Dan DeAngelis, of the North Beverly Neighborhood Association, said that more than 3,000 signatures have been collected in a petition to overturn the council’s support for the project. The group hopes to get the issue put on a citywide ballot.
“I live on Brimbal Avenue. I deal with the traffic that is currently there,” he said. “If I felt as a resident who has lived there all these years that this truly was a benefit to us, I’d be on the other side of the table right now. I’d be all for this. I have lived with this process, watched what has gone on, and quite frankly, we don’t think this is the right decision.”
He expressed concerns about proposed traffic lights, roundabouts and contamination on the property because it once served as a landfill. He argued the land swap is not needed and the proposed plan is over-designed.
“The land swap is not in the best interest of the citizens of Beverly or the state. Taxpayers would be acquiring contaminated land to benefit a private developer,” he said. “The land swap is not necessary to make scale-appropriate roadway improvements. The land swap will have a negative impact on the neighborhood, and the public was not properly informed.”
Paul Kusiak of Red Rock Lane also spoke against the way the city handled the public process. He said most families in the area are opposed to the plan.
“I feel as if the citizens are not being represented,” he said. “It is a real shame because we are being impacted ... I wish we had more transparency.”
State Sen. Kenneth Donnelly, D-Arlington, a chairman of the committee, said the city has autonomy in a project like that and the committee will go through its process, including sending documents to the inspector general.