, Salem, MA

January 13, 2014

Letter: Vote for smart development

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Many citizens of Beverly do not realize that there is an upcoming special ballot vote (Feb. 8) that will have a significant impact on future property taxes, development and quality of living in Beverly. In order for the vote to represent the views of the majority, we are urging all citizens of Beverly to vote.

The ballot question being decided may sound immaterial — do you support the zoning change approved by the City Council with respect to a parcel of land near the Brimbal Avenue interchange? But the implications are substantial. A “yes” vote will allow a land swap between the city and a developer to go forward, permit the city to benefit from a $5 million grant from the state to improve the flow, facilitate the potential future development of a plaza (to include a Whole Foods) near Route 128 and set the stage for a possible project to open further land to development with a new bridge over the highway. This is smart development for the city!

Neighborhood groups have promoted their fears of what the rezoning will bring. We write to balance that information with what we view as the benefits. First, rezoning provides the opportunity to leverage state money to improve traffic flow. Second, the (potential) development would be a welcome addition to Beverly, providing high-quality food and prepared meals. Third, the plaza and future development provide a means to increase the tax revenue to the city (paying for schools, services, infrastructure) without increasing property taxes. This is a significant opportunity for the citizens of Beverly.

We understand that the people living in the immediate area of the interchange are concerned. But the vote needs to represent the views of all citizens. So, whatever your view, please make your voice heard and vote!

Kira Fabrizio

Alison McCarthy