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Letter to the Editor: Resident withdraws South Street zoning petition

by | Apr 21, 2023 | Letter to Editor

Several months ago, I submitted a citizens’ petition to rezone Hayward Street/South Street/Pine Grove Lane from residential lakefront to rural business. The purpose was to allow Marguerite Concrete, owned by Hopkinton resident Jim Marguerite, to build its new corporate headquarters.

Establishing the headquarters on South Street would enable the company to grow as well as provide well-paying jobs for residents, more opportunities for internships and apprenticeships, and new tax revenue for the town.

The plans for 70 South Street include only an office building and parking for the professional staff who will work in the new headquarters. Absolutely no concrete batching, mixing, trucking or any other industrial activities would occur at this location. Only a portion of land near South Street will be developed, with the remainder deeded to the town for open space.

Over the last month, we have held many meetings with neighbors about our plans to build a headquarters for Marguerite Concrete on South Street. We are thankful for the positive support we have received so far because of those meetings. Their input influenced parts of the proposal, including removing plans to build Pine Grove Lane, and memorializing our commitments into a Development Agreement. We are committed to upgrading sidewalks on Hayward Street and satisfying all DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] stormwater management standards.

But it is clear there is not enough time to ensure this project works for everyone in the neighborhood and the wider Hopkinton community before the vote at Town Meeting on May 1.

After much consideration, I have withdrawn our petition on the Town Meeting warrant, and a letter was sent to the Select Board. We will continue to work on our plans for this headquarters with the Select Board and are willing to engage with other town boards or agencies, as our goal is for reconsideration of the zoning article at the [anticipated] Special Town Meeting in the fall.

Marguerite Concrete hopes to make Hopkinton its permanent home and continue to be a community partner, providing revenue for the town and jobs for its residents.

— Peter Bemis, Hopkinton

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  1. Hayward St Resident

    They say they have support from the community, but that’s not true. They haven’t given a good plan for traffic, pollution, or how to protect people’s privacy. They promise jobs and internships, but that might just be to distract people from their proposal. They need to be more honest about their plan to build a sidewalk on Hayward St. If they’re allowed to build, they might use the land for something else later on. They say the town will make $100,000 in taxes each year, but that’s not enough to cover the costs of fire and police departments, road repairs, and pollution problems. If they build on this road, it could cost the town millions of dollars.

  2. Anonymous

    The key parts of this article are that they will continue in their attempt to industrialize a residential neighborhood, bringing with that encroachment into the neighborhood, pollution & environmental issues among others. Also, they have not tried to work with the people of the neighborhood. Rather, they have threatened most people. Stand with the people of this neighborhood. Vote “no” to Article 29 at the town meeting on 5/1/23. If they delay this vote, they will still be met with constant opposition until they finally go away.

  3. Hayward

    “Rather, they have threatened most people” That is a serious allegation, do you have evidence to support this?

  4. Rustem Rafikov

    Their multiple statements are not true. Including “Over the last month, we have held many meetings with neighbors..” and some parts of the proposed development agreement where they say they made an agreement with the abutters. Sounds not good if they had a good intention in this case, huh?

    “They have threatened..” nowadays can be anything from “I will continue pushing the rezoning and next time it will be Industrial” or “You have to listen to me!” as it was cried out by one of their emotional employee on the only meeting with the neighborhood.

    The fact is that the residents of the lake neighborhood do not want the land to be rezoned by different reasons which are well described in other publications including environmental, safety, traffic. I recorded the traffic patters on the Hayward/South, it is pretty loaded by incoming/outgoing residents, people coming to DD, school busses.

    There are no compelling reasons for the town to change the zoning.

  5. Aaron T

    Glad to hear they are withdrawing their re-zoning request while they seek to find a plan that will work for everyone. This process got off on the wrong foot with the last minute request filing and a public interaction meeting that clearly did not go well. Hopefully all goes as planned and purposed at the town meeting on Monday. Maybe after that all parties can take a breath, lower the tension, and see if there is a plan that can work for all. The fact remains that is a privately owned parcel and unless there is an active and immediate effort by the community (fundraising for purchase to turn it into a park?) it will not remain a wooded lot. And it is highly doubtful in that location it would be turned into more single family housing. A more likely scenario is apartments (which would bring its own traffic and crowding impacts) or, as Mr. Marguerite is proposing, a commercial office (with rezoning). Perhaps, with patience, good faith conversation, and compromise a solution can be found that has adequate evergreen buffering/green space and a smart traffic plan (enter/exit through the Dell/EMC parcel?) to make it work.

Key Storage 4.14.22