As a resident of the Pleasant Street neighborhood near the Stanwood intersection, I’m happy to have the Brunswick Police Department as new neighbors. I’m not happy, however, to read that Town Council Chairwoman Joanne King has said that Brunswick Development Corp. can do whatever it pleases with the proposed site if a police station is not built. I sincerely hope that this is inaccurately reported. Otherwise, it suggests that this site is open for any kind of development, ignoring both current zoning restrictions and the acknowledged function of this intersection as a vital community gateway.
Although the Town Council narrowly approved a 2008 proposal for a 24-hour drive-through Walgreen’s at this site, I do not believe that large commercial development meets the expectation of a welcoming gateway to Brunswick. It would simply expand the sprawling commercial corridor of Upper Pleasant Street and threaten the character of a historic residential neighborhood. In the event that BDC develops this land without the police station, the decision-making process for zoning exemptions must be transparent, with opportunities for public input, and in accordance with the intentions of the Comprehensive Plan.