In Response to Baystone Development

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Hopkinton resident Bruce Clark has this to say in response to the recent update from Baystone Development regarding work on Clinton Street, Front Street and Aprilla Farm Road.

This is Bruce Clark at 13 Alprilla with a few comments about both the information and the tone of this most recent message from "our neighbors" Baystone Development.

Repairing the culvert on Front Street was made necessary because a 12" water main was installed through it. The DPW had widened and raised the road bed over that culvert a couple of years ago to avoid the flooding that occurred during heavy rains and spring thaw. It was a good job that fixed a perennial problem. So the concept that Baystone's "repair" was done as "benefit" to the town is a real stretch of the imagination. And their "repair" has resulted in a patch, not a complete remake, that is already showing signs of degrading at the edges.

Are we supposed to apologize for the "inconveniences" that Baystone and its contractors have encountered? Gee when we moved here in 1987 we should have realized that Baystone Development, who is making an obstacle course of our roads, leaving bone-jarring depressions with corrugated pavement and pot-holes, creating clouds of dust and deafening noise, would be "inconvenienced" by our landscaping and improvements.

The tone of this message, as well as prior messages, is that Baystone's development would be going very smoothly if it weren't for the fact that people live here; and we who live in proximity to the construction are ungrateful for the "benefit" that the town is receiving. Steve Zieff refers to "the Town" as if it's some kind of "being." The town is the people, not the officials (many of whom don't even live in Hopkinton), not the buildings, but the people who live here. And we abutters to his project are a portion of the town that is being negatively impacted by the project. We have little or nothing to gain from the completion of the construction, save for the possibility of hooking up to a regulated and fee-based water delivery system. Oh, we now do have fire hydrants closer than before, just ask those who sport these new fixtures in their front lawns. Other than that the most we can hope for is a return to the peace and quiet that we've come to expect for the past 25 years. But until then we have to endure the very real inconveniences caused by the construction. And it is debatable if the "Town," at large, will benefit from the completion of the development. The certainties are more traffic and more taxes.

It seems to me that while we town folks need to be "patient and understanding" - words used by Steve Zieff, Baystone Development needs to exhibit understanding of our concerns, not just with words but deeds. (The very least would be to drop the condescending and patronizing tone of his messages.) After all It's Roy McDowell, Steve Zieff, and their investors who will realize the profits from this enterprise. Some of us who abut or are across from the Alprilla Wells, may actually take a financial hit on property values, depending on how the access road is finished. And after Baystone is long gone, we'll be left with patched roads, more traffic congestion, more taxes, and a decidedly different nature of the town.

The whole Alprilla Well project is necessitated by the Baystone project and the fact that the town's current water supply,which is hardly adequate for its present population, isn't nearly enough to provide for the substantial increase in demand that will result when the development is completed. So who is the beneficiary "the town" or our new "neighbors" Baystone Development? Who should be expressing gratitude?


P.S. My wife - Elise - has cautioned me that if I'm too critical of Baystone and its key folks that they may "un-friend" me and drop me from the e-mail list. I'll risk it. What I hope is that they will see that "having the right" and doing right are frequently different things.