As I have said it a thousand times before the chief of Police agreed that this is a "quality of life issue". The Ex-chief as well. Yet, it gets a approved while another project gets denied for danger to quality of life by way of lights and noise? I'm utterly confused.... I guess cars going 50+ miles per hour and a crazy intersection must not be a safety issue at all!!
Some might try and argue that there is a difference in the location of these two projects; Brigham St is a cut through street unlike Indian Meadows. However, we are a tight little neighborhood, with a neighborhood feel. Many of us know each other and congregate at each others house and yards. We have young children as well. Therefore, we are not different and should be treated with the same respect, safety concerns, and danger evaluations. We played by the rules for these hearings, and did everything right, in hopes, to get concessions that were more fitting to the neighborhood. In the end the ZBA did not do their due diligence.
We dealt with sleepy ZBA members, late arriving ZBA members, members that attended one out of the three hearings, members that made comments that favored the builder. I don't know anyone that could present themselves in this manner and still be employed. Why is this behavior acceptable? In addition, hearings were held that did not have enough space to accommodate all of the concerned citizens that lived through out town and from the immediate neighborhood. We were left to listen to the second hearing in the hallway of the town hall.
Of course, we would love if nothing was built on the back part of the 130 Main
St. but we are reasonable people. We requested no egress into Brigham - we were denied. Even though we fought hard for this. Even though HEMLOCK and RT 20, a very similar parcel, was stipulated to have no egress onto Hemlock. Why was that put into the ZBA decision for that project?
Lastly, during deliberation of the decision on 130 Main St we were pretty much gawked and laughed at. A board member stated "we aren't talking about Brookline". I had hoped that these decisions were made without personal feelings and were impartial. This is where we live, walk, and drive and we were trying very hard to "not change the character of the neighborhood." If it were your neighborhood I would imagine you would do the same.