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Wayland Rod & Gun Closure Attempt?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FPrice, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. Boris

    Boris Son of Kalashnikov NES Member

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    Sail-phones do not invoke the same reaction as guns to libtards. I'm also willing to bet that there are some outside forces that agitate towns down that path.
     

  2. MetroWest

    MetroWest NES Member

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    2019 Annual Town Meeting season is upon us and that means an anti-2A petitioner's article is in play in Wayland. A new thread to follow . . . . . .
     
  3. 10thSFFD

    10thSFFD NES Member

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    How a Verizon Cell Tower Began a Furious Debate in Wayland
    Last November, for instance, an angry neighbor named John Grabill wrote a letter to the Wayland Town Crier referring to gun-club members as a “mean-spirited, uncompromising, out-of-touch group of people who feel they have a right to ignore hundreds of family members surrounding their firing range just so they can blast away at will.” Another resident tells me that the club is a “good old boy network” and “not a good neighbor,” nor a “good citizen of Wayland.” Later, Grabill tells me the sound from rifles is so jarring that babies can’t nap and children are “scared to death.” He adds, “When we ask the gun club to build some berms or baffles to deflect the noise, they smirk and say no. Their attitude is, ‘We can do whatever we want’—whether it’s about the noise or the cell tower. They’re not willing to compromise on anything.”

    Gun-club members are fed up, too. Club president Stephen Garanin says that for years they’ve tried to be good neighbors by inviting residents to visit the property, hosting community programs, and supporting charitable causes. He says members are tired of being taken to task by a vocal, “micro-minority” group for enjoying a sport that’s harmless and legal. Not to mention, he says, the neighbors “knew what they were getting” when they purchased homes there. “We have no hidden agenda. They shouldn’t be surprised.”

    This month, the town zoning board is expected to decide whether Verizon’s tower deal with the club will stand. In light of recent competition from a new, much fancier gun club in Weston, an unexpected tax assessment, and legal bills from all the wrangling with neighbors, the cell-phone tower could be the lucrative lifeline the club’s been looking for—but not if the neighbors have anything to say about it.

    The Wayland Rod & Gun Club was founded in 1928, decades before most of the 60 or so surrounding homes were built, as Garanin is quick to point out. Created by a handful of men who wanted a place to hunt and fish, the 15-acre club comprises a 45-foot indoor range in the basement of a stately brick Colonial and a 100-yard outdoor range built into the hillside, where members can shoot pistols, rifles, and shotguns. At first, the club had very few neighbors and even fewer problems. For 50 or so years, it remained mostly off the radar, and there’s nothing in town records that indicates objections to club activities, which included target shooting and, for the first several decades, trap shooting of clay pigeons.

    Over the years, the Oak Hill neighborhood grew as young families realized it was an affordable entry point into this affluent town. Sure, there was a gun club down the street—but that was a compromise home-buyers were willing to make to live in Wayland, with its proximity to Boston and highly rated public schools.

    Once the area became more densely settled, however, the complaints started. Some neighbors took issue with the way the sound of trap shooting reverberated across the wetlands. “You’d hear it once, and then the sound would come echoing back,” one longtime resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told me. “It was impossible to sit outside and have a conversation.”

    In 1990, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigators received a tip about the club’s trap shooting and soon grew concerned about the effects of the lead fallout on groundwater and wildlife, particularly the ducks in the adjacent Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. At long last, the neighbors—who were likely the whistleblowers—got some respite when the agency issued a verbal cease-and-desist order to the club intended to last until the extent and impact of any lead contamination could be determined.

    The club retained lawyers and hired consultants to devise a proposal for environmental services. However, as far as I can determine from both building- and health-department records, it was not required to do any major cleanup of the land and was ultimately allowed to reopen—but without trap shooting of clay pigeons.

    Still, that didn’t stop complaints from neighbors, who insisted that the club had started using higher-caliber and louder weapons than it did when they bought their homes. It’s a charge the club denies, saying that, if anything, the caliber of weapons has dropped over the years. But the neighbors weren’t having it. In 2013, two dozen of them filed a petition with the Wayland Board of Health to stop “excessive noise,” which they said was exceeding the ambient noise level by greater than 10 decibels, in violation of state Department of Environmental Protection regulations on noise pollution. In a Wayland Town Crier article, John McConnell, a spokesperson for the petitioners, said that ambient noise levels in the neighborhood measured 40 to 50 decibels, “but I have recordings of up to 120 decibels when firing was taking place at the club.” (Noise above 120 decibels can cause immediate harm to hearing, according to the Centers for Disease Control.)

    In response, the Board of Health informed the petitioners that gun clubs are exempt from the DEP’s noise regulations, and then promptly passed the complaint to the Wayland Police Department to handle. McConnell met with club board members to find ways to mitigate the noise, including soundproofing equipment, but again, nothing came of it. (McConnell eventually washed his hands of the problem, retiring to Florida with his wife.)

    Then, in October 2015, the town received an anonymous tip: The club’s caretaker, Paul Ramsey, and his wife had been living in private quarters on the second floor of the gun club for decades, even sending their children to Wayland Public Schools, yet the club hadn’t been paying property taxes on the residence. Instead, the club’s three parcels of land had been exempt as “real estate owned and occupied by a charitable organization.” A review by the town lawyer, however, determined that the club was not exempt and should be assessed. The club soon filed to reclassify most of its 15 acres as recreational land, reducing its taxes by 75 percent. Still, the $7,194.31 bill was a significant hit for a modest, no-frills club not accustomed to paying any property taxes. But luck was in its favor. A few months later, Verizon came calling.
     
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  4. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    There are quite a few factual errors in that article. The timing of the article, coming right before Town Meeting can’t be coincidental.
     
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  5. MetroWest

    MetroWest NES Member

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    One of the many omissions in the article is that the WR&GC and the neighborhood are immediately adjacent to an Eversource 230kV / 115kV power line corridor. There are power line towers already visible in the neighborhood and are of such a height that they are shown on FAA charts for this area. Power Lines BOS HEL 9.PNG
     
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  6. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    It also doesn’t mention that due to proximity to wetlands, the neighbors request for berms to be built is not economically feasible.

    There are many other factual errors in the article.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  7. MetroWest

    MetroWest NES Member

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    The irony is that one of the neighbors mentioned in the article has built a substantial addition to his house in the last couple of years. There have also been a number of tear downs and new housing construction within a couple of hundred yards of the club. From the article you would think that people would be trying to leave the area...
     
  8. Coyote33

    Coyote33

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    All the above points need to be made at any meeting.
     
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  9. Waher

    Waher NES Member

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    If the club is forced to close I hope they have a 40B plan in their back pocket.
     
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  10. durask

    durask NES Member

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    A gun club with a cell tower is like double evil incarnate.
    Most rich towns will fight cell towers to the death.
    Yeah but cell phone towers will agitate the crowd that may be neutral to gun clubs (the cell phone tower = cancer crowd).
     
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  11. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    The folks fighting the cell tower neglect to mention the high tension power lines that run directly adjacent to or over some of their houses. I strongly suspect that the harmless electromagnetic emissions from those power lines would be far greater at their homes than anything from a cell tower hundreds of feet away.
     
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  12. Len-2A Training

    Len-2A Training Instructor Instructor NES Life Member NES Member

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    Not to mention the defoliates used by utilities, leaching thru the soil.
     
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  13. HARRYM

    HARRYM NES Member

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    I would declare the club land a Sanctuary City and then bus in 5000 illegals and hand over the keys to Wayland and wish them good luck.
     
  14. Waher

    Waher NES Member

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    I'm wondering if a solar farm or some other 'green' energy thing might work for revenue generation. The neighbors would have a hard time not looking like the petty people they are assailing one of those projects.

    The club does have an Affiliate Membership for $25 which doesn't provide any range privileges. Maybe have a NES membership drive until the litigation is settled?
     
  15. Noreaster

    Noreaster NES Member

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    While bitching about poor cell coverage.
     
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  16. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    I’d bet they’ve been coordinating their opposition to the cell tower on their cell phones. And I’m sure they don’t see the irony.
     
  17. dhuze

    dhuze NES Member

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    The amount of lead on that property will make building anything there cost prohibitive.
     
  18. Waher

    Waher NES Member

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    Lead is nothing to remediate or encapsulate on a development site compared to other hazardous materials commonly found on brownfield sites. It isn't a carcinogen, doesn't render a gas, isn't terribly reactive or mobile, nor is it radioactive or corrosive. Simple clean fill over it usually suffices, or phytoremediation; which I'm sure the club grounds has been doing for a century now on its own without even deliberately trying.
     
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  19. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    Unlikely, given the construction of the backstop.
     
  20. MetroWest

    MetroWest NES Member

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    Irony - what irony? Unfortunately there are multiple warring tribes that have their irony filters engaged:

    *Residents who hate the club and are against the cell tower because of the potential revenue to the club (even though they would get much better cell service);
    *Residents who are against all cell service (they wrote the zoning bylaw 20 yrs ago that only allows cell towers along Rt20) - they don't own cell phones or use wifi. They also were against getting rid of the old hardwired Fire Dept pull boxes and are against installing remote read water meters. They didn't care about the club one way or the other until the cell tower became a possibility. They may still be using rotary dial phones and acoustic modems (maybe) for comms;
    *The Town Administration which is afraid the Zoning Board of Appeals is going to issue a waiver for a cell tower on private property. After being on the sidelines during two years of ZBA hearings, are now trying to find a town owned parcel to erect a cell tower;
    *A third set of residents who are mad at the Town Administration for trying to locate the cell tower on town land in their nearby neighborhood and would rather have it away from them at the club as long as it is not in their 'hood. They flogged the Town Planner last week at the neighborhood meeting he arranged for these residents.

    You can't make this stuff up . . . .
     
  21. amm5061

    amm5061 NES Member

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    It would be an awesome f-you to these douchebag neighbors if they reopened the trap fields using non-toxic shot like steel.

    Seems that the problem with the trap shooting was that it was dumping lead into the wetlands, no? Switching to steel should fix the problem.

    And to hell with the ducks. It's not like they're a goddamn endangered species up here.
     
  22. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    That won't happen for various reasons.
     
  23. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    If you are a Wayland resident who is going to attend town meeting, please send me a private message.
     

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