2014 push for a Town Planner/Trials and Tribulations of a Stoneham Home Owner

2014 mission is to push for a Town Planner!!!Trials and Tribulations of a Stoneham
Homeowner As a resident of the town of Stoneham I face the dilemma of developers invading our community with the umbrella of Chapter 40B that allows developers to override our zoning laws, conservation issues, overcrowds our schools and bludgeons our town’s existing services.  The Commons at Weiss at 170 Franklin Street is only the beginning and will drain our emergency services as well as seriously injure the topography of our existing landscape.  
The problem was created by lack of use of the existing tools the Commonwealth had provided to communities in the use of Chapter 40R which would allow communities to direct developers to locations more suitable for construction.  Chapter 40R is Smart Growth.  Like Smart Growth Zoning (40R) there is another tool that can be utilized in communities known as Compact Neighborhood Zoning (CNZ)
To add to the above problem the Planning Board will hear a request for a Special Permit to grant a used car lot at 140 ½ Franklin Street in close proximity to our high school, Kinder Care, an assisted living, condominiums, apartment buildings and single family dwellings.  What else will be considered for Franklin Street, which is a highly traversed two-lane highway connecting Melrose to Stoneham and easy access to routes 93 and 128.
Consider what used cars have in common, gasoline, possible emission problems, rust and tires. Great public health concerns as well as public safety.  We must not forget that adjacent to this area are Wetlands, intermittent stream and Sweet Water Brook.  
Another dilemma is the possibility of allowing a package store liquor license to the Mobil Station at Spot Pond and in the future a possibility of another one on Montvale Ave.   What happened to age requirements in going into a package store without an adult?  With this license you can fill your tank and drink a beer at the same time.  Does anyone see the problem with this picture?
Let us also review the number of abandoned and derelict properties spotted all over town. These buildings often drag down property values and cost the town a large chunk of money. They are serious health hazards, as the Board of health must become “The Rat Patrol”  
If I don’t want a life of staying home at night in my pajamas and watching the upcoming American Idol I would have to fervently attend Selectmen Meetings, Planning Board, Conservation and Board of Appeal meetings routinely to protect my home and quality of life.  I would also become a self-imposed building inspector, public works engineer etc., etc.  and continually report my findings to the appropriate officials to safeguard my castle, my family and my well-being.  I am tired and want to stay home so please will those appointed, those hired and those elected do your jobs so I can watch the next new sensation of American Idol come to fruition,
We have existing zoning by laws and local laws and state and federal laws. Please abide by them and those hired to enforce their provisions do your jobs
In 2014 we need to push for a Town Planner job in Town that is well versed in economic development, has a working knowledge of Chapters 40B, 40R and Neighborhood Dense Zoning as well as expertise in grant writing. Such a planner would be worth their salary since would secure financial assistance from the Commonwealth and Federal Agencies and increase our existing property values. We can no longer exist with spot zoning, special permits and variances to our existing by laws.
Cindy Hemenway December 05, 2013 at 08:11 AM
As a thirty year resident and home owner in Stoneham, I too am concerned with many of the issues brought forth by Paula. Hiring a Town Planner to put into place some development ideas for a better future for Stoneham is key to the improvement of the town. The future is now! We are trying to run a business (the town of Stoneham) with policies and procedures that may have worked in the 1950's. It is 2014. We need to get into the 21st century. Let's hope it isn't too late. We need to encourage our BOS, Planning Board and Financial Board to hire a Town Planner.


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