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Letter to the Editor: South Street zoning still could face Town Meeting vote

by | Apr 25, 2023 | Letter to Editor

An associate of Marguerite Concrete claims to have withdrawn his citizens’ petition from the Town Meeting warrant. However, the deadline has long passed. Therefore Article 29 will still be up for a vote at Town Meeting. The Select Board and Planning Board recommended a motion for “no action,” however, there is no guarantee that will occur.

Marguerite Concrete representatives say they need more time working with local residents, but don’t be fooled!

Don’t be fooled by the claim that they had won “positive support” from the community. They had not. This is why they postponed the vote; they finally understood the depth of opposition to their proposal.

Don’t be fooled by their claims that they have made concessions to neighbors. Lake Maspenock residents have consistently asked for a thorough traffic plan to avoid what has been widely accepted as a “perfect storm traffic disaster.” No plan has come forward. Nor has a plan for pollution mitigation or to protect the privacy of the children and families whose homes would be in direct line of sight of this three-story, 24,000-square-foot building.

Don’t be fooled by promises of jobs and internships. These promises are the types of meaningless corporate pledges that companies who feel opposition from neighbors make all the time. They are worth less than the paper they are written on.

Don’t be fooled by the idea that this land will forever be a corporate office building. Once it is rezoned, there is nothing stopping Marguerite from bringing other parts of its concrete company or other uses into this site.

In a letter to the editor, petition sponsor Peter Bemis said the company would try to work with the Select Board and other town departments to get this ill-advised proposal through. This statement reveals exactly what the company wants: to stitch up a backroom deal without engaging neighbors and community members.

The Select Board, other town officials and the entire community must stand against this corporate takeover of a residential neighborhood. The core question is this: Whose side are you on? An out-of-town corporation, or Hopkinton residents and neighbors who are concerned about the impacts of a concrete company headquarters on their lakefront community.

When Marguerite Concrete brings its proposal back before Town Meeting, we must mobilize with urgency and vote it down, including on May 1. Let us not be fooled by their false claims and empty promises.

— Vikasith Pratty, Rustem Rafikov and others in the Lake Maspenock neighborhood

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