Editors, Vineyard Gazette:
This letter addresses the new asphalt storage tower that has been erected beside the Goodale gravel pit. This pit is near the blinking light in Oak Bluffs. The tower was erected without a permit and violates zoning laws about height. The Island of course needs asphalt and for many years it was produced at this location without any problems. Indeed many of us living in the area were unaware of its presence. That changed dramatically when this new tower became operational. This new tower is higher than the trees. When it is running you can see a foggy haze around the tower and the smell of asphalt pervades the neighborhood. There is also a rain of greasy particulates that settles on surfaces reminiscent of the sort that you find in major cities. Because this machine is much larger than the old machine it makes a lot more noise which tends to drown out natural sounds in the environment. As neighbors we are concerned about the health of our families and the value of our homes. We don’t know what the long-term health effects might be. We fear that perspective buyers will want to pay less for our homes because they are located next to this industrial facility which violates local zoning rules. We ask that this facility be made compliant with local zoning laws.
Richard Fried, Oak Bluffs