We talk all of the time in this blog about Peabody becoming more “business friendly,” and while we still need to approach it that way in an effort to find the money we need for infrastructure and schools, there’s one credo we still need to embrace:
Quality of life for our residents should always trump our goal to be “business friendly.”
We want more business in Peabody. It’ll mean more tax revenue, and allow us to eventually put less of the burden on residential payers. But we also want businesses that will hold up their end and respect the needs and the rights of the residents.
So why am I on this soap box today?
Well, it appears that Mayor Ted Bettencourt is embracing the credo. Without hesitation yesterday, and after hearing numerous complaints from neighbors in an around Winona Street, the Mayor placed an immediate cease and desist order on Marchese Properties on a project it is developing on Route 1 South.
Why? Well, if you’ve been by there lately, especially during a big rain storm, you’ve observed rivers of mud flowing from the project, and into the backyards of neighbors, destroying pools and other property, and making life miserable for people who take pride in their properties and pay their taxes on time.
But don’t just take my word for it. Watch this video from one of that neighborhood’s residents to see what grief this has caused homeowners. Watch this video, and then put yourself in the shoes of this homeowner.
There are a lot of reasons for the problem, but as a resident myself of Ward 5, I can tell you that the previous administration didn’t do enough to alleviate the problems here for theses affected neighbors.
Developer Richard Marchese has agreed to stop the work for now, which includes a commercial building and a small housing development. He’ll come before the Planning Board on Feb. 7 to determine if he is in violation of his permit.
Bettencourt ordered the cease and desist during an emergency meeting of the Planning Board. After meeting with residents, and having the building inspector go to the area to confirm what he was seeing in photos and videos, the mayor shut it down.
This mayor definitely gets it. The rights of the residents needs to always come first.