Defend Ipswich River Communities' (DIRC) fundraiser on Tuesday evening at the Horseshoe exceeded all expectations due to generous support from attendees and donors. More than 300 concerned citizens from North Reading, Reading, Middleton, Lynnfield, Peabody, and Topsfield helped push the fundraising total to more than $12,000, bring DIRC's total funds raised to over $30,000. Thanks to all who enjoyed dinner, generously bid on silent auction items, and purchased raffles. DIRC has delivered prizes to all winners.
DIRC will use these funds to keep its expert 40B attorney working to oppose the proposed 20 Elm Street project. In his first appearance before the North Reading Zoning Board of Appeals on Aug. 8, Attorney Dan Hill’s diligence paid off, suggesting that the town needed to account for group homes and other potentially eligible properties in its calculation of the percentage of affordable units counted toward Safe Harbor. Information later obtained from the state showed that the town’s General Land Area Minimum (GLAM) calculated at 1.56%, above the 1.5% needed for a Safe Harbor declaration. The newly identified units also appear to put the town just above the 10% threshold Safe Harbor threshold in its count of affordable units. The developer may enter an appeal and the data will undergo an extensive review process by the state.
The fundraiser’s success will help DIRC follow this process to assure that the town’s affordable count is comprehensive and to provide continued information aimed at stopping the project. DIRC thanks all citizens who supported this effort by purchasing dinner tickets, donating directly, bidding on silent auction prizes and raffles. In addition, DIRC extends appreciation to all those who generously donated prizes, the band, Lunatic Neighbor, whose members donated their time to help us protect the Ipswich River Watershed, and to Horseshoe Grille Owner Pat Lee and his entire staff for their support and generosity.