Residents Dismayed By Tree Removal At Market Street Site

Nearby property owners attended selectmen's meeting Monday night to decry cleared area along Walnut Street.

A group of town residents are taking their concerns to the selectmen following the removal of a number of trees at the Market Street at Lynnfield construction site along Walnut Street near Route 128.

Town Administrator Bill Gustus explained at Monday's meeting that in recent days, a number of residents had complained that renderings shown during the Market Street approval process showed the trees in question in both the before and after photos. However, he went on to say that he had spoken to the project's developer, Ted Tye of National Development, and was assured that the work done was in accordance with a plan approved by the town's planning board - and town officials have since determined that this is indeed the case. 

"While the effect of seeing the trees removed is quite dramatic, the end result will be substantial screening provided by the berms and landscaping.  We appreciate your patience while this work is underway," states a May 17th update on the MarketStreetConstruction.com website.

Gustus said at the meeting that he was also told environmental regulations required some of the trees to be removed because of a retention pond in the vicinity.

Another potential issue is whether National Development had the proper clearance from the state to remove trees located in its right of way area at Exit 43. Gustus reported that DPW Director Dennis Roy found that some of the trees were in the state's right of way area, and that he is expecting an answer back shortly from National Development on whether it had approval to take down those trees. "(Tye) assured me he would do whatever he had to do," said Gustus, also reporting that the two expect to speak again on Wednesday.

Looking ahead, town officials and regulatory bodies will find themselves developing a chain of communication and Gustus cited the potential importance of "a coordinator to pull all these people together and make sure they're all on the same page." He also acknowledged that the removal of the trees "took us somewhat by surprise."

"We will be more vigilantly watching what goes on there," he said, adding that department heads have been instructed to "put this on the front burner." The planning board's approval of the plan (which can be viewed in its office) that included the removal of the trees in question was cited on several occasions during the meeting.

"What happened last week is something of a wakeup call," said Gustus. "We are in the middle of it now, and we will be reacting accordingly." However, he also reported that he was told that "the final landscaping plan will more than cover what those trees were able to cover before."

Resident Tom Carmichael asked the selectmen if they had been aware of the plan to remove the trees as well. Board Chairman Bob MacKendrick replied that the project is multi-jurisdictional and that the planning board's authority is to review and approve the site plan for development. MacKendrick is also the selectmen's liaison to Market Street, and he noted that he will be active in this role while also bringing a considerable amount of valuable experience to the table. "We can't fix it instantly, but going forward, I think we'll be OK," he said.

While the trees can't be replaced, nearby residents will at least see a berm start to take shape in the coming months along Walnut Street that is expected to have 10-foot trees or bushes. A large berm behind the retention pond should also account for about a 25 foot elevation change from Walnut Street. This vegetation was apparently not expected to go in until around next spring, but it was noted during the meeting that fall may now be a possibility. For the short term, residents will pretty much have the current view.

"(Tye) is adamant that you will not be able to see the development from Walnut Street," said Gustus.

About a half dozen residents of nearby neighborhoods raised their concerns about the removed trees to the selectmen, warning that this could be just the beginning of quality of life issues to affect town residents in the coming months as the major project gets ready for a 2013 launch. "The neighbors really thought the trees were on everybody's radar screen," said Wally McKenzie, pressing town officials to secure specific answers on what the developer will do to rectify the loss of the trees, what is the expected response time, how exactly did it happen, and should the town hire somebody at this point to be at the site for inspection work.  

McKenzie estimated during the meeting that the cut area in question is about 300 feet long and he also predicted that when it comes to potential issues between abutters and the Market Street project, "lighting is probably the next big thing."

In a previous interview with Lynnfield Patch, Tye talked about some of the benefits that planned will offer at Market Street.

Editor's Note: A landscaping plan for the Walnut Street entrance can be viewed here on National Development's Market Street website.

Don May 22, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Actually, this looks like a pretty good idea. Wonder if the conservationists would allow a bike path to run between the town in the marsh?
Donny May 22, 2012 at 04:19 PM
This whole thing is a joke. It is ruining our town, our property values, bunch of hacks led by Gustus.
Donny May 22, 2012 at 04:20 PM
This whole thing has ruined the small town feel of Lynnfield that made it special for so many years. A crying shame.
Angry Dave May 22, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I propose we rename Lynnfield, Burlington Mall North. The Finance Committee and others from the town government were celebrating the "victory" at the 99 the night the project was approved many months ago. Disgraceful.
Dorothy May 22, 2012 at 05:23 PM
@Frank the loss of trees are important to me. This is a treed town; that is why people move here. It was a shock to drive by and see the starkness of the area. I do not have a problem with the project as long as it doesn't ruin the ambiance of the area. Why is it so impossible in Lynnfield to work with the land rather than against it? Lynnfield would have been the perfect pallette for building within the natural environment.
Dorothy May 22, 2012 at 05:31 PM
@Donny It is a crying shame. But before this project, all the building and new roads being pushed through has ruined the small town. This letting contractors have free reign is nothing new.
Dorothy May 22, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Look at Chestnut Street!
Citizen X May 22, 2012 at 05:39 PM
While I understand the concern of many residents, we did vote in town meeting to approve the re-zoning that paved the way for Market Street. It's not like these guys arrived in the middle of the night and started clear cutting the property. The end product will (hopefully) be a great asset to the town, while having minimal effect in the town's character as a whole. We only need to look south to Hingham (another very nice community) to see what the end product will likely end up being.
Frank May 22, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I accept the fact the mall is being built. It just seems strange that residents were able reject the idea of the movie theater, but I don't recall hearing about Kings until it was a done deal. The theater [ although pricey ] seemed like it would have little impact. I don't see how the late night bowling area / lounge is a plus for the town... I find the " Tree Police " mentality a bit much. People getting worked up when trees are cut down on property they don't own... The trees and shrubs @ Market Street can be replaced. I worry that a nightclub in our town causes more damage than clear-cutting the trees.. BTW Citizen X, Hingham is very nice. However they don't have a Kings.
Dorothy May 22, 2012 at 07:15 PM
@Frank Tree Police? Give me a break! Old growth vs. New growth. Anyway, there is nothing in this town to do. Kings might be a nice addition. Why is this being referred to as a nightclub? I do think that a movie theatre could have been a nice addition. Was Kings on the Lynnfield side of the deal?
Dorothy May 22, 2012 at 07:31 PM
The bottom line is that the citizens have spoken and there will be oversight of the project. Bob McKendrick is a good man and a longtime resident. I trust he will do right for the community.
Donny May 22, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I'm absolutely disgusted that our small town that I've lived in for 50 years now felt the need to be brainwashed by Gustus and Co. into building this awful place.
Michael May 22, 2012 at 11:23 PM
I agree that it is a shame for the town.The residents of the town voted for this. I think we will all be sorry. I don't think the choices we were facing were good regardless. In my opinion, what needs to change are laws that take away our rights to determine the character of our towns. You may recall too that we in Massachusetts had a chance to vote against 40B and we did not.
Joe Y. May 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM
The residents who overwhelmingly voted this project in are the ones to blame! Recent visits to Legacy Place in Dedham, Patriots Place in Foxboro and Hingham Shipyard have found them ghost towns. No one is spending money on high-end items. The residents that voted in favor will also be the first ones to complain when our taxes go up to support the infrastructure of the project for years to come. The town does not have the resources now to monitor traffic violators. I live on Walnut Street and have been complaining to the town about the banned trucks and speeding cars for years. The police occasionally set up here, but still on any given day, many, many tractor-trailers and heavy trucks travel this street with no regard. When Market Street is complete, the traffic situation will get even worse. I was, and still am strongly opposed to Market Street. No trees or traffic it appears we are stuck with Market Street. Once again, residents, property owners and voters loose!
Joe Y. May 23, 2012 at 11:46 AM
http://www.marketstreetconstruction.com/pages/updates%20advisories.html. Does not work! You can not even email them. I tried and link is down.
Joe Y. May 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM
Construction Questions If you have a construction-related question, please send an email by clicking here. We attempt to respond to all questions as quickly as possible, but no later than the next business day. Cranshaw Construction Field Office Please send an email by clicking here or call 617-559-5076 and leave a message.
Don May 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I think the Market place is going to be better than those mentioned. I don't know why we are wasting time, lets build the casino.
Angry Dave May 23, 2012 at 04:57 PM
We don't need to look as far south as Hingham....just look as far as Burlington. Wonderful!
Angry Dave May 23, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Yeah! Casinos!!! And strip joints and massage parlors and check cashing stores and OTB and malls (oops, we are already doing that one). These are the things that make a great comminuty!
Greg Liacos May 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM
For more than a year the roadways leading to the whole intersection have been a mess, including the on/off ramps to 95/128. When the whole project is finished traffic will be so bad especially on weekends that residents on and abutting Walnut street are going to be certainly screwed. Why an entrance is even on Walnut is beyond bizarre. For most of my adult life I have regularly heard on radio traffic reports of accidents tying up traffic on 95/128 at or near the Walnut Street exit in Lynnfield. Who the freak thought this was a good plan for a mega-destination? This is like being Peabody & Burlington, follow the money and favors to get the responsible parties that hoodwinked the community,
William Laforme (Editor) May 24, 2012 at 12:28 PM
On a side note, any one of you are perfectly welcome to start a blog on this website talking about the changes as they happen in town. There is also a Dedham Patch in our company so something tells me in the coming weeks we'll have a bit more info on how that whole Legacy Place thing has turned out for that town. - Bill Laforme
Don May 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM
All those type places are around the corner in Peabody Dave. I don 't want that. High class entertainment, restaurants, good night clubs. Keep it clean and they will come. I know how bad it will be for those around the Walnut/Summer St areas. It will be horrible. Luckily, I live on the Nreading side of town where this won't be much of an impact. I see the issues, those houses over there will be de-valued because of the traffic, noise and crowds. Maybe a special "residents" sticker should be needed to enter town. Wow, Lynnfield becomes a gated community.
bob May 24, 2012 at 05:16 PM
The towns people allowed this to happen...it is now a city.
bob May 24, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Shopping malls bring shoplifters, drunks, vagabonds, fights, weirdos and all types of trouble...buckle up folks.
M May 24, 2012 at 09:25 PM
I wish all the folks in Reading who are lamenting our "loss" of the similar lifestyle center @ Addison Wesley could read these posts (back in 2006 a group of Reading residents including me helped to fight the developer arguing our neighborhood did not want the traffic, etc, from such a development). Well, now Pulte homes is building 424 condos on the site, half of which are over 55, and many folks posting to Reading patch were lamenting this & regretting that the developer moved it all up the road to Lynnfield...as we argued in Reading, these kinds of things are never the prestigious, high end kinds of places that replicate a "downtown" feel. The developers would not guarantee us (and likely don't guarantee you) any tenants -- with the retail environment being what it is, the only stores that seem to be flourishing are dollar stores, discount stores, etc. And, apparently, places like the Kings folks are mentioning. All I can advise is keep up with what the developer is doing and who they are listing as tenants. Be sure that they keep their promises to the letter.
Joe Y. May 25, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Did anyone see the Patch about Lynnfield needing to hire 12 or 14 additional firefighters to have coverage for Market Street? I love living on a safe town. Market Street already needs infrastructure support. I hope the tax revenue generated from this project works out for the town if not will our taxes go up. Get ready to take another tax hit!
Joe Y. May 25, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Excuse me 10 or 12 new hires...
Wallace McKenzie May 25, 2012 at 01:52 AM
For that want to follow responses to the residents about this and other issues, please go to www.topics01940.org You can sign up and receive updates by going to lower right hand corner.
Lori May 25, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Does anyone see the irony here. Everyone is upset over two trees. If thats the case, why are we even considering tearing down hundreds of trees to build a rec center? Piece by piece we are losing the things that make this town special.
William Laforme (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Wally that topics01940.org website is great, thanks for the link... Bill Laforme


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