The Chicopee City Council Zoning Committee voted to deny a special permit for a $ 6 million investment that would return $100,000 in annual taxes to the city. Supposedly it is in an Air Force Reserve accident prevention zone. As a lifetime resident of Chicopee, only the June 27, 1958 crash of a KC-135 comes to mind as a military aircraft accident in this city and only those on board perished. The Air Force has done an outstanding job of accident prevention.|
On the other hand, since 1958 anywhere from 35,000 to more than 50,000 US citizens have lost their lives annually in automobile accidents, including many in Chicopee. The risk of residents dying in an automobile accident is thousands of times greater than their dying from a military air crash. Should the council rescind all automobile sales licenses in the city?
Chicopee's zoning ordinances have no specific rules regarding the use of land in the Westover Air Reserve Base Accident Prevention Zone. Denying an entrepreneur an opportunity to establish a business (and jobs and recreational facilities) and paying significant taxes in Chicopee makes no sense. The full council should reject the committee's recommendation and allow this special permit.
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