“The status quo is the only solution that cannot be vetoed.”
– Clark Kerr, (1911-2003) American professor of economics and academic administrator.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this Storey Avenue re-zoning issue but what I am seeing is a city council that contains a minority that want to avoid making hard choices whenever ‘controversy’ occurs.
Better to keep the peace than to do the right thing and take some heat.
And the game changer here happens to be a person who normally champions reasonable planned improvements in the city who in a well rehearsed spate of irrationality wants to dig in his heals and keep the status quo.
His argument is based on the concept that somehow a solution will be found down the road and then further development will be allowed. Pretty irrational when you conceive that MassDOT is smug in the fact they think Storey Avenue is doing ‘just fine’. Even though more development is encroaching from Low Street and Russell Terrace, the state won’t lift a finger unless a developer like Tropic Star initiates the need for a change.
He actually thinks the 40B won’t happen because it will border a landfill and be in a flood plain. There are ghastly examples of similar projects jammed into lowlands and butted up against loud superhighways all over the state. See some with apartment balconies hanging over 128? Yep, you guessed it, that’s a 40B.
And leaving prime open space that needs to be left un-impervious to prevent flooding downstream – now endangered to become filled with impervious surfaces and development.
I have to thank Councilor Herzog’s excellent analysis of the consequences of ‘avoiding change’.
- A CVS on the existing commercial spot is still likely and will add to the traffic pressure.
- The Tripartite Agreement expired June 7, 2012 and could be extended. This would mean more public hearings and a re-appearance in city council.
- The property owners could pursue a lawsuit because the city did not give them financial relief and are barred from receiving it. These same property owners were willing to support the lawsuit against the city on the 40B issue for nearly a decade. (Hopefully, they will remain patient and re-extend the Tripartite Agreement.)
In other words, we have a minority of councilors that will cause us to lose out in actual improvements to the commercial district, to the traffic issues and to the protection of fragile open space. And not to mention, the dollar savings and earned income lost because of inaction.
“Before us was a plan that could have provided a valuable commercial site, would have addressed traffic concerns by including the state Department of Transportation, and there was the chance to acquire open space.”
– Barry Connell
I am hoping this delusional tendency by a minority of councilors of ‘keeping the peace’ and maintaining ‘status quo’ is not a trend that we are to see repeated in the future.
I will be greatly disappointed if this august assembly walks away from the challenging issues that are facing our city seeking ‘peace’ rather than ‘opportunity’ and becomes little known for accomplishments other than approving ‘street block parties’, ‘road races’ and politically inconsequential resolutions.
PS. They (the entire council) did a courageous thing passing the Citywide Wetlands Protection Ordinance and the previously-passed Lot-Width Ordinance so I am not without hope the ‘future’ and ‘protection’ of our city becomes the most important thing before them for the remainder of the year.