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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Atkinson, Salem residents speak out against proposed trucking facility

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson, Salem residents speak out against proposed trucking facility
By John Basilesco

ATKINSON — Despite snow and freezing rain, a dozen Atkinson and Salem residents turned out at last night's Planning Board meeting to oppose a trucking facility proposed on Industrial Way.

Residents of Christine Lane in Salem and Deer Run Road in Atkinson joined together to fight the plan. They said a trucking operation would ruin the quality of their lives by bringing noise, vibrations and fumes from the diesel-fueled trucks.

Paul Murphy, the owner of P.J. Murphy Transportation Inc., listened quietly as residents fought the proposal to relocate his trucking operation from Methuen, Mass. After the meeting, Murphy said he was surprised by the amount of opposition.

Keith Walters and Robert Repetto of Christine Lane said such a facility, which would operate around the clock, would have a negative impact on their neighborhood.

Rick Incollingo of Deer Run Road said it would disrupt his peaceful neighborhood.

"When I moved to Atkinson 12 years ago, I moved here for the quiet," Incollingo said. "We have residential homes. We pay taxes, and we're looking for some quiet. The days of sleeping with our windows open would be over."

His neighbor, Ed Tomasi, said he likes to enjoy his home and also his swimming pool on summer weekends, but that would be difficult if a trucking facility were nearby.

Planning Board member Paul DiMaggio agreed noise coming from the trucking operation at night would disturb residents' sleeping patterns. He said the trucking facility might be acceptable if it were confined to a daytime operation.

Mark Gross, Murphy's engineer, said it would be open for two shifts, one during the day and the other at night. The trucks, which deliver fuel oil and water, would be housed at the facility and repaired there. They would make deliveries and return empty, he said.

Gross said measurements taken near the Salem homes show the noise from the trucks would be within acceptable levels. But the Planning Board spent about an hour trying to clarify the town's noise ordinance as it pertains to the trucking facility. The board decided more measurements and calculations are needed, and directed Murphy's sound engineer to work with the town's engineer to refine the initial noise study.

About a half dozen residents spoke before the Planning Board halted discussion after about 2 1/2 hours.

The public hearing was continued until Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.


Anonymous said...

I take it then the conservation land issue was not discussed. Really anxious to see what Harold does.

Anonymous said...

NIMBY Not in my back yard.

Zoned commercial that’s what the land is for. I think it is good for Atkinson more taxes and less burden on schools. People who are offended should have known that’s what the land next to them was for. Living next to it for 20 years is not an excuse.

This is America people wake up we live in free country.

Or you could ask for rezoning to suit the abutters needs like a widget pin company

tim dziechowski said...

The prime wetlands zoning article was the next-to-last thing on the agenda. We got to it around midnight. By that time the only members of the public at the hearing were Carol Grant and two members of the conservation commission.

I started the hearing by asking Harold to recuse himself because he is the president of HAWC and has a potential conflict of interest. There was some back-and-forth discussion. His position was that, since this was legislation rather than a plan approval, he had the right to vote on it. He declined to recuse himself. Under state law, he is not required to.
All of this is on the tape if anyone wants to look at it.

We got into a discussion of the merits of prime wetlands and whether they actually infringe the rights of landowners who live next to them. I proposed the four prime wetlands with no development next to them rather than all seven. Rep. Gerrity has introduced legislation which would allow the town to exempt the houses which are already there. If that passes I will propose the other three areas as prime wetlands next year.

Discussion from the public focused on the value to the public good of wetlands setbacks and the importance for wildlife and the watershed. Carol was upset because I reduced the setback to 100' in my article but that is the state setback and what we have in the rest of town. Anything more would not have passed and would have impacted too many properties.

After some more discussion, including the fact that the townspeople who voted wanted this by a huge majority, Paul DiMaggio asked for a unanimous vote by the PB to send this to ballot to let the people decide. We voted, and Harold was the only nay vote. So prime wetlands will be on the ballot in March.

Anonymous said...

Good for Harold, three cheers.

This has nothing to do with his involvement in HAWC.

And beside prime wetland zoning is bad for everyone. You will be forcing restrictions on home owners and land owners without just cause.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tim for you service and this update. You are a valuable asset to the taxpayers. Hope they appreciate all you are trying to do for us.

Anonymous said...

It's one thing to have an industrial park, but a whole different animal to have a 24/7 trucking terminal. The land is surrounded by residential properties and is already developed with commercial buildings. The residents do not appear to be complaining about development just this type of use. The Planning Board needs to do their job of protecting the developers and the residents.

BTW - How can Harold be sitting on this matter? The outcome of this could have implications on his own future interests in town. Not to mention Atkinson CC knowingly violated town regulations when the installed those huge lights on their driving range without approvals.....If he can't follow the law how can he fairly enforce it.