Background: In the past four weeks, the Planning Board and City Council have voted to rezone land on Brimbal Ave. interchange across from the Vittori Rocci Post. The purpose of the rezoning is to facilitate a land swap between the City of Beverly and CEA, a developer. If the land swap proceeds, the City hopes to obtain $5 million in funding to undertake a massive reconstruction of the Brimbal Ave. interchange, ostensibly to mitigate traffic problems but also likely to accommodate the needs of CEA to build another major shopping center in North Beverly.
Neighbors of North Beverly are circulating a petition requesting a referendum so all Beverly voters are given the opportunity to approve or disapprove of the rezoning of the parcel. This is the same process that was used to decide on the development of the Stop & Shop Plaza on Elliott St., a similarly controversial project at its time. Many in Beverly feel the rezoning and land swap will have a large impact and that all Beverly voters should be allowed to participate in this important decision, just as they did for the Elliott St. Stop & Shop.