Property values threatened

To the Editor:

This open letter to the government and people of Martha’s Vineyard 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 that 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 prospective 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