Developer's Grand Plan for Northland Industrial Park: Because Who Needs Privacy or Property Values Anyway?


In a contentious gathering on November 16th, 2023, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, concerned residents of the Northland community convened with Renaissance Infrastructure Consulting, to discuss the proposed rezoning of land parcel 100215, located north of Cookingham Drive to industrial use less than 300 feet from a residential neighborhood. The meeting unfolded with several points of contention, leaving residents uneasy about the potential impact on their homes, schools, and the overall community. Notes on the meeting can be found here:

This meeting concerned rezoning certain northland properties for Gashland-Nashua Area Development Plan, which was established in 2013. The meeting commenced with the Developer's Attorney, Ms. Jensen attempting to gather personal information, including names and home addresses, from all attendees. This move was met with resistance from the Concerned Northlanders, who found it unacceptable to provide such details during a public meeting. John Gervais, a resident, offered a compromise, suggesting that if the developer shared their information, the community might reciprocate. However, Ms. Jensen muted Gervais and moved on, leaving lingering questions about the necessity of collecting such information.

First and foremost, let's applaud the brilliant decision to turn a community meeting into a riveting game of "Guess Who's Here?" Why does a developer need personal information? Ms. Jensen, the mastermind behind this genius move, chose the path of secrecy when asked about the City Code. Who needs transparency anyway? Surely, spending 30 minutes on role call is the highlight of any community gathering.

Traffic concerns took center stage as a Bristol Park resident inquired about the impact on local traffic. The developer claimed minimal impact based on a previous study but admitted variations depending on the type of businesses leasing the site. The Concerned Northlanders raised doubts about the developer's intentions, pointing to the project's designation as the "First Creek Industrial Park" and questioning the need for 100 freight docking stations in what appears to be a distribution center.

But fear not, dear citizens, for the developer has a vision – a vision of 100 Freight Docking Stations in a place that's mysteriously labeled "First Creek Industrial Park." Of course, it's just a distribution center, not a server farm. Because who conducts a traffic study for a server farm, right? Certainly not a developer with a grand plan. Oh, but wait, the developer generously shared insights into the Meta (formerly Facebook) server farm nearby. Apparently, it's of minimal impact on his event venue farm. How delightful to have such influence over who gets to lease adjacent properties! But hey,don't you worry. You have the privilege of relying on elected officials and your voices before the almighty vote.

Property values became another focal point, with the developer's attorney asserting minimal impact without providing concrete evidence. The Concerned Northlanders challenged this, emphasizing the lack of developer research and evidence to support their claims.

Now, let's talk property values. The developer, armed with nothing but "Their Opinion," insists this distribution center won't affect them. Who needs evidence when you have opinions, right? It's almost as convincing as the flat earth theory. Show us the evidence, developer, that a distribution center 300 feet from our backyards won't turn our homes into noise-ridden truck havens.

Environmental concerns, particularly regarding pollution and health impacts, were dismissed by the developer's attorney, who deemed comprehensive environmental studies unnecessary. The community pressed for acknowledgment of potential health risks, but the developer remained silent.

Questions about the land's zoning as light residential and the reluctance to explore residential development raised eyebrows among residents. The Concerned Northlanders called for proof and highlighted the repeated attempts to rezone the land for commercial or industrial use, raising doubts about the developer's intentions.

Amidst these concerns, residents voiced worries about noise pollution from potential tractor-trailers, especially if they transport food products. The developer's logic in rezoning the land to industrial use to mitigate noise from highways was criticized, with residents highlighting the contradictions in the approach.

Community members, including author John Gman, expressed their dissatisfaction and rallied support. Suggestions were made to reach out to local media, such as Channel 9's Matt Flener, to bring attention to the community's concerns.

As discussions unfolded, residents shared their fears about declining property values and the negative impact on their community. Calls for unity and action were echoed, emphasizing the need to reach out to elected representatives and engage in a collective effort to address the proposed industrial development.

And as we scrutinize, a revelation! Since 2002, not a whisper of residential development on this sacred land. No attempts to sell for residential use, but repeated endeavors to re-zone for commercial or industrial exploitation. The developer must be a true guardian of community harmony.

In the alternate universe of Developer Dollars and Cents, logic takes a back seat. Highways generate too much noise for hypothetical future residents? Solution: Build a distribution center for current residents, guaranteeing increased noise and traffic. It's like plugging a leak in a bucket by drilling another hole – a brilliant strategy, or so the developer thinks.

So, dear Northlanders, bask in the glow of progress, where developer logic reigns supreme. The developer gets a fat payday, and you get the pleasure of dealing with the consequences. Who said progress couldn't be a win-win situation? Certainly not our visionary developer.

Despite the developer's assurances, concerns lingered among the Northland residents, prompting ongoing efforts to mobilize against the rezoning proposal. The lack of a recording of the meeting from the developer's attorney added to the community's apprehension, fueling suspicions of potential delays in information sharing.

As the Northland community navigates these uncertainties, residents continue to seek answers and support to safeguard their homes and the well-being of the community. The Concerned Northlanders remain vigilant, awaiting further developments and advocating for transparency and accountability in the decision-making process.