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    Stoneham’s Franklin Street can’t handle more traffic

    After reading the article “Town considers hiring lawyer to fight apartment proposal,” (Globe North, Aug. 22), I feel compelled to comment.

    When Margaret Murphy, real estate consultant to developer John M. Corcoran and Co., indicated that the firm was not daunted by the town hiring an attorney, in essence she is saying, “Guess what? It’s Chapter 40B . . . the state is on our side and we will win!” Developers have been using 40B to skirt town zoning laws for years, and forcing huge apartment complexes down the throats of towns like Stoneham.

    Stoneham is a town of under 7 square miles, and part of that area is the Middlesex Fells Reservation, conservation land that is reserved for people all over Eastern Massachusetts to enjoy, either by hiking, boating, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing. Outside of that area, there is little open land left in this town, which is primarily residential housing and strives to maintain a rural character.


    Franklin Street runs from Melrose through Stoneham as an access route to interstates 93 and 95. There are also people from Saugus who use this route to commute to work. When Ms. Murphy indicates there is already truck traffic coming out of Weiss Farm, that “traffic” is sporadic and minuscule. It is only for customers of Donna Weiss. That traffic doesn’t even begin to equate with the traffic that will be generated by this project.

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    In addition, there is a high school, a grammar school, an early education school, and a day care center, either on that street or in close proximity. Right now, without this development, it is impossible to cross Franklin. What about the safety issue?

    Ms. Murphy describes a beautiful place with a pool and game room. I have been to and seen the Lynnfield Commons. There is nothing beautiful about it. Tall, ugly buildings, toys on the porches, kids’ bikes parked (very few children?). But that one doesn’t sit anywhere near single-family homes: its next-door neighbor is two huge tanks.

    I understand that Margaret Murphy is employed by Corcoran and Co., and is trying to put the best face forward on this development. My problem is with the developer. As a 34-year resident of Stoneham who commutes down Franklin Street daily, I would like to advise Corcoran and Co. to take the pool and the club house and the apartments and build them in its corporate officers’ neighborhoods.

    Camille Chesnick