#Local Government
Zoning Board of Appeals, Framingham, MA
United States of America

Whereas, 597 Old Connecticut Path is in close proximity to the Oaks Neighborhood of Framingham and its many families and residents, Reardon Park, the Cochituate Rail Trail, conservation land and water - Cochituate Brook Reservation, and local businesses that would be negatively impacted by the location of the proposed concrete batch plant;

Whereas, a proposal to develop the concrete batch plant at this site has been previously denied by the Building Commissioner of the Town of Framingham for its failure to satisfy the provisions of Section III.G.2 of the Framingham By-law, since the proposed use might be "offensive because of injurious obnoxious noise, vibration, smoke, gas, fumes, odors or other objectionable features" and a “hazard to the community;”

And whereas 597 Old Connecticut Path, rezoned by special town meeting from general manufacturing to office and professional use, abuts a residential zoned area, conservation land - Cochituate Brook Reservation, Town parks as well as local businesses that will be negatively impacted by the installation of a concrete batch plant at this site;

And whereas, the plant would inevitably introduce unacceptable risks to the safety and health of neighboring residents, as well as unacceptable consequences for the abutting businesses (dust, noise, trucks, fumes, increased traffic and other offensive and hazardous intrusions) and the natural environment surrounding and in some sections included within the proposed site;

And whereas, the user of the proposed concrete plant will be working primarily with concrete dust and diesel trucks, both of which are extremely hazardous to human health since they damage lung tissue due to their microscopic and toxic characteristics and produce known carcinogens, including but not limited to hexavalent chromium;

And whereas, concrete batch plants produce tremendous amounts of dust, most notably crystalline silica, which has been designated a Level 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and which would travel by air unavoidably to nearby residences and businesses, and produces hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen that has caused cancer and other health problems both by migrating to water supplies as well as through airborn particulates;

And whereas, the applicant has suggested a marked increase in diesel truck traffic at the site, producing diesel fumes that threaten the public health as prolonged exposure to diesel fumes can lead to coughing, breathlessness, may increase the risk of lung cancer, degrade the immune system, and induced allergic reactions, including asthma;

And whereas, the intrusion on a permanent basis of a new fleet of very large and noisy cement trucks, with a truck entering or exiting the facility once every four minutes, carrying exceptionally heavy industrial loads of construction material and emitting offensive, unhealthy, and unsafe fumes in a highly sensitive natural setting and neighborhood would significantly increase the environmental problems in an area already overburdened by commercial trucking;

And whereas, traffic data produced by the applicant and the by other consultants determines that the expected traffic would have difficulty accessing the site, that traffic flow along Old Connecticut Path during peak drive times is currently “jammed”, there will be a 30% increase of traffic at the site, which would have a resultant impact on traffic along Old Connecticut Path such that traffic will during peak drive times to consist of “unstable flows” and “intolerable delays” with backups as far north on Old Connecticut Path to Brownlea Road and as far south on Old Connecticut Path as the Massachusetts Turnpike, clearly creating an objectionable feature that is a hazard to the community;

And whereas, sound-level tests produced by the applicant cause grave concerns regarding a potentially dramatic and unacceptable increase in noise pollution along the Cochituate Rail Trail and local neighborhoods;

And whereas, a concrete batch plant, with a proposed 35-foot tall silo, concrete block borders, sterile architecture, and heavy machinery, are not consistent with the aesthetics of the area and would stand-out as an "eye sore";

And whereas, a concrete batch plant in or near a residential community would severely reduce property values;

And whereas, any success realized by this concrete batch plant enterprise would likely result in increased hours of business operations, with the consequent noise and air pollution extending into the early morning, evening, weekend, and holiday hours, many of which are times of high utilization of the Reardon Park and the Cochituate Rail Trail;

And whereas, current Framingham By-laws are simply inadequate and ineffectual for enforcing any restrictions that might result from the permitting process, which could result in violations that would endure despite their injurious impact on the local environment, neighborhood, and businesses;

And whereas, the granting of this permit for a concrete batch plant at 597 Old Connecticut Path will not likely result in any significant new financial benefit for the town of Framingham;

We, the Oaks Neighborhood Association (ONA) of Framingham, together with other concerned residents of the Town of Framingham, hereby resolve that we strongly urge the Framingham Zoning Board of Appeals to DENY the Special Permit applied for by Paulini Loam, LLC to build a proposed concrete batch plant at 597 Old Connecticut Path.

The ONA hereby resolve that we support only those uses of 597 Old Connecticut Path that do not present risk to the health and safety of our community and our environment, and only those uses that enhance our community and our respective property values.

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The Vote NO on Special Permit for Concrete Plant, Framingham, MA petition to Zoning Board of Appeals, Framingham, MA was written by Greg Rotatori and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.