Keep watch on pro­posed or­di­nance

The Globe - - OPINION -

To the ed­i­tor:

Like what we saw at St Michael’s, the Wawa or­di­nance that will af­fect prop­er­ties all over Abing­ton has al­ready changed — and yet no new ad­ver­tis­ing has been re­quired of Mr. Good­man. The St. Michael’s project changed a lit­tle here, a lit­tle there, a lit­tle in the next step, un­til the en­tire project was un­like any­thing at all that had been ad­ver­tised. The mo­tor ve­hi­cle fu­el­ing cen­ter or­di­nance has just taken a gi­ant leap with no new ad­ver­tis­ing.

Mr. Good­man is rewrit­ing or­di­nances in other town­ships, too. If you have not viewed the video, which you can find on­line, called the “United States of ALEC,” you should do so — to learn how or­di­nances and reg­u­la­tions are be­ing writ­ten by cor­po­ra­tions to serve their own in­ter­ests. Th­ese are then given to leg­is­la­tors who pass them in a happy col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Mr. Good­man has cho­sen the pass­ing leg­is­la­tion route — openly. That’s how con­fi­dant he is. He can only do this with the ac­qui­es­cence of the 15 Abing­ton com­mis­sion­ers who will vote on Dec. 6. If they vote yes, it will be clear that they have not seen the red signs on lawn af­ter lawn, nor heard the tes­ti­mony of res­i­dents who came in great num­bers to the podium to talk about the un­be­liev­able things the so- called ex­perts said at a meet­ing and to re­lay many neg­a­tive im­pacts this or­di­nance would have just in this one place where it is be­ing ap­plied. Not even con­sid­ered were all the other places that will be sim­i­larly af­fected in the fu­ture.

Sadly, th­ese folks will not un­der­stand un­til it is too late, and the prop­erty own­ers have this use “by right” — with 24- hour ser­vice, re­duced or elim­i­nated buf­fers, huge signs and dan­ger­ous traf­fic that is likely to send speed­ing through their neigh­bor­hoods, and much more.

We should say t hanks t o Cathy Gau­thier, David Good, Charles Carter and other plan­ning com­mis­sion mem­bers who heard t he r es­i­dents t hat t hey are serv­ing and set a course f or our plan­ning com­mis­sion t hat r ec­om­mended against t he project. But will t he com­mis­sion­ers hear t heir own cho­sen eval­u­a­tors? When we have com­mis­sion­ers who choose t o ex­pand t he r i ghts of a sin­gle de­vel­oper to t he detri­ment of so many t hat have l oudly and clearly spo­ken in ev­ery way t hey know how, we can only hope t hat r es­i­dents will be­gin seek­ing a r eplace­ment f or t he next elec­tion. Find­ing some­one good to r un is t he hard part. Start ask­ing around now. I t ’s an i mpor­tant part of hav­ing a good gov­ern­men­tal process. Dec 6 will pro­vide a t elling ex­er­cise i n who i s work­ing on be­half of t he r es­i­dents who elect t hem and who may have other i nter­ests. Lora Lehmann Meadowbrook Abing­tonCi­ti­zens. com

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