Letter to the Editor: Town Meeting Should Approve Target Zoning Change

A letter to the editor from John Mitchell.

To the editor:

With Town Meeting quickly approaching, I wanted to take a moment to express my support for the Gutierrez Company’s proposal to develop the Canyon site.  I’ve lived in Burlington for eighteen years and have long waited for the day Middlesex Turnpike south of Route 128 would undergo serious improvements. It looks as if that time has finally come. and it’s the Canyon project that will get us there.

As part of its request to May Town Meeting to rezone the Canyon property, The Gutierrez Company has agreed to invest millions of dollars into traffic improvements along Middlesex Turnpike, including widening the lanes, improving signaling, realigning intersections and more. After learning about the Canyon proposal and talking to the Gutierrez team, I know that this is the best opportunity for Burlington to improve traffic in that area.

On top of this, a Target and a restaurant on the Canyon property will generate close to $1 million dollars a year in new tax revenue and create hundreds of jobs. These benefits far outweigh any perceived negatives opponents of this project have or will raise. With unemployment over eight percent nationwide, the last thing our community should do is reject job growth and creation. 

I’ve heard a lot of talk around town from residents like me who support this project. The question is – will Town Meeting members respect the will of their constituents? We elect Town Meeting members to represent our best interest and I hope my Town Meeting members will give this project the serious consideration it deserves. This is a tough decision for our elected officials, however given the reality that without the Canyon Project, we will continue to have a completely unresolved traffic issue, it is my belief that the only responsible thing to do is support job creation, and traffic mitigation.

Burlington is a hub for retailers, restaurants and businesses looking for space north of Boston.  Given the tough economic times, communities in Massachusetts would do anything to be the hotbed of business Burlington has become. Let’s perpetuate the proactive decisions that have created our success, and be stewards of the example set by past Burlington leaders.

I support this project and hope Town Meeting will do what’s right for Burlington and vote to rezone the Canyon.


John Mitchell

Wayne Wisner May 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Traffic on Middlesex Turpike can and must be mitigated without being held hostage by Target, Gutierrez, or anyone else. It is nonsense to think that the only way to improve traffic is to add traffic.


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