To the editor:
Global Partners LP has proposed to build a gas station at the corner of Routes 82, 23 and 9 in Livingston (Bells Pond), situated diagonally across from an existing gas station at the same intersection. The rationale for the new station is to accommodate tractor-trailer trucks.
My wife and I live about a mile from the site and we drive by it several times per week. We and our neighbors are concerned about how this project would affect:
1. The quality of the water we drink from the well on our property;
2. The quality of the air we breath and for the produce we grow in our garden; and
3. The continuous light and noise pollution emanating 24/7/356 from the site affecting the quality of life for us, our neighbors and area wildlife.
Also, we are concerned that the project would conflict with the existing agricultural and rural character of the region, due to the increased number of vehicles entering, refueling and departing the site daily.
In evaluating a project of this magnitude, The Livingston Planning Board and the Livingston Town Board are responsible for protecting our community’s health by enforcing the applicant’s due diligence in obeying existing environmental laws and site codes.
The Board must consider the property value ramifications to not only the bordering lots in Livingston, but for neighboring towns as well, both now and into the future.
The Board must enforce site codes to (among other things) prevent traffic from overcrowding roads, making excessive demands on infrastructure and creating hazardous driving conditions, and it has to consider the increased costs of highway maintenance from tractor-trailer traffic, policing and aesthetic degradation to our world-class landscape. We do not need another Fairview Avenue at Bells Pond.
These and other concerns are urgent. We hope that the Board is considering all environmental effects of this project and will require Global Partners LP to address them.
However, at the most recent board meeting, one Board member was videoed applauding a resident who spoke in favor of the gas station. The Board is expected to be objective and even-handed in upholding the law. Board members are not supposed to show bias.
Faced with the hazards this project presents and with the apparent bias of at least one member of the Board, individuals such as myself and others feel compelled to make their voices heard to insist that the project be rigorously reviewed.
It is the responsibility of Global Partners to prove to the Board that this project meets the legal requirements to be approved.
And it is the responsibility of the Board to hold Global Partners’ feet to the fire to show that it has met those requirements.
I support the Board in defending the laws and codes that it itself has adopted to protect the well-being of all residents of the community. The water we all drink and the air that we all breath — as well as the rule of law — are all at stake.
This is not about thwarting progress. Thoughtful development is possible by balancing economic, environmental, technological and aesthetic concerns while adhering to legal requirements. How this is done is ultimately a process of many skillful steps by many caring individuals over time.