SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 27, 2010

Salem vs. Lynn tilt in store

Concerns aired about traffic, property values

SALEM — The battle line is being drawn between Salem and Lynn over a 15-acre parcel on Highland Avenue that's being eyed for a new Lowe's and an expanded Walmart.

In May, the Lynn City Council passed a resolution opposing the project. Last week, Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy publicly came out against the project. She did not return two messages left at her office yesterday.

"We're 100 percent against it," said Lynn Councilor-at-Large Dan Cahill, who lives on nearby Bellaire Avenue.

He was among a group of Lynn politicians who met in private with the board of Camp Lion, which owns the property and has plans to sell it to Revere developer the Kennedy Group Inc.

"We met with members of the Lions Club to discuss our concerns and to appeal to them about our concerns," he said. Among those concerns are an increase in traffic and a decrease in nearby property values.

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said yesterday that it's unreasonable for Lynn officials to reject the project outright. Besides, she could never see herself telling officials from another city they couldn't build a project.

"I think it's just selfish for Lynn officials to say no," she said. "Beyond that, I don't want any back-room politics entering into that process or how we review projects in Salem."

She met with a contingent of Lynn officials in April that included the Lynn mayor and wrote up a summary of the issues raised. They were passed along to the Planning Board to consider during its approval process.

"Now, we're working through how we can mitigate any impacts from it," Driscoll said.

The project affects 15 acres of the 70 owned by Camp Lion in Salem.

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