Burns, Simolaris Will Protect Billerica’s Open Space
I am a Billerica Town Meeting Member representing precinct 9 and I am asking you to cast your votes for George Simolaris and Dan Burns on Saturday, April 6, for the two open seats on the Board of Selectmen.
For the last few years, I have been active in spearheading campaigns to protect crucial plots of Billerica’s public land from the Town Manager’s agenda to relinquish these lands to developers for tax revenue. The plots of land in question are the Old Ditson School property; one of the only open spaces left in Pinehurst, the beautiful 38-acre Cabot Land on River Street, which abuts the Concord River, and the 14-acre DPW Land on Boston Road, which also abuts the Concord River.
It has become evident that the town manager and other town officials have little to no interest in keeping town ownership of these plots of land for future enhancement and preservation due to their obvious advancements toward this agenda. These advancements include the habitual desire by the town manager to develop the Old Ditson School property into high/low-density housing, even after the Ditson Reuse Committee’s recommendation against such developments along with an 856-signature petition opposing the same
Although the Old Ditson may temporarily be used to house the Pinehurst fire station during its new construction, the selectmen still have the power to decide the fate of the property during this time. Attempts to sway public opinion in favor of developing the Cabot Land into one of three proposed development concepts, all which include clear cutting of forest and destruction of wetlands, were met with resistance from residents.
As it stands, the Board of Selectmen has not finalized any formal protection of this land as unanimously recommended by the Cabot Land Use Committee and it currently sits in limbo while state-funded wetlands mitigation takes place on approximately 10 of the 38 acres. Town Meeting’s rezoning of the 14-acre DPW land into a PUD has received support from this current board and concept drawings of high-density housing and retail developments have been created; all the while this land was originally intended to become a public riverside park and boat launch when the DPW can no longer be housed at the site.
I know George and Dan personally enough to know that these attempts to relinquish our public land will not stand with their presence on the Board of Selectmen. The consistent dragging of feet by the current board to protect these lands will be replaced by swift action in favor of conservation, recreation, and protecting the character and charm of Billerica.
Dan and George have both stated on record that these lands belong to the current and future residents of Billerica that will inherit them with pride! Now is the time to cast your vote for the future of Billerica, not an agenda stemming from the desire to cater to developers over the quality of life of Billerica residents.
Please vote for George Simolaris and Dan Burns on Saturday, April 6.