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Frasier Road Developer Agrees To Some Of Residents' Demands

Sep 15, 2015 05:40PM ● By Bill Gilman

Town Hall.

In a 4-0 vote, Tewksbury Planning Board approved a request by developer Arnie Martel to waive the requirement for a Land Disturbance Permit for his subdivision project on Frasier Road.
Board members said they did not feel there was any evidence to support allegations made by neighbors that blasting, rock crushing and ledge removal being done at the building site was disturbing quality of life and was in violation of any existing restrictions.
"Every permit that is needed is in place and there have been no violations. This seems redundant," said board member Nancy Reed. "It makes no sense to go forward with requiring this (land disturbance) permit."
Board member Robert Fowler said written complaints made by neighbors about noise and possible damage from blasting bothered him. He said evidence indicated Martel had followed all required notification and inspection procedures prior to blasting. He accused one letter-writer of outright exaggeration.
"I know no one's house jumped off the foundation as mentioned here in this complaint," he said.
The vote itself was somewhat anti-climactic. Prior to the Planning Board meeting, Martel met privately with many of the neighbors who have been complaining about the work being done on the site, which will one day be home to 25 single-family homes.
During that meeting, Martel said he agreed to several conditions requested by the residents and said he was committed to being a good neighbor.
"I want to make this right," said Martel, after the meeting. "I have several projects going on in town. I have kids and grandkids that live here. I want to make this right."
According to Martel's attorney, Ed Fallman, Martel has agreed to:
  • Limit heavy machine work to 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • On days when it is dry and dusty, he will water down the site to try and reduce dust levels.
  • Will give notice by e-mail to two "point people" among the neighbors prior to blasting. Those point people will then notify the rest of the neighbors.
  • Will be accessible by email for anyone to give advanced notice of any type of special event in the neighborhood. Given five days advanced notice, he will make sure no heavy machine work or blasting is done on that day.
In addition, Martel said he plans to meet Wednesday evening at the work site with any residents who would like a tour of the site and to get more information about the project.
Pat Stratus, one of the "point people" for the neighbors (along with Atty. John Cohan) said she felt the meeting was a step in the right direction and that communication channels had been opened.
"I think it helped. We'll see." she said. "Before this, we had no idea who was in charge or who we should contact about any problems."
Just one of the neighbors spoke during the Planning Board meeting itself. Donna Pelcza, who lives on Trull Road, said she would like to see the Planning Board take a hard look at "grandfathering" of rules relating to projects that have been in the works for long periods of time. She also encouraged the board to have the town do some type of examination of ledge on undeveloped parcels. She said such a survey would give developers a better sense of how much ledge there is and how much work it would take to remove it before a project begins.

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