Following D&C’s presentation during the Planning Board public hearing this evening, 8 May, the public had the opportunity to speak and make presentations about its concerns for the proposed project. A great deal of work had been accomplished by a small group that has been working on this problem for some time, and those letters and reports were read into the minutes. Many other individuals, including a 12 year old resident, voiced opinions encouraging the board to not recommend the Special Exception to the Zoning Board. The discussions continued for over 1 1/2 hours.
Three months ago, during a phone conversation between the gas station operator, Paul Saba, and Eric Merklein, Saba stated, “if the Town does not want the station we will not build it.” As the presentations were concluding, Merklein rose and addressed Saba, challenging him to honor that statement in light of the large assembled crowd and what he had heard. Shortly, Mr. Phippard, representing D&C, stood and said, “the applicant has asked that we withdraw the application.”
To prevent a similar occurrence in the future, work still needs to be done on the Town’s Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance. Encourage your boards to begin that work. I thanked Mr. Saba for being honorable and respectful to the Town’s people by withdrawing his application, and asked that he contact me if D&C wishes to dispose of the land. With the passion Walpolean’s have for that property, I am confident that something can be accomplished to preserve it as is for future generations.
Thank you to all of you who attended the Planning Board and Zoning Board meetings, those of you who spoke, and those of you who spread the word. Together, as a community, we should all be proud.
Thank you, Ray Boas, Publisher, The Walpole Clarion
PS – please give this post wide circulation