Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mr. Lantigua Writes Again

See Mr. Lantigua's comments in the post below.

Frankly, Mr. Lantigua I don’t understand your claim that the square footage, the commercial tax rate and the estimated tax revenue somehow reveal that this development cannot be just for Milton. Just how do those numbers do that?

No one has claimed that people from outside Milton won’t use these shops. The developer certainly hasn’t. What is disputed is that these shops are intended to be a “destination mall” in the way that real malls are.

As for litter, Mr. Lantigua, I live on Reedsdale Rd. I pick up litter from my property all the time. I don’t have any particular aversion to BJ’s or Wendy’s litter versus, say, Tedeschi’s litter. Litter, after all, is litter. But since you seem particularly offended by refuse from those two companies, you’ll be happy to know that our town is not likely to allow them into the shops. That will not, of course, eliminate the current litter problem from “those people”, including Milton residents, who like to shop at BJs and eat Wendy’s fries.

Yes I have walked around the shopping areas of Randolph. I’ve also walked around the shopping areas of Concord, where two of my closest friends live. I don’t really think that you are going to be very successful convincing people that litter is a problem we can’t handle, or that is going to seriously erode the annual revenue from this project.

Now as for home values, I’m not a genius either, so we start out even in evaluating this factor. I simply don’t think it’s as simple as you suggest. The same claim, by the way, was made about the Fruit Center 25 years ago. It was wrong then, and I think it is wrong today. The developer has proposed a substantial buffer around the project. Part of the process going forward is to permit further, extensive discussion of issues like this.

Your car analogy is not apt. No one is talking about accepting any offer. We’re talking about proceeding with an orderly process. As we do that, we'll be discussing the issue with all Milton residents in mind.

As for the golf course, we got a great deal! Maybe you’re not familiar with the history. Try reading my post “Quarry Hills and the Moderator’s Race”.


Blogger Lantigua said...

Mr. Mathews,

You’ve missed my point(s). I brought up the tax rate and square footage because either the developer isn’t revealing the true scale of the development, or they are exaggerating the tax benefit for the town. You seem to know quite a bit about the town and have a propensity to diligence. Take the time to look for yourself. Or, do you not want to see anything negative about the developer’s claims? I was trying to lead you in the direction of balancing you investigative work. From what I read so far, I’m not sure you want to do this.

It is true Tedeschi’s litter is very evident along our streets. My point about Wendy’s and BJ’s litter was the discarded food wrappers. I don’t know who does the food shopping in your house, but you can get just about anything you want to eat ‘to go’ out of a supermarket nowadays. This would bring a source of litter even closer.

Concord is a nice town and I’m sure the area around the Concord shops are clean. But, what towns are Concords neighbors? Their neighbors are: Lexington, Wayland, Sudbury, Lincoln, Bedford and Acton. Ours are Boston, Quincy, Randolph, Braintree and Canton. There is a difference in communities between the two lists. I asked if you walked around the shops in Randolph, but you wanted to comment about Concord. Are you trying to compare the Concord and Randolph communities?

In the history of this project the developer did say the mall cannot survive on Milton’s patronage alone. They may have changed their tune when they received negative feedback. The developers want more people to come to the mall so they can charge more for rent?

All realestate values in Milton have increased since the Fruit Center. It would be hard to judge at a surface level the affect of the abutting homes.
But, there’s a big difference between the Fruit Center and 56,000 square foot Stop & Shop with 500 plus parking spots.

Douglas Lantigua

10:49 PM  
Blogger Philip Mathews said...

Mr. Lantigua,

I didn't miss your point(s).I merely pointed out that mentioning the tax rate and size of the project didn't have much to do with the conclusion you draw from it. You've provided no additional clarification for your point, and have only added a new claim, that there isn't a proper relationship between the factors. But you haven't shown that to be the case. How do you know it to be so if you can't explain it? The economics for the proposal, or any alternative proposals, will be investigated as part of the process.

Litter is litter, Mr. Langitua. All towns have it, whether they have supermarkets or not.

The area around the Concord shops is clean because they are cleaned. People in Concord litter, just as people in Milton litter. But why don't you tell us what the salient difference is between the two groups of communities you listed?

Yes, you asked if I'd walked around the shops in Randolf. I told you I have. What is your point Mr. Lintigua? That we can't have a grocery store because some people litter? Do you offer that as a serious point?

As for non-Milton patronage, the developer has always said that there would be some. No one has "changed their tune", although I notice someone has made changes to the "facts" section of their website.

The fact that real estate values have increased in the past 25 years is entirely beside the point. Judging the impact on home values from the building of the Fruit Center is not hard at all. Values either declined or they did not following the construction. People who lived their during its construction say the values didn't decline.

Yes, there is a difference between the Fruit Center and the planned grocery store. The Fruit Center is built on a postage stamp sized lot, immediately adjacent to some homes, and accessible by two streets that are cow paths compared to Randolph Avenue.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Mathews, I am pretty sure Randolph is spelled with a "ph" not an "f." You might want to do your "due diligence" and check.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Philip Mathews said...

Thank you for your contribution, Mr. Anonymous!

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Tess de Bourbon said...

Mr. Matthews,
I am the person who wrote to you a month or so back -- I live on Reedsdale Road as well.
I again reiterate my intial comments: you have lived in Milton for over 20 years. Until recently, I have lived in an urban area full of urban sprawl for 16 years. I have worked for a Boston state representative for over 10 years, most recently in the housing/development capacity; I have seen FIRST HAND what developers do -- abutters property values go down, litter is an enormous problem, towns struggle to hire extra people for their public works departments, extra police are hired --- and before you know it, the revenue the towns were supposed to be getting for their massive development is gone.
Mr. Matthews, if this mall is built, and you can't even pull out of your driveway because traffic is backed up to your house from the Randolph/Reedsdale intersection, your informational website here will not turn back the clock and make it all go away, as I promise you will be wishing. You never answered my intial question from months ago, what makes Milton so differnt from every other town that entered into a similar situation and truly regreted it?
Please try to allow yourself to see this issue from a different angle. What if I am correct, just allow yourself to imagine that for one minute -- what a shame it would be for the long-time Milton residents like you who helped build this town into the thriving community it now is for my new family. Are you willing to take that chance?
Thanks for reading.

4:34 PM  

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