SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 26, 2012

Developer faces anxious Peabody residents

(Continued)

“I left a strip of land that would belong to the city to lighten the load,” he said.

Whether homes or properties should be taken — at some places, homes are mere feet from the street — should be left to the city and the neighbors to decide, Solimine said in answer to a question following the meeting.

Bettencourt, also responding after the meeting, said, “Widening the street is going to be very difficult.” As to the prospect of taking people’s land, he said, “I’m very reluctant to do that.”

The mayor was pleased that the meeting helped educate people. “I wanted to hear their concerns. ... I thought it was an excellent discussion. People made great points.”

Ward Councilor Barry Osborne, a longtime foe of the development, seemed resigned. “Obviously, it’s expected this is going to impact a lot of people. ... It’s too large a project for this small an area.”

On the other hand, he acknowledged the developer’s good faith in trying to limit the disruption. “You’ve got to respect Mr. Solimine for showing up.”

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