Letter to the Editor: NStar is Damaging Our Neighborhoods
Charles Weinstein is a Natick Resident who has seen residents' properties damaged by NStar recently.
Justin - to follow up on the other night's public comments before the Selectmen in the Town of Natick, you must have sensed the outrage of many of our neighbors that NStar's heavy-handed, corporate 'bullying' activities (many of which were not preceded by any notice to the abutting homeowners) have created in our quiet, residential neighborhood.
Most of the affected homeowners have lived on this street for 15-25 years and while modest tree trimming and ground cover clearing within the NStar easement area happens routinely every 5 years or so, the installation of heavy wooden fences and over-sized, metal, industrial gates (some of which stand taller than 6' from the sidewalk) was a shocking and abrupt, disruptive event on our street.
The notion that this level of security is needed to 'protect' these transmission lines is patently ridiculous, since anyone (whether it be a trespasser, a biker or 'terrorist') can easily walk around or step over this seemingly protective low wooden barrier....a picture or two would be all that any sensible person needs to see, to understand our outrage.
From an environmental point of view, the clearing and densely-packed gravel surface that was installed by their contractor has replaced tens of thousands of square feet of pervious, properly draining ground-cover, with an impervious surface that will now force all of the storm water into the already overburdened drainage system on our street.
No developer or private contractor would ever be allowed to undertake this kind of activity, but somehow the monopolistic utility can get away it without fear or fine or penalty. Someone needs to bring this customer unhappiness (more than 50 of our neighbors signed a "Protest Letter") to the attention of senior leadership at NStar, before they go careening off into Sherborn, Framingham and wherever, installing their unnecessary prison-like gates according to their 'standard practice'.
And as for the preventative maintenance they are performing, this tree cutting and removal comes at the direct expense of the homeowners who have planted and cared for these trees located on their property for decades. How very sad.