SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 24, 2014

Letter: Vote 'Yes' on Feb. 8

To the editor:

I believe that it is in the best interest of the city of Beverly that the vote in the Feb. 8 special election be a strong “Yes” in support of the overwhelming majority of the City Council and the unanimous decision of the Planning Board to rezone a parcel of state-owned land immediately adjacent to Brimbal Avenue and Route 128.

It should be no surprise that vacant land — already zoned for commercial and industrial development — at the junction of an important feeder road and the area’s major superhighway is to be developed. However, the actual first step in that development, so-called Phase I, includes a rezoning to enable a land swap so the road that connects Brimbal Avenue with Sohier Road can be moved. That specific detail had not previously been publicly discussed. It would have been far better had former city administration been more open about this particular step during its many comments on the prospects of development in the area. That, however, does not change that the fact that a “yes” vote is better for Beverly.

1. A “Yes” vote is better for Beverly because we need the significant tax and other revenue that the development of this land and, after Phase II, the vacant land north of Route 128 will bring. We need a new middle school, a new public safety facility and want to maintain quality public services without catastrophic increases in taxes on homeowners. The locations of the proposed development on both sides of Route 128 are in-line with long-standing provisions of the city Master Plan.

2. A “Yes” vote is better for Beverly because the economy of Beverly will greatly benefit from the additional hundreds, perhaps thousands, of temporary and permanent jobs that construction and development on both sides of 128 will create.

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