Newsletter #6, August 19, 2019
DIRC Attorney, Residents Speak Out at Aug. 8 ZBA Hearing
The public hearing for the 20 Elm Street project opened before a crowd of 350 citizens from North Reading and neighboring communities, with all who spoke weighing in strongly against the project. After a lengthy presentation by Developer Nick Yebba's attorney, engineer, and architect, Defend Ipswich River Communities' Attorney Dan Hill spoke strongly against the project, raising red flags on the number of waivers requested, groundwater "mounding," traffic, and the need for the ZBA to consider local concern when rendering it's decision (see Question of the week below).

The next ZBA meeting will be held Thursday, Aug. 22 at 6:45 p.m. in the North Reading High School Performing Arts Center. This meeting is expected to last 30 minutes or less and review only the issue of the percentage of land mass in North Reading used for affordable housing, as raised by Attorney Hill in the first hearing. (Communities can claim safe harbor to decline a project outright only if the number of affordable units is 10% or the land mass is 1.5% of the town's total.) Public comment will be minimal, if any.

Keep Ace Legal Counsel on Our Team
Attend the Horseshoe Fundraiser on August 27
Did you like the representation you saw at the ZBA hearing? Expert legal and environmental representation is the ONLY way to defeat this project. We can't keep our team of ace experts fighting without your support. Enjoy dinner at the Horseshoe (adult and child tickets available), a great band, and fun raffles.

Dine at your convenience from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Bring your family and friends! Kids tickets available!

Can't attend? Click here to donate directly.
Question of the Week
How did the ZBA vote on Aug. 8? Is the project approved or denied?
After the first ZBA hearing last week, many citizens asked us whether the ZBA approved the project. Others asked how those in attendance voted. We'd like to clarify the process here and ask that you share with others who might be uncertain about next steps.

The ZBA did NOT vote on project approval or denial at the meeting nor did citizens participate in any votes. The 40B review process is a long one, subject to ZBA vote after a series of hearings that will last six months or more. Hearings will cover the project in great detail, with review of environment, site plans, traffic, public safety, and more. The process is unlikely to finish until winter, after which the ZBA will have 40 days to render a decision. (The only time citizens would vote is if the Select Board offers a zoning change outside the 40B process at a Town Meeting, and there is no plan for that on the table now.)

While citizens do not vote, participation and feedback at EVERY HEARING is critical. The ZBA, appointed by North Reading's Select Board, represents the townspeople. They need to see that the hundreds of citizens who showed up at the first meeting won't give up fighting a project that will harm the environment, risk public safety, and increase traffic.
Volunteers Needed -- Help Defeat This Nightmare!
Teamwork will make the difference in defeating this oversized project! Are you worried about the environment, public safety, traffic, schools, or taxes? Turn that concern into action by volunteering on the Defend Ipswich River team. Click below to send us a note about whether you'd like to help with outreach, fundraising, technical issues, or some other area of expertise, and we'll connect to get you on board!
Watch Our Opposition to 20 Elm in Action!
Watch DIRC's Attorney Dan Hill present his arguments opposing this project to the ZBA at the Aug. 8 hearing. Dan and other experts bring critical knowledge to oppose this project on facts and with great credibility.

Help us fund another hour of Dan's time by clicking here! We can't keep up the battle without your support.
Don't miss Defend Ipswich River's program explaining the ins and outs of the 20 Elm project. Click the video above to learn how the project's overwhelming density would pose danger to the environment and impact all citizens of North Reading and surrounding towns. Watch to find out how the 40B process works and how you can help oppose the project.
More Lawn Signs on the Way! Get Your Own or Sponsor One!
Our latest sign order has been delivered, and we are ready to place additional yard signs in busy locations in North Reading, Middleton, Lynnfield, and West Peabody. Please pass along this request to friends and family on major routes in and out of North Reading.

Signs are $20, and payment can be made by check or Venmo. If budget is a concern, sponsored signs are available by confidential request.