Developer Nick Yebba's ad on page 9 of the Sept. 19 North Reading Transcript urges you to vote against allocating funds toward legal review and proper oversight of the proposed 20 Elm project at the Oct. 7 Town Meeting at North Reading High School. Why would Yebba want you to vote "no?" Because the easier he can roll over the town and the fewer resources the town has to defend against his appeal of the Safe Harbor declaration, the less money Yebba has to spend on his proposed cash cow at 20 Elm Street.
Who profits if you vote no? Only Yebba. Who is harmed if you vote no? The Ipswich River and its environs, the 350,000 residents and businesses who rely on the river, abutters who WILL see the building, schools, public safety, and the beloved character of North Reading.
The town is seeking to allocate funds to properly defend against the Safe Harbor appeal, accurately count the units applied to Safe Harbor, and review all aspects of the project as legally allowed under 40B law. Now, Yebba is telling you to give up your rights to due diligence. Voting no means his legal team gets to steamroll over a town that does not have adequate resources against a greedy developer with deep pockets.
DIRC urges every citizen who opposes this project and Yebba's single-minded greed to attend Town Meeting and vote yes on Article 7 in favor of allocating funds for proper legal defense and review. The funds will come from free cash --- money remaining in the budget from the previous fiscal year and is regularly spent on one-time expenses.
This appropriation will not make your taxes go up; it will help protect the river, your town, and abutters from this oversized, misplaced project and its misdirected developer.