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Project approved over protests

Planning Board OKs two buildings in split vote after neighbors raise concerns

— Residents also said they were worried about having an ATM drive thru at night might bring extra noise, but Caponera said the ATM would be at the side closest to the commercial use, away from residents.

Resident Tami Meek, of Shaker Drive, said she was worried about the parking lot because of possible “drug exchanges, partying” or potential bank robberies. Having security cameras on the property, she said, also threatened her privacy.

“I enjoy hanging out in my backyard in my hammock. That’s my peace and serenity. I know this place will impact that,” Meek said. “I do not want to be on somebody’s security camera while having a gathering in my backyard or lying on my hammock.”

Jennifer Novack, who said she was speaking on behalf of many residents, listed several more concerns, including the developer’s choice of trees. Novack said neighbors wanted native species and “not crab apples.” She also said she didn’t want the developers to harm the three fox dens on the property and handed the board members a petition signed by several neighbors.

“You seem to have a laundry list of things for us to consider,” Planning Board Chairman Peter Stuto said. “Our role is to mitigate the impacts on the neighborhoods. … We try to work through each and every issue but they are entitled to this use.”

In general, many of the residents at the meeting stressed they were not given ample time to think about the project, saying they had only heard about it three weeks ago.

Planning and Economic Development Director Joe LaCivita said after the meeting that he “didn’t buy the fact that they never heard about it.” He said when the project was first proposed, he spoke to a number of residents, some at the property and some at a board meeting.

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