It’s been almost exactly four months since the city slapped a cease and desist order on the project owned by builder Richard Marchese near Route 1. And today, the people who live on Winona, Anderson, Mouton, Cardigan and other affected streets, wait, worry and wonder how their properties and lives are going to be further affected as the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea dump five inches of rain between now and Sunday morning.
Recently, while campaigning for Ward 5 Councilor, I had several conversations with residents living in this neighborhood where this irresponsible developer has operated with total disregard for peoples’ quality of life. They told me stories of flooded basements that had never previously flooded in 35 years of living there, and of their concerns over suspicious cases of cancer, which they feel might be the result of disturbing long-buried contaminants. I met Lou Maio, whose Winona Street property has been devastated by Marchese project runoff. A pool the Maio’s put in for their grandkids is now destroyed, and there is worry that their property will soon be worthless.
I live two miles from the project, yet even I now notice from my backyard how much louder the cars sound speeding down Route 1 since Marchese clear-cut that property of all of its trees. Make no mistake, this developer’s disregard for doing things right, has had a negative effect on a wide swath of West Peabody.
As I’ve written in this space before, good government means protecting the quality of life of residents above all else. But while the city has slapped a cease and desist on this developer, and the Peabody Planning Board continues to back that decision, the residents now need to know what else can be done.
They are waiting for the city and their elected officials to fight harder for them, and maybe even find a way to keep this developer from ever again conducting business in Peabody. Currently, the cease and desist order only applies to the back part of the property, where residential homes were to be developed. But work, for some reason continues on the commercial part of the property facing Route 1.
Meanwhile, residents wait to see what comes next, and hold their breath in the wake of another torrential rain storm. Good government means standing up for people and against scoundrels intent on infringing upon their quality of life. So I ask you today, where is our good government?