The Sullivan Courthouse -- Response to George

The Sullivan Courthouse -- Response to George

In reponse to a wickedlocal article, since it was too long for comment I'm posting here

Dear George,

I'm sorry to have to disagree strongly with you. The Leggat McCall is the wrong proposal for the East Cambridge neighborhood. Before I briefly state why, I want to correct you on an important point. I, as you, and many others have attented a lot of community meeting of both ECPT and NAEC. Whenever a vote wast taken, at both organizations, the majority was always against the proposal and any of its updates. As a result both organizations have sent letters to the Cambridge Planning Board requesting the planning board deny the permit.

Now, although I understand your frustration with the process, and why you might want the Leggat McCall proposal to happen, you omit to mention the important reasons why the majority of people in our community see this proposal as the wrong one for our neighborhood.

1. Much more traffic. The building will add substantial amount of vehicle traffic into neighborhood. And this is without counting the added traffic from the Alexandria building on 3rd and Binnney, or North Point and other projects in the pipeline... and a yet undefined restructuring of the roads. The resulting exhaust pollution will chase away families with kids (due to asthma concerns) and forever change a family neighborhood into a dormitory for neighboring high tech companies.

2. Exacerbate an already failing parking infrastructure. The number of cars needing parking will substantially increase and the area will inevitably see more non resident trying to find parking deeper into the neighborhood. And Leggat McCall wants to lease from the city or galleria mall more parking, taking away parking from the community for the benefit of their tenants.

3. An number of other pollution, from noise to light, which have been demonstrate to have irreversible health consequences, ie: cancer, ... on an unsuspecting community. And that is without talking about the 18 wheelers traffic generate on 2nd street, with the potential adverse effect on destroying the homes on said street.

4. I'll finish with the moral issue. Although I could go on with a number of additional negative effects this development will have on our neighborhood. The Courthouse sits on a piece of land which was gifted to the people and with the aim of it having a public purpose for eternity. The building as is is already in breach of the original deed. Can I trust the people's representatives, be it the State or the City to care for a gift I would make, or should I assume they'll dispose of it by selling it to the highest bidder? It seems morally obvious that the building should remain public land. It seems morally obvious that the rights of the State, such as eminent domain, should not be transferred to the private sector. It seems morally obvious that whatever proposal is considered by the State should start with a clean slate and not a heavy burden of remediation. It is morally obvious that in dealing with the Sullivan courthouse the State misbehaved.

The community, in its majority, opposes The Sullivan courthouse redevelopment proposal of Leggat McCall. This proposal will be highly detrimental to East Cambridge and Cambridge at large. The special permit 288 should be denied this Tuesday July 29th at the Kennedy Longfellow school @7pm, by the Cambridge Planning Board. The process for the redevelopment of the courthouse should be reset.

ilan, spring st.