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Peabody development protested; Neighbors oppose Eastman Gelatine housing project

PEABODY-Plans for a 16-unit housing development on unused Eastman Gelatine property met high opposition Thursday night during a public hearing held by the Planning Board.Neighbors rushed the podium in City Hall?s Wiggin Auditorium and expressed their concerns about flooding, sewerage backups, traffic, and overcrowding – issues they believe would result from the proposed Scouting Way subdivision.The plan involves converting several acres between Summit Street and Forest Street from what is now wildlife conservation land into a single-family housing development. Residents protested that when they purchased their homes on surrounding streets, they were told that the land would never and could never be developed.?I bought that land with the understanding it would never be built on,” said Richard Famiglietti, adding that traffic is his main concern. “The Summit/Centennial intersection can?t handle that type of traffic?Someone?s going to die, someone?s house is going to sink into the ground, some kid walking (to school) is going to get hit. It?s dangerous.”One woman complained of experiencing such difficulties with the “poor sewerage system” that on several occasions, sewage has come up through her toilets and run across her basement floor.?This is not going to be an improvement,” said the woman. “This is going to make a bad situation worse.”City Councilor Bob Driscoll, who lives on nearby Franklin Street, shared similar feelings.?There is a tremendous water issue in that area,” he said. “To add to that would exacerbate the problem.”Chris Mello, owner of Eastern Land Survey Association in Peabody, said that proper sewerage and drainage systems would be installed to prevent the development from creating additional water issues for surrounding neighbors.?This drainage system will not exacerbate the problem,” he said.The Planning Board decided to table the matter until the Conservation Commission handles the wetland and wildlife disruption component.The Board said it has 135 days to act on the issue, giving a deadline of May 23, 2008.

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