Neighbors opposed to_276_mill_rd_7-24-13_signed


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Neighbors opposed to_276_mill_rd_40B project_7-24-13

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    40B or Not To 40B That is the question...

    ...for Monday night's Board Of Selectmen meeting

    Several Town Meeting Representatives have submitted a letter of opposition to the Mill Road proposal the feedback provided are some of the safety concerns expressed by residents of Mill Rd / Turnpike Rd and surrounding neighborhood residents. Other safety concerns will be addressed Monday at the Selectman’s meeting. Any residents in that area that want to attend should be there on Monday 7/29/2013 at 7pm

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Neighbors opposed to_276_mill_rd_7-24-13_signed

  1. 1. July  22,  2013     Matt  Hansen  -­‐  Chairman   Pat  Wojtas  -­‐   James  Lane   Janet  Askenburg   George  Dixon   Paul  Cohen     Mr.  Chairman,  Members  of  the  Board,  Mr.  Cohen,     As  concerned  residents  of  the  neighborhoods  within  the  Mill  Road  corridor,  we  submit  this  letter  to   register  our  firm  opposition  to  the  July  3rd   announcement  of  a  proposed  120  unit  Chapter  40B  low   income  apartment  complex  to  be  situated  on  the  4.87  acre  site  situated  at  276  Mill  Rd.  We,  along  with   other  neighbors  and  members  of  the  community,  see  major  failings  in  the  selection  process  that  make   any  housing  plan  at  this  location  untenable.     The  Town’s  desire  to  stave  off  a  State-­‐legislated  mandate  in  order  to  gain  a  short-­‐lived  three  year   moratorium  on  hostile  housing  projects  is  ill-­‐conceived  and  short-­‐sighted  when  compared  to  the   twenty-­‐plus  years  of  thoughtful  planning  and  development  undertaken  by  previous  Boards,  Committees   and  the  residents  of  Chelmsford  to  shape  the  locale  in  question  into  a  cornerstone  of  Chelmsford’s   Commercial/Industrial  complex.     Furthermore,  a  residential  development  at  the  intended  location  is  wholly  inconsistent  with  prior   positions  taken  by  Town  officials  regarding  a  similarly  situated  large-­‐scale  40B  project  (Aspen),     disregards  the  State’s  primary  guidance  for  40B  locations  and  tacitly  ignores  the  many  careful   conclusions  published  in  the  Town’s  Affordable  Housing  Master  Plan  (AHMP)  of  2011.  In  fact,  upon   closer  examination  of  the  overall  selection  criteria  in  the  published  that  plan,  the  Mill  Road  site  is  ranked   as  one  of  the  four  worst  locations  within  all  of  Chelmsford  for  a  project  of  this  type.  Specifically  those   shortcomings  are;     Conflicts  with  Town  Planning  -­‐   Mill  Road  is  identified  as  ranking  worst  among  all  fourteen  sites  studied  in  terms  of  compatibility   with  the  Town’s  newly  ratified  Master  Plan  (MP).  In  fact,  a  decision  to  develop  the  site   residentially  runs  completely  counter  to  the  MP’s  directive  that  this  parcel  be  reserved  for   commercial/industrial  use.     Amenities  –   Mill  Road  also  ranked  second  worst  in  terms  of  access  to  regular  amenities,  none  of  which  are   located  within  safe  walking  distance  of  the  site.  This  failure  is  further  aggravated  by  Stop  and   Shop’s  stipulation  that  there  be  no  supermarkets  located  within  the  re-­‐development  zone  of   their  recently  vacated  Chelmsford  Center  site.  To  be  specific,  any  attempt  to  travel  from  Mill   Road  on  either  direction  along  129  would  require  one  to  safely  negotiate  the  access  roads  to   Hittite,  Elizabeth  Drive  and  the  on/off  ramps  linking  the  two  most  heavily  trafficked   thoroughfares  in  Town;  Routes  3  and  129.  
  2. 2. Geography  -­‐   The  AHMP  goes  on  to  state  that  development  at  Mill  Road  would  require  dealing  with  steep   slopes  and  ledge,  both  of  which  would  aggravate  issues  already  present  on  site.  Further  clearing   the  slopes  that  make  up  the  sides  and  frontage  of  this  acreage  will  exacerbate  the  well-­‐   documented  run-­‐off  from  the  Fuchs  furniture  and  Hancock  Builders  site  onto  Mill  Road  and  be   yet  another  contributor  to  the  full-­‐roadway  flooding  that  already  occurs  in  front  of  the  address   during  the  standard  heavy  weather  the  location  is  exposed  to  year-­‐round.  As  other  members  of   our  community  have  come  to  find  and  suffer,  ledge  creates  innumerable  technical  issues  in   terms  of  supplying  reliable,  functional  supplies  for  water  and  sewerage.     Aquifer  Exposure  –   As  the  recent  tanker  spill  less  than  a  mile  away  on  Rt3  illustrated,  our  water  supplies  are  at  best   fragile  and  at  worst  easily  susceptible  to  damage  from  abuse  or  lack  of  thought.  Development   on  the  Mill  Road  site  would  expose  elements  of  the  Center  Water  Aquifer  Protection  District  to   the  short  term  abuse  of  heavy  construction  and  the  long  term  exposure  of  the  negative   emissions  from  a  large  residential  cluster.     Traffic  Hazards  –   276  Mill  Road  is  in  an  extremely  poor  location  to  provide  proper  access  to  a  large  scale   development.  Bounded  by  the  entrance  to  the  Quorum  office  park  less  than  100  yards  to  the   South  and  the  entrances  to  Hittite  Microwave,  Elizabeth  Drive  and  Lifelinks  at  the  same  distance   to  the  North,  egress  from  this  location  would  have  to  deal  with  large  volumes  of  commuter   traffic  from  these  sites  and  would  also  require  safely  navigating  the  dangers  inherent  with  the   inside  radius  of  such  a  sharp  blind  corner.  It  is  interesting  to  note  that  the  sightline  problem  was   further  exacerbated  for  the  properties  on  the  inside  of  the  turn  when  the  Town  chose  to  modify   the  roadbed  during  the  Quorum  site  construction.  Development  at  the  site  would  also  aggravate   the  existing  traffic  volume  by  the  random  and  unpredictable  nature  of  trips  that  120  residential   vehicles  would  contribute  to  the  flow  each  day.     Conflict  with  neighboring  facilities  –   The  Mill  Road  area  has  welcomed  and  embraced  the  addition  of  LifeLinks,  an  important   neighbor  that  provides  essential  services  and  support  for  those  with  intellectual  or   developmental  disabilities.  Twice  daily  throughout  the  year,  upwards  of  twenty  transport  vans   and  buses  queue  from  the  LifeLinks  entrance  back  past  276  Mill  all  the  way  to  the  blind  turn  at   Quorum  in  order  to  discharge  and  pick  up  their  passengers  making  it  problematic  for  anyone  to   egress  the  proposed  site  regardless  of  which  direction  they  turn.     As  responsible  residents,  we  support  sensible  development  within  Chelmsford.  In  fact,  at  the  Spring     2013  Town  Meeting,  each  of  the  five  Town  Meeting  Representatives  undersigned  below  voted  “YES”  for   the  affordable  housing  project  at  233  Littleton  Road  a  site  far  more  favorable  in  terms  of  compatibility,   amenities  and  overall  selection  criteria.  Unfortunately,  the  proposal  at  276  Mill  Road  shares  none  of  that   upside  and  in  fact  is  ranked  as  poorly  for  development  as  the  Oak  Hill  site  which  Town  Meeting   designated  as  suitable  only  for  use  as  Conservation  Land.  Given  these  facts,  we  ask  that  you  take  all   appropriate  measures  to  prevent  this  project  from  proceeding.                  
  3. 3.  
  4. 4.           Photographs
  5. 5.   Figure  1  –  LifeLinks  Queue  looking  SE  with  276  Mill  at  right             Figure  2  –  LifeLinks  Queue  looking  SE;  opposing  traffic  with  276  Mill  at  right  
  6. 6.   Figure  3  –  LifeLinks  Queue  looking  NW  with  traffic;  from  driveway  of  276  Mill  
  7. 7.       276  Mill  and  view  toward  Elizabeth  Drive  and  129.                     276  Mill  and  view  toward  blind  curve  at  Quorum  
  8. 8.     Mill  Road  Looking  South  to  Quorum  at  curve  
  9. 9.       Above:  Hancock/  Fuchs  Sites    Below  Looking  East  on  Mill  Road  toward  blind  Curve  at  Quorum      
  10. 10.     Mill  Road  Grade  looking  west  from  Quorum  toward  Hancock/Fuchs  sites               Blind  curve  at  Quorum  entrance  
  11. 11.           Roadbed  modification  at  Quorum  entrance  
  12. 12.       Site  Lines  looking  West  at  Quorum  
  13. 13. Limited  site  line  and  proximity  of  curve  relative  to  276  Mill        
  14. 14. Limited  site  line  and  proximity  of  curve  relative  to  276  Mill        
  15. 15.         Limited  site  line  and  roadbed  damage  from  persistent  run-­‐off  
  16. 16.         Site  line  exiting  north  on  Mill  from  Quorum  
  17. 17.       Site  line  exiting  north  on  Mill  from  Quorum