, Salem, MA


March 1, 2014

Letter: Varying opinions for Planning Board members

To the editor:

My name is James Matz, and I am a volunteer member of the Beverly Planning Board and I also serve as Planning Board representative on the Open Space Committee. I wanted to take this opportunity to write to the citizens of Beverly regarding the ongoing public discussion of the rezoning of a parcel on Brimbal Avenue and what I perceive as a lumping of all Planning Board members together in the media.

I first want to address false statements in the media that all members of the Planning Board were behind the “orange team” in support of a “yes” vote for the rezoning of the parcel on Brimbal Avenue. While a few/some members may have been involved, I personally am not certain of that; I can, however, say with certainty that I was not.

I want to be clear that I did vote “yes” on the issue but for my own specific reasons: to keep the current option “in play” while other options are further discussed and fully vetted; and regardless of final development option(s) proposed, the parcel in question is a landfill and as such should be covered with a cap of soil, asphalt, concrete, building or engineered barrier to protect human health, public safety, public welfare and the environment.

The “green team” would have all of us believe that those who support rezoning of this parcel do so because of greed. Where above have I said anything that can be construed as personal greed? The “green team” has also consistently referred to the landfill as a “toxic dump.” I have been employed as an environmental consultant now for 25 years, and I have two professional certifications. Although I have not read through all of the reports thoroughly, I can state comfortably that the landfill is not a toxic dump. And even if it was, wouldn’t it make even more sense to cap it and reuse the land safely for the benefit of all, as opposed to allowing the property to sit there covered only with weeds, thicket and bramble?

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