Thank you Gena Cohen Moses for taking the time to pull together the notes from the TPAC meeting on 4/28/22 (see below). For the official TPAC minutes go here (I'm not sure they're available yet.)
Reminder: The LP3 PUBLIC MEETING is this Wednesday May 11th 6:30pm-9:30pm at Bishop Brady High School Library.
Please come support our local presenters Leslie Ludtke, Allan Herschlag, Andy Jenness, Stacey Brown and others who have worked hard to put critical information together on LP3. Come ask questions & voice your concerns. Looking forward to seeing your there! You can RSVP here to let us know you're coming.
Notes from the TPAC meeting on 4/28/22
By: Gena Cohen Moses, Andy Jenness, Chris Mertz, Stacey Brown, Allan Herschlag
Dick Lemieux (Chair), Mayor Jim Bouley, Karen Hill (Traffic Engineer), Terri Page (Public Transit Rep), Ian McGregor (TPAC nominee), Sam Durfee (Senior Planner), Greg Bakos (VHB & TPAC member), Zandra Rice Hawkins (City Councilor, Ward 10), Brent Todd (City Councilor Ward 1), Stacey Brown (City Councilor, Ward 5), others?
Members of the public:
Gena Cohen Moses, Chris Mertz, Andy Jenness, Chris Graham, Frank Betchart, Jenny Robson, Tim Robson, Julia Emley, Allan Herschlag, Alexander de Nesnera, Susan de Nesnera, about 5 more
Mr. Lemieux opened the meeting by informing the public that the Langley Parkway extension was not on the agenda for discussion. The line item we saw on the agenda was a “place holder” for updates that always appears, and there are never any updates. Nevertheless, he said he would take public testimony for 10 minutes or so, and several people spoke. When we were done, Mayor Bouley stood up to make his own presentation and ask us further questions. He had staff project on the wall the picture of the conceptual path of Langley Parkway Phase III that appeared in Tom Aspell’s State of the City presentation. After Mayor Bouley’s presentation, Mr. Lemieux thanked the public for their testimony and noted that TPAC has always supported development of Langley Parkway. When and if the City Council asks for their opinion, they might well support it again. We asked if the public would have an opportunity to present testimony to TPAC at such time as they are considering their opinion and Mr. Lemieux said “sure.”
Mayor Bouley made the following points during the meeting and after the public testimony portion of the meeting to Gena Cohen Moses:
1. There is “zero interest” on the City Council in developing the parkway from Pleasant Street to Auburn Street. Although the City Manager referred to “Langley Parkway Phase III” in his presentation, Mayor Bouley said that if you looked at Mr. Aspell’s presentation more carefully, he was only talking about doing what needs to be done to assure appropriate development of the Lincoln Financial property and to develop the old Santander Bank and Irving Oil properties on North State Street. Mayor Bouley very much wants to develop those 2 “blighted” properties at the northeastern end of the proposed Langley Parkway. He said that he thought the tax revenue from new commercial development would be critical to easing rising residential property taxes. He feels the uncertainty around the Langley Parkway project is interfering with development of the Santander/Irving Oil properties as prospective buyers are unsure how the project might affect the properties. Also, the developers of the Lincoln Financial property must avoid the city’s right of way through the parcel and so can’t develop the property fully. Mayor Bouley supports improving access from the Lincoln Financial property to North State Street and downtown. He also supports development of residential units at the Lincoln Financial property.
2. At the budget hearings in June, Langley Parkway Phase III won’t come up because it’s not in the budget for the upcoming year. However, Mayor Bouley said that if someone in the audience requests that a councilor make a motion to amend the Capital Improvement Program to delete CIP 40 (Langley Parkway Phase III), Mayor Bouley would entertain that request. Mayor Bouley stated that he could not himself make the motion as he is chairing the meeting, but that he would vote in favor. He also noted that deleting this item now does not foreclose a future City Council from reinserting it. Mayor Bouley opined that a motion to push development of Langley Parkway Phase III out 15 years would probably be approved easily. A motion to delete CIP 40 from the CIP might also pass, though for sure the councilors for Wards 1, 2, 3, 10 will vote against as, rightly or wrongly, their constituents believe that a straight line from their houses to Concord Hospital is good for them.
After members of the public left, Mr. Lemieux described Concord Hospital as a “regional” hospital and said that it is currently only accessible from one side. It’s possible he is referring here to positioning the hospital to attract business more easily from outside of Concord.