Let's be clear. We support the current Planning Board because we believe they are doing a great job of upholding by-laws that protect ALL residents while also ensuring tax revenue to fund town services and allowing businesses to thrive. However, we are not too thrilled with the challengers for many reasons.
The below graphic details Planning Board decisions from 2011 - last year. Theresa Capobianco was on the Planning Board from 2011-2019 when she resigned. She became Chair in 2015. Both Kerri Martinek and Anthony Ziton joined the board in 2018.
Fed Ex 2011 Decision
Ms. Capobianco was on the Planning Board that approved the Fed Ex warehouse
NO traffic mitigation was put on this facility even though truck traffic near residential areas was already a concern in 2011 (7/21/2011 PB minutes, pg 6).
During construction of FedEx on Bartlett, silt from the project was carried into wetlands and into Bartlett Pond. “As much as seven inches of silt were deposited on plants in the wetlands,” choking them and stunting their growth. Our town engineer halted production until corrective measures were put in place and our conservation commission approved. 5/10/12 Metrowest Daily News.
Amazon, 330-350 Bartlett Street, 2015 Decision
With Ms. Capobianco as Chair of the Planning Board in 2015, the Gutierrez Company site plan (for Amazon) was first brought to the board: 2 warehouses approximately 700,000 sq ft in total with more than 1,000 employees. The use of the warehouse had not yet been determined because “no tenant was known,” the use was “light industrial,” and the “majority of vehicles exiting the site will turn right toward I-495 in Marlborough.” (3/17/2015 Planning Board minutes)
When a traffic study was done (by Gutierrez) it was not based on an Amazon distribution center. The Planning Board at the time never required Guiterriez to redo it, despite the warehouse being enormous and the “tenant unknown.” In fact, the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) chastised that Planning Board with Ms. Capobianco as Chair, for not putting that in as a condition, to the point where the town almost lost grant funding.
Since the majority of vehicles entering and leaving Amazon are trucks that aren't registered to the warehouse, little vehicle tax revenue is being generated for the town even though we are feeling the negative impacts of those trucks in our community. But with little mitigation agreed to by our 2015 Planning Board, we’re forced to try to make up for old mistakes and pay for it ourselves.
Ms. Capobianco's Recent Decisions on the Groundwater Advisory Committee
1 Lyman Street
Perhaps Ms. Cappobianco didn’t learn from the FedEx environmental debacle. As part of the Groundwater Advisory Committee, she agreed with the ZBA’s granting a variance on 1 Lyman St. for the 17,000 sq. ft warehouse and parking lot atop Groundwater Protection Overlay 1, the closest to the aquifers, our backup water system. 1 Lyman St. is a project Save Bartlett has followed closely.
There is currently a Capobianco/Odone sign at 1 Lyman Street.
0 Bartlett Street
In her capacity on GWAC, Theresa Capobianco also voted to approve a special permit for the Gutierrez Company’s proposal of a 150,000 square foot warehouse at 0 Bartlett Street. Guteirrez has been cited for Conservation violations but clearly that was not an issue for Ms. Capobianco.
ONE LAST FACT
Although there has been a scramble to reallocate signs after negative feedback on all of the red flags on Main Street, the overwhelming majority of the Capobianco/Odone signs have been posted on developer property. Residents are allowed to assume what they wish from that fact.