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February 7, 2015

Dear Planning Board:

I am unable to attend the Public Hearing on Tuesday night regarding the Special Permit Application
related to the North Shore Crossing project. The following are my thoughts on the subject from my
viewpoint as both a City Councilor At-Large and also as a resident who grew up in North Beverly.
First, I commend the North Beverly Neighborhood Association, the Montserrat Neighborhood Group and
scores of residents for remaining involved in this process and for making the most of their opportunities
to provide input on this important issue. Civic engagement is a critical component to good government
and I view their participation is a good thing for Beverly.
I also applaud the Planning Board for your professionalism and for asking very thoughtful and tough
questions. Regardless of the decision you make, residents should feel confident in the process.
I am a proponent of economic development to grow Beverly's local economy, create jobs and increase our
commercial tax base. I have supported development projects as a City Councilor and I agree that this site
which is zoned for development should and will be developed.
The hard part is finding the right balance to ensure the project is respectful to residents, maintains the
character of our neighborhoods and minimizes negative impacts on quality of life. That has been the
issue with this project and why there has been such resistance by neighbors.
Traffic contributes directly to quality of life for residents. The intersections at both ends of Brimbal
Avenue received F ratings by the traffic experts and have been accurately referred to by residents as a
nightmare. This project will add thousands of vehicle trips on a daily basis to Brimbal Ave. and the
proposed traffic improvements do nothing to account for the MBTA train crossings which complicate the
problems at those intersections. And with two public elementary schools and several residential
neighborhoods along Brimbal Avenue, safety is a legitimate concern.
As you know, there are six conditions that Special Permit applications must meet in order to be accepted.
These are subjective and it is up to you decide. Like you, I have been listening closely to both sides of the
discussion over the last year and a half and in my opinion the traffic volume proposed by this project is
undue and beyond what we should expect our residents to accept.
I urge the Planning Board to vote NO to the Special Permit application. CEA can and should develop a
project by right that will have less detrimental effect on our residents.

Matt St. Hilaire

City Councilor At-Large