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Vote NO on April 6th

Many of your neighbors and fellow residents of North Berwick have spent the last several months attending Planning Board workshops and public hearings and Selectmen meetings in an attempt to understand the Proposed Ordinance change and express their concerns. The reasons for their opposition to this proposal are as follows: 1. This proposal alters portions of Village A, which has been a residential land use district for over 35 years, and re-classifies it for commercial use, allowing large commercial entities to build and conduct business in the midst of existing residences. This will severely impact the quality of life of the current residents and their families. With significant increases in traffic, trucking and other commercial vehicle activity, the addition of widened roads to accommodate turning lanes, parking to accommodate potential patrons, dumpsters over flowing with trash, lighting, noise and loss of natural areas, the adverse effects are extensive. 2. This proposal reduces the rear and side setbacks in this residential area from 100 to 20. This means that any portion of a commercial use could be 20 from their neighbors home: parking lots, trash, drives, buildings, signage, vehicles, tools & equipment, lights, etc. 3. This proposal will destroy our downtown. Commercial expansion along Routes 4 & 9, as is being proposed, will discourage investment and development in our already struggling downtown, may cause current businesses to move and is in direct conflict with the Comprehensive Plan. 4. This proposal will not enhance our tax base. Contrary to what many believe, the actual maximum tax benefit is a mere 0.2% above our current tax base. A cost-benefit analysis shows that a large commercial enterprise, such as a supermarket, increases our tax base by only 0.2% over current allowed uses. Additionally, changing existing homes into commercial uses, such as an insurance office, does not increase the tax revenue. 5. This proposal will significantly decrease the property values of homes in these affected areas as well as those that abut these districts-approximately 100 properties. The financial and aesthetic appeal of these properties will be damaged by commercial use or anticipated commercial use within 20 and everything which this brings. 7. This proposal significantly degrades traffic safety with the additional change of on-street parking being allowed in these newly designated commercial use areas and the extension of the Rtes. 4 & 9 commercial corridors. 8. This proposal eliminates other commercial opportunities. There has been no examination of the utilization of existing available commercial space or exploration of less densely populated areas for alternative commercial expansion. The new Commercial II district is already densely populated discouraging further commercial development. 9. This proposal allows a large commercial entity to infringe on the neighboring property that was deeded to The North Berwick Historical Society and is home to Unity Park and the historic MorrellShelburne House, defacing the appearance and character of that which should be protected for future generations to enjoy. 10. This proposal will forever alter the face and feel of North Berwick. North Berwick is the quintessential Maine town, not only because of its natural beauty and friendly inhabitants, but because of the care taken in maintaining the spirit of the town- former Governor Baldacci. Dont kill that spirit with short-sighted planning. Lets keep North Berwick, the way life should be.