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Opponents to 'The Ledges' Project Start Online Petition

Alderman Mike Raymond has informed Woburn Patch of a new initiative for opponents of the development project to express their views.

The controversy over the Ledges affordable housing project continues.

As reported on Woburn Patch, the most recent development was that the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has ruled that the Ledges affordable housing project in North Woburn needs no further study under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act.

In a letter dated Dec. 21, EEA Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. said:

"The [Environmental Notification Form] has sufficiently defined the nature and general elements of the project, and has proposed measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate environmental impacts. I am satisfied that any outstanding issues pertaining to traffic, storm water management and blasting can be addressed through the state and local permitting processes."

The Ledges project is comprised of four three-story apartment buildings containing 168 units of residential apartments. Of those 168 units, 42 will be affordable housing under the 40B state provision. There will also be a one-story clubhouse building, an in-ground pool and 300 parking spaces on the 9.27-acre parcel.

In response to the decision, Ward 6 Alerdman Mike Raymond wrote a letter to the EEA expressing his disapproval with the decision.

"This is not an affordable housing issue," wrote Raymond. "This is a health, safety and welfare issue to the hundreds of residents who reside in the neighborhoods that surround the proposed site. When would the health, safety and welfare concerns of these residents affect a decision you are charged with?"

Raymond is now inviting those who agree with him to be heard with an online petition.

"I would like to draw your attention to this important petition that I have signed regarding the Ledges Project," Raymond said in an email to Woburn Patch.

The petition can be found here: "Stop the Ledges of Woburn Project"    

Raymond also sent an update from a meeting at the Thompson Library of residents with concerns with the project on Jan. 17.

He said that at the meeting the question of where Mayor Scott Galvin stands on the project was raised. 

"The consensus of the residents was that not only do we ask the Mayor but we demonstrate to him that the Ledges of Woburn Project will not only affect the quality of life for most of North Woburn, but we want him to understand that the quality of life will be comprised for the next five years in all of Woburn and the surrounding Cities and Towns," he said. 

"In addition to the the electronic petition, we have initiated a letter writing campaign to the Mayor," Raymond continued. "We are also generating a letter writing campaign to our State Officials so that they understand the importance of this issue."

What do you think? Are you opposed to this project? Do you think Woburn needs more affordable housing for those who need it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

chefhockey January 25, 2013 at 11:48 AM
Eastern Massachusetts needs more affordable housing. and Woburn is certainly not exempt for this dilemma, however, concentrating them in one large complex, especially when that area's roads are already miserably overloaded is a recipe for misery. Scatter site in small clusters is a far more Woburnesque approach. This puts much less stress on an infrastructure that is already overworked.
Earnhardt January 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Where does the Mayor stand on this? I have not heard him say much of anything about it. He does seem to avoid the subject though. The developer always gets what he wants in N. Woburn. I notice more work is beginning next to St. Anthony's church. Wait until that mess starts! Get ready all you side st residents. Traffic is about to increase ten fold. Who will you call? The standard answer will be "I will look into it." Ward 6 has a weak voice.
IQ January 25, 2013 at 04:27 PM
What are the "health, safety, and welfare issues" that would arise from building these units that affects the current residents of the neighborhood? Sounds like reaching for an argument. What's the real reason?
Dianne Autenzio January 25, 2013 at 06:15 PM
The site work is the problem. The developers will be running a quarry for over 2 yrs, blasting, grinding, processing and the heavy trucking. North Woburn cannot handle this we have 2 elementary schools, school bus stops as well as regualr bus stops, a pre school right in the area. The noise, the traffic will affect everyone that travels those roads. The majority of our roads are very narrow and there is no sidewalks, people will be looking for ways to avoid the traffic and this will cause a safety issue as many children and elderly live in these neighborhoods. The impact on our community will be unbelievable. The developer will be making millions at our expense by selling the materials from the blasting. There is no answer to my continuious question IS THE ZONED FOR A QUARRY, how can this be allowed to happen. We need to stand up for this now. The online petition is very easy to do pass it on to others, they do not have to live in Woburn to sign it. It will effect other towns such as WIlmington and Burlington. The developers also will tell you that the trucking will be going thru Wilmington, I can tell you that Wilmington will never allow that. The trucking will be thru our streets. Remember are the voters, the taxpayers we need to all stand up for our rights
Dianne Autenzio January 25, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Letters to the elected officials, state and city wide will also help This is an important issue please let them know your feelings
Janet Levesque January 25, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Wow, Mr. Earnhardt you do not miss an opportunity to degrade your alderman at every chance, even when he is leading the charge to fight something that will be bad for the entire city! When you do that it makes you much smaller that I think you are from the intelligence of your writing. We talked about this in another post and it is not nice and it makes you look mean, which I am sure is not your intention and it might not even be your personality. I hope everybody signs this petition and puts it on their facebook page, get everyone in your family to sign it. Stop complaining and do something positive to help the people and the alderman. I don't want a quarry and this is no joke or an excuse to stop affordable housing. I just watched Ken Burns' Dust Bowl and believe it or not thousands of people died from exactly the kind of stuff that a quarry generates. People had lung problems and it scarred the lungs or killed the children. It was awful!
Carol Youngclaus January 25, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Earnhardt, I wonder who you are. Were you at the many, many meetings where Alderman Raymond stood up for the citizens of his ward? Are you aware of how extremely hard he has worked to try to prevent this debacle? Did you speak at any of the meetings at City Hall? *Do you support this project?* Or do you just enjoy trashing city officials for your own amusement, hiding behind a pseudonym? Look, I'm not even from North Woburn -- I live near Spence Farm, a neighborhood that is dealing with its own development (and serious flooding) issues -- but at least our neighborhood is working with home-based developers, not bait-and-switch carpetbaggers whose only interest is to extract as much profit as they can and then go find some other town to tear apart. Mike Raymond -- with considerable help from Dick Gately and some of the other Aldermen, should be thanked for the work he has done and continues to do. I signed his petition and I encourage everybody else to as well.
Linda January 27, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Lets not forget this issue regarding the Ledges was permitted well before Alderman Raymond became an Alderman. If you think this is an easy fight think again. Especially Earnhart. For well over a year residents have been meeting at city hall and at the Thompson Library to be updated by our Alderman Raymond and Alderman Gately. Yes,our Mayor is silent about the issue, unless called out in public, he says nothing. We are all still committed to living in our homes and enjoying clean air and enjoyment of our property. Sign the petition to let the Mayor know how we feel.
Earnhardt January 27, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Janet, i'm not going around with you on this, Do you live in the ward? Do you deal with the mess trying to get to work every day? do you? I have attended meetings. I have also watched the entire N. Woburn area go downhill in a matter of a few years. Look at the St. Anthony construction, Our Alderman said virtually nothing on the projects. Nothing on traffic, nothing on the infrastructure overload that will occur. I am well aware of lung issues from dust, asbestos arsenic etc etc. If you doubt this, I will gladly explain in detail just what, and how I know. If speaking up in a public forum such as patch makes me look "mean" Then it pretty much makes everyone on here look "mean" Affordable housing is fine. I don't know where you live in Woburn, nor do I care. My Alderman is pretty much noneffective, as was the alderman before him. Why? because at City Hall N. Woburn is considered a joke. Until we get someone who actually Fights and makes noise for us at City Hall, we are destined for what is about to happen. The Mayor could care less, All the petitions in the world are not going to stop this. We all know it. If thats considered degrading my Alderman, so be it. Take a look at the ward, Tell me, in the years that the Alderman has been in control here, is the ward better? worse? the same? Do you even know?. You have your opinions I have mine.
Earnhardt January 27, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Been to may of them Carol. what has it accomplished? what have you accomplished? Let's see... A drive through no one wanted, A construction project on Main St, that is going to cause untold amounts of traffic with little opposition from the Alderman. A solar approval on a landfill with unstable soil and a membrane that should not be disturbed, A rat hole directly across from the Proposed ledges 40b project that should have been declared a public nuisance years ago Thank him for what? Every ward has issues, the issues you face in your eyes are just as bad. If it wasn't for Gately, we would have no representation here, and he isn't our Alderman. Why is it that every project here goes virtually unapposed? I do go to meetings, Pseudonym? The reason for the pseudonym is simple. I have explained it many times and will do it again. I was on here as myself, until someone like you called when I was not home and gave my wife a pile of grief. Someone LIKE you, not you of course,sad, but that is the way of the world. Mr. Raymond knows who I am.. Thats all that counts isn't it?
Earnhardt January 27, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Linda. We can thank the alderman before Mr Raymond, Which was Galante for what happened with the ledges, that I agree with. Originally it was aprovall for 12 two family homes, But Mr Galante got it defeated,so for spite Mr. Santullo got approval for 40 b, which has led to the current proposal. So I know the history quite well.But when you look at everything in this ward that has gone unopposed since Mr Raymond took his first oath of office, You have to agree that we have no real representation. See my above response to Ms.Youngclaus to get the idea.
AerofanZ January 27, 2013 at 10:55 PM
I was so sickened when I drove past St. Anthony's and saw all the downed trees. Why is it that this town continuosly disregards to will of the majority when it comes to North Woburn. Will the mayor not pay attention until we look like a Boston slum?
Janet Levesque January 28, 2013 at 01:54 AM
Earnhardt - thank you for proving my point. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but no more. You can thank the state for allowing 40B projects. You can thank the voters of Massachusetts for not voting it out during the last election. Because what you would have gotten if the church had its way was MORE 40B housing up there. It is unfortunate but it is REAL. If cities don't let developments go in, the landowner sells to a 40B developer who could care less. It's like a hammer hanging over every decision. I saw the discussions on tv and it was mentioned many times. THe church is one of the biggest 40B supporters in the state so what makes you think they wouldn't sell to a 40B developer? You are angry at the wrong people. You should be angry at the people whoever they are who wouldn't buy the land from the original developer to keep 40B out. I agree with Carol that these people are carpetbaggers and instead of being angry with THEM you are angry at the only people who are trying to help. If I was Mr Raymond I would tell you to take a hike and let you deal with it. No amount of money or anything is worth the spiteful venom you are dishing out. Shame, shame, shame on you.
Earnhardt January 28, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Janet, please, do not give me the benefit of the doubt, spare me OK? The church will sell to whoever they can, on that you are right, First, the council was sole a bill of goods over the whole Rec Center the church was going to build with the money, They were they only ones who bought that load of bull. Second, you failed to answer my question. Is the ward better, worse or the same since Mr. Raymond took office? Speaking of that is not venom, Telling it like it is is not venom. Hs mr. Raymond said anything on the upcoming C.V.S. Petition? what will we do when that passes? and it will pass. You do not like things painted the way they are. You want it all to be rosy and wonderful. I can read you word for word the 40b regulations, I know how they come about and who is responsible.This ward is becoming a dumping ground that will ultimately show up all over the city when this is done. I mean after all. if they can pull this off, then you neck of the woods will be next. Im not ANGRY at Mr Raymond, far from it. I am trying to get him to stand up! when is the last time you read his name in the paper as taking a stand on anything? Look at what is next to the church now, They got around the curb cut by using the church driveway. Where was his opinion on that? oh yeah there wasn't one!
Dianne Autenzio January 28, 2013 at 02:21 AM
We need to work together to retain what we can of North Woburn. Instead of blaming people from the past lets step up to the future and work together. Our Alderman has worked very hard attending all the meetings, sending out notices, writing letters, attending as well as holding open meetings to keep us all informed.Sign the petition, pass it along and write/call our elected officials, not just locals,write or call state representatives, senators, governors office, newspapers, let your voices be heard. It is our City lets stand up TOGETHER and work together to keep the LEDGES from destroying what is left of North Woburn. Many City boards members, alderman/women, some have been very supportive and we need to let them again know the effects of the site prep on our families. The Mayor is the head of the City we must let him know our feelings. Hopefully he will stand up and show us some support and attend any future meetings that are held regarding this.
Earnhardt January 28, 2013 at 02:23 AM
So to continue, i ask you again. do you live here? do you drive the roads at 8 am? is the ward better since he took office? worse? do you know? You can sign all the petitions to stop this you want. The Mayor does not care.
Taz January 29, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Just wanted to give my 2 cents on the Ledges issue: 1. we already have a 168 unit - 6 story building approved by the “State” in 2003, after the city exhausted all it’s legal fighting (Google: City of Woburn Judgment after recript; its on the city’s website too –you’ll get a good feel of how the State officials think) on the main principle that Woburn is not at 10% affordable housing. 2. the petitioners want to change the design - yes more blasting more construction time more inconvenience for people and neighbors. But under “Massachusetts” law this does not outweigh the need for affordable housing. 3. where are we on this project? The board of appeals denied the changes on the local level, now it will go back to the State Level. Woburn will again fight it in court as long as we can, but ultimately it will be approved by the “State officials” because Woburn is still not at 10%. More....
Taz January 29, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Conclusions: The mayor stated at the community meeting at St. Anthony’s club that he is against this change, and that he will devote all the cities resources to fighting it, however he is not grandstanding because he knows there is ultimately nothing the city can do once it gets appealed to the State Level (which it now has), because we’re still below 10%. As for Alderman Raymond he should already know this, and he would be derelict at his duty not to inform the neighbors that it is now a “State Issue”. In my opinion he should direct his fire not at the Mayor but to our elected State officials – Dwyer, Donnelly, and Patrick as these are State Laws and State Officials making the judgments and decisions now. Ta
Maria February 06, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Does anyone know how the town meeting last night turned out?

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