Update from the Town

The following is an update from earlier today from the Town and along with Joe and my responses.  If you have any questions, please send an email to wam@bklw.com

____________________________________________________________

Bill,

Thanks for the details.  Our comments are below in bold.

Thank you,
Wally and Joe

On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 3:47 PM, William Gustus <william-gustus@town.lynnfield.ma.us> wrote:
Hi Wally,

I just wanted to give you an update on our site visit today at Market Street. As you know, the site work continues all over the site. The contractor continues to excavate the hill and move the excess material to the front of the site for the construction and formation of the large berm that will be installed parallel to Walnut Street. They informed us that they are conducting their pre blast survey of those properties that are located within the zone of influence of the blasting. Fortunately, no blasting will be taking place within the Walnut Street side of the property. They are planning two blasts per day in the area nearest to Rte 95 and the total blasting period is about 30 days. We have been assured that the blasting will have no impact on Walnut Street properties whatsoever. That is not to say you may not be able to hear something from time to time. It is expected that all blasting will be completed within 30 days and should begin within a few weeks.

We discussed what happened with the removal of the trees on Walnut Street and they insisted that this was necessary to establish the retention pond being installed near the entrance to the property. My own initial impression was, that given the size of that retention pond as it exists now, it did not necessitate the removal of the trees.   Bill, Joe and I are in agreement with you.  This is an engineering and cost decision.  Easiest, most economical way is to cut them all down at once, then build as you need to.   It is the same mentality that used to take place with subdivisions; take down all the trees, build the homes and then plant new ones.  Fortunately that thought process has changed as most subdivision developers understand that people like mature trees.   From the number of Planning Board hearings that Joe and I have attended the Lynnfield Planning Board attempts to keep as many mature trees as possible.  Question still remains about what will done about the “missing trees” and when.

However, they showed us the plan today and the retention pond is ultimately going to be much larger than it is now and it will be surrounded by a berm of its own along the Walnut Street side of about 4 to 6 feet. On top of this berm, large pine, oak and maple trees will be planted directly opposite Country Club. In addition, large trees will be planted on the much larger berm being constructed on the other side of the retention pond parallel to Walnut Street. Just to give you some perspective on the size of the pond being created, in addition to the existing pond, it will extend almost to the Walnut Street entrance of the property and will encompass the area where the construction trailers are now located.

We have trouble with the following paragraph for several reasons

They insist that the trees needed to be removed in order to completely build this pond. As noted above it is an engineering / cost issue.   Given a goal, engineers can figure out a way to get it done, witness Apollo 13.    We asked if they could move up the construction of the pond thereby expediting the planting of new trees in that area. Since they need to fill the bottom of the pond with clean rock, which will come from the ledge being blasted from the other side of the site, the final construction of the pond will not be complete until at least late summer. There are plenty of places to purchase rock and have it delivered.  There initial plan was to complete the landscaping in this area next spring. At the urging of you, your neighbors, and town officials, they have agreed to complete this area this fall. We hate to sound like a broken record but fall extends till Dec 20th.  So the residents of Lynnfield should expect completion by that date.

We questioned them on what arrangements they had made with MASSDOT in connection with the trees that were located within the state right of way. They assured us that they have a license from MASSDOT that allowed them to remove those trees in accordance with the approved plan. We would appreciate if someone on this list can tell us where we can find a copy?  I have included the staff from Senator Clark and McGee offices to see if they can be of assistance. They also stated that the trees closest to the entrance to the development had to be moved in order to provide adequate site distances for vehicles coming out of the development in the future. If those trees had been removed after the berm was up, and the trees were up we would not be at the state we currently are.

They provided us with a plan and a rendering of the final landscaping for that area which I will forward to you by separate emails. The files are large so they will come consecutively so as to not overburden our email servers. We will get them posted.
I have been able to learn that all of the traffic lights will be operational on or about June 1.It will take several weeks to get the sequencing worked out and we urge patience as the contractor and MASSDOT work out the bugs in the system over the following two week period. Salem Street paving is scheduled for tomorrow so I would urge you to avoid that area if at all possible. We have urged MASSDOT and the road contractor to complete the striping of the area as soon as possible since it will be difficult for motorists to figure out the new configuration without the assistance of the lines. I was unable to ascertain when this would occur today but I will let you know as soon as we know. It would be very helpful to the entire town if estimated dates were provided to you and disseminated to the residents.   The town website would be  an appropriate place.

I was also told that the site contractor will be installing a water line and utilities through the vacant lot fronting on Walnut Street near the eighth green of the former golf course. They have developed a plan to save most if not all of the trees on that lot.  This work is scheduled for next week and the land will be restored once this work has been completed. Thanks for the warning.  We would suggest they develop a plan that maintains the same level of density as exists now.   

The building inspector has scheduled a meeting for next week of all of the regulatory agencies who will be monitoring this development. It is our goal to install policies and procedures that insure a coordinated response to issues presented by this large development. I want to assure you that we are prepared to provide all of the resources necessary to insure the highest quality development with the least inconvenience to the immediate neighborhood and the community in general. The above paragraph was the expectation of all the residents when this was sold to the town by the EDHAC, Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, etc.     To emphasis the concern again:

  1.  Minimizing removal of trees, etc along the Walnut Street area during all phases of construction.
  2. Lighting of the parking lots will not be visible from Walnut Street
  3. Construction will be of high quality.
Joe and Wally

Thank you,

Bill Gustus

Town Administrator.

2 Responses to “Update from the Town”

  1. Greg Liacos Says:

    As a new resident, I find this whole project to be very poorly thought out. The whole idea of having traffic access to a mega-destination be in a residential area and where there are short highway ramps to be incredibly dumb. There is ample evidence from all over the state where projects like this ruins the quality of life of the residents living nearby and the tax revenue is only a modest amount.

    I haven’t been able to find any clear documentation on the subject of traffic flow estimates or a plan to address any negative impact. My question is: regarding traffic mitigation for residents on and abutting Walnut Street is the plan of the town to take the stand of “these residents will just need to live with it?’

    • Joe Y. Says:

      Thank you all. We appreciate the help in these matters and look forward to the results.

      ——————————————————————————–

      From: William Gustus [mailto:william-gustus@town.lynnfield.ma.us]
      Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 5:56 PM
      To: Joe Y.
      Cc: Bob MacKendrick; Al Merritt; David Nelson; Dennis Roy; David Breen
      Subject: Re: Walnut Street Truck Traffic

      Dear Mr Y,

      You have a point. The Board of Selectmen long ago designated that part of Walnut Street south of Salem as no truck traffic. The signs were removed when the reconstruction of that intersection was undertaken by the state.

      I can tell you that I raised this issue with our DPW some time ago and was told that the signs would be replaced shortly. Frankly, I am surprised it has not already happened. I will raise this with DPW tomorrow and will get a definitive answer for you as to when they will be reinstalled.

      You are right when you say that our police department is shorthanded and that enforcement in that area is not as it should be. While there really is a limit to what we can do, we will try to do better. I will speak to the Police Chief about this tomorrow and I will see if we can do some targeted enforcement in that area.

      I can tell you we have spoken to UPS and other commercial businesses in Lynnfield who have, in the the past, used that as a cut through back to their home bases on Kimball Lane. We will speak to them again about this.

      None of us is sure what will happen once the Market Street development is built but I can say we are sensitive to the concerns of residents in that area. The developer knows that there is a truck ban on the south side of Walnut Street beyond the Salem Street intersection and we have been assured that the developer will inform his tenants of this restriction.

      Thank you for your correspondence and feel free to contact me again if you are not satisfied with our response.

      Sincerely,

      Bill Gustus

      On May 23, 2012, at 12:17 PM, “Joe Y”.> wrote:

      Dear Mr. Gustus,

      My name is Joe Y. and I am a long time property owner and registered voter living in Lynnfield. For years now, I have been on a mission to eliminate the commercial truck traffic and speeding cars on Walnut Street. I understand that our police department has limited resources to cover all the traffic concerns in the town, but something more must be done on Walnut Street. There needs to be increased enforcement of these violators. Day and night commercial heavy trucks from car carriers, tractor-trailers from Pepsi and freight companies, gasoline and oil tankers, straight trucks and commercial buses all use Walnut Street as a shortcut to and from route 128. The Town of Lynnfield is literally letting hundreds if not thousands of dollars in revenue received from the traffic citations drive right through from lack of enforcement. If traffic enforcement was to increase along with citations issued to the violators, the word would get out and the problems should decrease. What happens when Market Street is up and running? Are the stores owners going to tell delivery truck drivers not to use Walnut Street? I contacted the town about the removal of the truck ban signs at the intersection of Salem and walnut Streets. I was told by the DPW it was a state issue. I also contacted Mr. Mark Hayden of Mass DOT. This was over two months ago. Mr. Hayden looked into the issue and told me they were waiting on “wordage” from the town. A few weeks ago, “the signs are on order”. Weeks later, there are still no signs. I know signs are not the only answer, better traffic enforcement is.

      All my neighbors and I see is an increase in the traffic problem, property values plummeting and no one claiming responsibility. This is typical government bureaucracy. Once again, property owners, taxpayers and voters are ignored because nobody steps up!

      Sincerely,
      Joe Y.

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