, Newburyport, MA

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June 24, 2013

Residents push Planning Board to deny dollar store


The owner of the property, Richard Waterhouse, spike in favor of the project. He said that the “abutters at Nos. 2, 4 and 6 Bear Hill Road have no objection to the building, experts have no problem and we have no problem.”

Edbrooke reminded the crowd that Waterhouse does not live in Merrimac.

Some residents were on hand to prompt the Planning Board to protect residents’ rights.

“You are a Planning Board and you represent us. You need to take that into consideration to protect the residents so that we aren’t turning into 110 in Chelmsford. I appreciate all the concern for safety and I want to make sure that I am not inconvenienced and my lifestyle is not impacted,” said one resident.

Ian Baynes of Lane Ten Acres Road asked, “Who is responsible for looking after our interests if the business fails?”

In the final moments of the meeting James Niziack of Birch Meadow Road raised the question as to whether the site fell in the Agricultural Overlay district instead of the Office-Light-Industrial District as the Planning Board has defined it.

Board members were momentarily stunned when looking at the map, but later Venner said that the zoning map issued by the state had incorrectly extended the line of the Agricultural District to encompass the property. In her mind it did indeed lie in the Office-Light-Industrial District.

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