What would you do if the City of Somerville decided to construct a massive fire headquarters and training tower right next door to you, without any consultation or discussion?
That’s the dilemma facing thousands of Somerville residents in the Spring Hill neighborhood, who are realizing that the city is quietly pushing a plan to seize a one-acre parcel at 515 Somerville Ave by eminent domain and convert it into a fire station. Without any public notice or discussion, folks in this neighborhood could be faced with increased traffic and noise and decreased walkability and property values. For the homeowners and renters who have chosen to make Spring Hill their home, making a decision like this without any warning or discussion feels like the city is pulling the rug out from under them.
That’s why we were so proud to see the strong attendance at last week’s community meeting, organized by residents like us, to discuss this issue. More than 75 people came out to discuss their concerns and ideas about how Somerville plans to use the Somerville Ave corridor between Union and Porter Squares, and how disappointed they were in their Aldermen and city government that they had to meet among themselves because nobody from the city had cared to proactively reach out to the neighborhood. It’s an unfair and opaque way of planning for the future, and all Somerville residents should oppose it whether or not they happen to live in Spring Hill.
This time around, folks in Spring Hill are having their neighborhood planned with no transparent process and without proper input, but if this way of doing business is allowed to continue, it could be your community that could see a disruptive new development being put in without any notice or discussion. That’s why we are asking all Somerville residents, not just those in Spring Hill to check out SaveSpringHill.com, sign our online petition, and contact your district and at-large Aldermen. The only way we’ll stop this way of doing business is to let our officials know that it’s unacceptable.
We also want to thank again the dozens and dozens of residents who came out to our meeting last week. Your ideas and suggestions were greatly welcome, and we hope to build off of the energy and enthusiasm of that meeting to make our voices heard in City Hall over the coming weeks.
Matt Joyce, Spring Hill Resident