December 14, 2017

What are we going to do if the wells go dry?

Posted

There are number of troubling issues related to the low income housing project proposed for the old Anawan School.

Foremost among them is the impact on our water supply. The developer has cited questionable water usage projections that are 5 -10 times less than average usage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The project will require two wells that with pumps running 24 hours/day. There is no evidence that such a high draw will not affect the wells of nearby Rehoboth residents. When asked at the Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing (ZBA) what provisions were planned to help neighbors if their wells went dry, neither the ZBA or the developers had any answers. Furthermore, heavy excavation, well fracturing, or ledge blasting may affect all wells within a quarter mile radius or more.

Wetlands for the east branch of the Palmer River could be affected by this development. At the ZBA hearing on June 22nd Dean Harrison, representing the developer, stated that, “there are no wet lands in the proposed development area.” But, Mr Harrison went on to acknowledge that the project would require obtaining an easement on wetlands from an abutter to satisfy the 212 foot well protection zone required under Massachusetts General Law. Mr. Harrison claimed he was currently in negotiations with the abutter. However, the abutter, who was present at the meeting, said she had no contact with developer in eighteen months and that she had no interest in granting an easement.

The developers want to pave over our Community Garden to create only 52 parking spaces for their 82 residents. They propose sharing parking places with the Rehoboth Senior Center to make up the difference. Parking for the Rehoboth Senior Center is already tight.

The next scheduled meeting of the ZBA is October 26 at 6:00 PM at the Rehoboth Council on Aging.

Veronica Brickley

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