The Zoning Board of Appeals has turned back a bid by a local company to locate a factory style operation in a vacant building complex in the waterfront district. In doing so, the board has shown that it acts in concert with the needs and concerns of the neighborhood and with the more expansive needs and concerns of the city as a whole.
The Zoning Board has done the right thing. We agree with its decision, which was based on information it gathered from the public during three meetings and through e-mails and testimony given by residents who would have been directly affected by the proposed tortilla factory.
Everyone’s interest was solicited and everyone had their say.
In the end, the tortilla factory development failed because of concerns about noise, odors, rodents, added truck traffic and longer hours of operation in a densely populated area that is largely residential and historic as well.
Board Chairman John DePreist excluded no one from commenting and went to great lengths to hear and to listen to all sides in this neighborhood battle.
The manner with which he conducted the meetings were worthy of a Soloman.
He was fair. He was open. He was patient and when he ruled, it was on the basis of the facts as they were presented to him.
The other board members are to be complimented for doing the same.
There was a time when who you are was more important to board members in this city than what you were proposing. Votes by nearly all the boards were commonly out of sync with the people and in the end, everything became a muddle and a mess.
Not so in the modern Chelsea.
Pro or con you got your say. Pro or con, the board members weighed all the issues.
Pro or con, everyone was civil and the meeting was open and honest and in the end, justice was done to this issue of a factory coming to the historic waterfront district.
Everyone involved is to be congratulated for the high manner of conduct that was witnessed.
This is the way things are done in modern Chelsea, where this city today stands as the example by which other cities would emulate.