Huge Proposed Condo Development Near North Reading/Wilmington Line To Have Detrimental Effect On Town

WILMINGTON, MA — Town officials are concerned about the impact a proposed 450-unit, over-55 condo development located on Route 62 in North Reading could have on Wilmington.

Wilmington Town Hall recently held a staff meeting about this Martins Landing project and submitted questions and concerns to the Town of North Reading and other relevant agencies.

Town Manager Jeff Hull described many of his concerns at last week’s Wilmington Board of Selectmen Meeting.

“Some of our concerns deal with traffic.  We’re specifically concerned about the impact of several of our intersections on Route 62, including at Woburn Street and Andover Street, at High Street and Middlesex Avenue, and at the two intersections at I-93,” explained Hull.  “The traffic count they use suggest traffic patterns for a retiree population, but just because you’re over 55 doesn’t mean you’ve retired yet.”

“We also want to make sure our Salem Street well-field, which is 1,000 feet from this development, is appropriately protected,” added Hull.

“There are also concerns as it relates to public safety,” continued Hull.  “The expectation is if this project goes forward, through the longstanding practice of mutual aid, there’s going to be an impact on Wilmington Fire and EMS.”

Wilmington, for example, regularly responds to the Edgewood Apartments, located next to where this proposal would be built.

“In North Reading, there’s only one Fire Department… It sounds like we’re going to have to respond to all the calls from this condo development,” questioned Selectman Mike McCoy.  “And we’re not getting any tax dollars for it! I’m all for mutual aid, but can we get some monies since we’re providing an important service to North Reading?”

“I hope the Town of Wilmington can receive renumeration for services rendered,” added Selectman Chair Mike Champoux. “This substantial housing project will have an impact on traffic and public safety.”

Champoux and Hull are scheduled to speak with North Reading’s Town Manager and Selectmen Chair.

“We will start the conversation in a pleasant manner with the hope that we can resolve any differences and come to a mutually beneficial resolution,” advised Champoux.

In response to a question from Selectman Kevin Caira about what kind of leverage Wilmington has to protect its interests, Town Manager Jeff Hull noted that the town is making sure that all the permitting agencies are aware of Wilmington’s stake in the project.  Mitigation at Wilmington intersections and additional work to limit exposure to one of the town’s drinking water well will be discussed.

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5 thoughts

  1. I did not see in the traffic study where it said the numbers shown were for a retiree population only. It may have mentioned it is a 55 and over complex but it did not say the numbers would be different if it was not.

  2. I am a little confused what the issue is here – Wilmington responds mutual aid to a number of cities and towns on mutual aid requests…so where is the outrage for that? More so, if the ambulance does go to North Reading (Just like if NR or any other town comes to Wilmington) don’t they charge for that?

    I’d love to see the breakdown of cost for our fire department going to North Reading, specifically the lowell road addresses – and then see where it matches with our mutual aid to other towns. I understand wanting money, but why are we making a stink about something WE do as well? Last I checked Wilmington has mutual aid come to them too…

    If we are going to talk about money issues, why do we throw Hundreds of thousands of dollars to a third party ALS system every year? Why doesn’t the town take that on? Oh, right, they want to use public safety as a bargaining chip only when it is convenient and brings them money without doing any work – god forbid we have a system in town that can give us better care right away. But hey, keep grabbing for that money – you obviously think its more important than the safety and well being of people in our town.

  3. The Wilmington and North Reading Fire Departments have had a close working
    relationship for many years providing mutual aid to one another whatever the need. Whether it be fire or ems related. The relationship has been exactly what it should be MUTUAL.

  4. Once again I have to laugh at the point of view raised by this article. Open land is a rare comodity as buildable land in the Boston urban area becomes more difficult to find. Fact is, the Wilmington & North Reading areas are ripe for the picking by developers with the cash to build. Look at Fordham Rd in Wilmington as a prime example and how worried Wilmington was on its effect on North Reading traffic at rush hours am & pm. Simply put I don’t remember any concern and for over 20 years we’ve all waited in traffic. What about what has come to be known as Wilmingtons Lost Colony in North Readings Martins Pond section where housing was allowed even though the taxing community could not access the properties without the long trip thru North Reading to access it. A similar housing project in Andover was required to build a service road to insure the Andover residents were able to be serviced without the aid of another community. North Readings drain on Wilmington services is barely noticeable I am sure once the writers become informed. A perfect example to consider from the emergency services side of the fence is the effect RT 93 in Wilmington effect North Reading public safety. Every response to this area creates a time period North Reading risks being unprotected and cannot mount an adaquate response to their constituents until staffing is called back. You won’t hear a gripe from this end because long ago we accepted that mutual aid can be nothing less than mutual. You can’t put a dollar sign on knowing help is on the way when requested. Standing by in an emergency situation till something comes available is not an option when lives are at risk, and to think you can take a wait and see attitude has no place in emergency response. In 44 years of emergency response I have been first in to a Wilmington call, and similarly Wilmington has be first into our incidents. It’s not really important to what triggered the response, or who is going to be reimbursed for it how much, but what is important is that we both go, when called, with what’s required. That’s the way it’s been, and is how it’s going to be because there is simply no way anyone in public safety can become and island. It’s cheap insurance as I see it to know when you call for help it is on the way.

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