Special Permit Conditions
Concord Zoning Bylaws outline specific conditions for granting Special Permits.
On Thursday July 8th, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is currently scheduled to decide whether to grant the developer a Special Permit to remove >60,000 cubic yards of earth from the site.
According to the Town Zoning Bylaws, the ZBA must take into account the following conditions when deciding whether to grant a Special Permit.
Special Permit Conditions for Earth Removal
We believe that Section 188.8.131.52 is violated in entirely. The scope of earth removal requested by the developer will be injurious to both abutters and the neighborhood for many reasons:
- Clear-cutting 8 acres will expose the community to the MBTA railroad, which will create a new source of noise pollution to abutters and the community, including the Fowler Library
- This increased noise pollution will reduce property values of abutters, especially those directly across Main Street.
- The exposed railroad and resulting tree loss will increase hazardous diesel emissions and the concentration of diesel particulate in the surrounding area. This includes less than 750 feet from Thoreau elementary school, the Concord Montessori School and a community garden, and less than 1100 feet from the Concord Children’s Center and the Fowler Library.
- Constant exposure to diesel emissions has been proven to increase risk of asthma and respiratory disease, particularly among children and older adults.
- Clear-cutting 8 acres will result in compromised erosion control and may increase runoff to abutting Center Village
- Clear-cutting 8 acres will destroy the view from Rideout Playground and increase noise pollution for residents enjoying the park. Instead of trees, picture large homes and a visible commuter rail.
- The request to remove >60,000 cubic yards is EXCESSIVE. The constant movement of dump trucks to and from the site will cause significant safety concerns with pedestrians and cyclists. Trucks will enter the site every 10 minutes, 6 hours/day, for 60 straight days (see home page for calculations). And this is just for trucking earth.
- This constant movement of dump trucks will result in substantial hazardous diesel emissions
- Flattening the natural topography of the land is a clear encroachment on nature, violating the town’s Sustainability Principles
- Clear-cutting 8 acres of healthy trees and the resulting earth removal is injurious to the town as it removes important carbon sinks. It forces Concord to incur future climate-related mitigation costs.
- This reduction in carbon sequestration capacity clearly violates the spirit and intent of the town’s Climate Action and Resilience Goals
General Special Permit Conditions
In addition to Section 7.5, the ZBA must take Section 11.6 into consideration when granting a Special Permit
Based on what has been presented above for Section 7.5, Sections 11.6.2, 11.6.4, 11.6.5 are also violated.
Section 11.6.6 is also violated as the requested amount of earth and tree removal will incur substantial climate-related mitigation costs to the town.