This is a letter to the editor from Fiona Barrett
Thanks to the for providing the open forum for discussion regarding the site plan review for 71 Greenwood Avenue. This is the first meeting we have received official notification as abutters to attend and we appreciate the opportunity to share as residents directly abutting the site.
Overall concern about the size of the proposed 41-unit construction and its impact on the immediate neighborhood. This plan is designed to add 41 new homes with 87 parking spaces into a small neighborhood that already experiences traffic & parking challenges.
When school was in session here the impact was significant but we also knew it was not permanent due to peak in/out of school times & quiet during school vacation.
Also, from an overall town perspective the current structure is an icon building, visible for many miles as you enter the town. The photos shown in the meeting did not give perspective as to how this new structure will blend/or-not into the town as everyone will have visibility to whatever happens here on the hill.
At the last historical committee meeting there were pictures shown of the original school which I believe still exists underneath the additions that led to the current structure. If you have not seen pictures of the original structure I strongly urge you to take a look and be sure before any demolition decision is made that we are not destroying a piece of important history for the town of Swampscott including the wall which I heard is created from historic stone with special meaning for the town. See attached picture here for your reference https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=F2E615B8A0463217!1257
Whilst I hear a lot of data being shared about traffic studies I know from being resident here for 9 years now the current traffic, even without school activity, especially at the Greenwood Ave/King St intersection can be fast & furious at certain times, mostly commuter times and moreso in the morning as a cut-through from Humphrey Street.
In addition the proposed plan suggests moving from a oneway entrance/exit towards a two-way entrance/exit being created in the center of the front of the site. This I believe is a serious issue — the street width on Greenwood Avenue does not look wide enough to support this intended entry/exit and the current turning circle at the entrance is far greater than the proposed plan taking you into a horseshoe turn into the proposed site — this seems very dangerous. I am also concerned about how pedestrian traffic will be possible and impact on sidewalks with the wall being removed?
I urge the Planning Board to come up here in your cars and see if you think it is workable to turn into 71 Greenwood as currently proposed? This will be even more difficult with increased numbers of cars parked on the street.
Myself & neighbors already park outside our homes which I think is where the new entrance is designed to function! In addition how are we protected from such significant change to our homes by potentially having 87 cars, plus service vehicles, now shining their lights into our living rooms and potentially driving into our yards/homes if the turning circle is not sufficient to get into 71 Greenwood Ave. — especially on a snow/icy day on top of the hill here?
If this plan is approved, what recourse/protection do we have as current residents if a negative incident occurs to our property from this new development & traffic flow?
Greenwood Ave already has dense parking from current residents, by adding 41 new families into the area with their potential visitors, and especially in winter when street parking overnight is not allowed I truly do not see how/where all the cars for this plan will be housed.