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Letter: Expansion concerns

As a resident of Greenfield and a property owner on Smith Street, I have concerns over the proposed expansion of Cumberland Farms and I feel misrepresented by Greenfield’s Director of Planning and Development, Eric Twarog’s, comments from the April 25 Recorder article. Mr. Twarog stated that abutters who have inquired about the project “seemed happy” with his description of the proposed expansion. While Mr. Twarog has been helpful in providing information to my household and my neighbors, I am left with some concerns that I hope will be addressed before any plans are approved and construction begins.

The current plans for the 24-hour location include an outdoor seating area. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice titled “Robbery of Convenience Stores,” a way to mitigate the risk of crime around convenience stores is to enforce “prohibitions on loitering outside of convenience stores.” Doesn’t having outdoor seating encourage loitering?

As it stands today, with Domino’s Pizza and Cumberland Farms as my neighbors, I find myself in a daily position where I have to pick up trash that blows into my yard from their steady flow of patrons. In this respect, I question the proposed plan’s fencing. They have proposed a chain-link fence that will not span the length of the property on Smith Street. I understand that trash in inevitable, but there would be ways to limit this through a wooden fence. It would also act a buffer to light and noise. Alternately, they could increase the number of trash receptacles outside the store and recycling bins.

And then there is the noise. Trash pickups at these locations happen in the hours just before the sun rises, and they happen with frequency. Gas trucks, Coca-Cola trucks, and other delivery trucks also constantly come and go. Additionally, I personally have had to call the police twice because of late-night noise coming from the vicinity in question. With proposed outdoor seating and insufficient buffering, I do not imagine a decrease in this late-night noise.

Increased noise, litter, and crime, would diminish our quality of life, and potentially impact the property values on our street.

I hope that the Zoning Board and Cumberland Farms take these considerations seriously.

NEALE GAY

Greenfield

I concur with this contributor. This is an ill-thought out proposal. I'd be shocked if Greenfield would support a design that would encourage loitering and late-night rendezvous in such close proximity to residential homes.

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