The folks of Fryeburg aren’t enamored of the idea of a 24/7 truck loading station in a residentially zoned area, but when Nestle Waters of North America is involved, local control over water, streets and lifestyle dies not with a bang, but with a lawsuit.
As is often the case, the argument ultimately doesn’t revolve around what’s right or reasonable (I’m suggesting a 24/7 truck loading station in a residential area – running 50 trucks per day – isn’t a particularly reasonable land use).
Instead, it revolves around interpretation of of ambiguous passages of the law – a practice similar to divining the future via goat entrails.
What’s clear is Nestle’s “good corporate neighbor” PR spin is a facade; a truck loading station returns little to the town of Fryeburg save a small bump in property taxes. Yet the downside is clear; Fryeburg “enjoys” trucks rumbling along at all hours of the day or night, diesel fumes, the noise, etc.
Nestle knows this, and it’s treating Fryeburg in the same manner it treats other small, rural towns who don’t roll over and play dead – they release the legal hounds, who are better funded than their citizen counterparts.
No matter how the decision goes in Fryeburg, the real lesson has already been learned.