While watching the Monday, June 15 Planning Board meeting, it was disturbing to hear that the proposed gas station at 439 Wareham Road will contain a convenience store, have at least 34 parking spaces, two curb cuts on Route 6 and two curb cuts on Mill Street, as well as a 24/7 ‘Anytime Fitness Center,’ and then, G.A.F. engineer, Bob Rogers announced, “There’s a real desire to make this friendly to trucks and vehicles with boats.”
I live in the senior housing and handicapped complex known as Marconi Village directly across the street from the proposed gas station, and I did not hear our Planning Board ask the tough questions that would protect seniors. So, let me help them: a. How will this gas station protect and enhance the character and quality of life for its Marconi Village and Mill Street neighbors? b. How will this proposed gas station strengthen the pedestrian environment? From my perspective, the two curb cuts on Mill Street will take away from pedestrian safety; c. How will this proposed gas station provide the needed flexibility to respond to unique conditions and constraints inherent to the neighborhood; and d. How do the owners of this proposed gas station and convenience store with a 24/7 ‘Anytime Fitness Center’ plan to minimize the negative impacts for adjacent neighbors resulting from on-site activities?
Marconi Village’s once quiet and peaceful environment has evaporated into an island of noise with the pervasive heavy traffic on Route 6, Atlantis Avenue, Mill Street and now, more inescapable noise – gas station/fitness center customers talking loudly and slamming car and truck doors all day and into the middle of the night. There will be huge tractor trailer trucks delivering gasoline, acrid fumes and the potential for fuel spills. The Planning Board must explain how this gas station will protect and enhance the character and quality of life for its Marconi Village and Mill Street neighbors.
At that Planning Board meeting, Michael Popitz, a physician, seemed exceptionally concerned about a proposed solar farm being built in the middle of the woods off Tucker Lane, and the possibility that a noise level of 60 decibels (dB) emanating from the site or the sound equivalent of a normal conversation at three feet might disturb people who live one half to two thirds of a football field away (solar panels produce power only when the sun is shining, thus inverters would be completely silent at night). I sure hope Dr. Popitz can summon the political will and the courage to stand up and show that same concern for Marconi Village seniors, because when compared to the noise level of a normal conversation at three feet, the chronic and inescapable noise from heavy traffic (85 dB), tractor trailer trucks (81-94 dB) and car horns (110 dB) could really drive a neighborhood to distraction.
Let me be clear, I understand the enthusiasm for this gas station especially after hearing glib comments that some “love this style” of building and find it “very tasteful.” However, I am asking the Planning Board to think a little deeper and harder and with more compassion about what this project really means to Marconi Village seniors. There is more to a successful business model than “love this style” and “It’s very tasteful.” We deserve a more thoughtful and robust discussion and a more respectful business model that causes harm to no one and is beneficial to everyone.
Gwendolen Breault, Marion
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