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Ipswich River Community Defense Fund- 20 Elm

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

DIRC's St. Patty's Day
Pot o' Gold Match Challenge is BACK!!
Help us unlock $5,000!
Our anonymous donor has returned with another incredibly generous offer to match ALL donations up to $2,500 made now through St. Patrick's Day. Just like last year, each $25 dollar donation will earn one entry into our St. Patty's day raffle for all donors. This year we will be raffling of a Ooni Koda 12'' Gas Pizza Oven!! We need your help to get us through to the finish line.  


The DIRC St. Patty's Day Match Challenge is on NOW through March 17th! All donations made through March 17th will be matched by an anonymous DIRC donor up to $5,000. Every amount helps but each $25 dollar amount will get you one entry to win a Breville Espresso Machine valued at $1,000's! As of right now, we have raised $2,000 of the $5,000 needed to unlock the $5,000 match for a total of $10,000 towards DIRC attorneys and experts. This is a critical point which will allow us to continue advocacy efforts on your behalf. Let's not leave anything behind! Thanks so much for your support!

We've come so far since we instituted this page almost a year ago!  Although we have raised almost $40,000 and accomplished so much, there is more work to do. We need your help to raise another $10,000 and reach our $50,000 goal.

What have we done this past year?  We have raised awareness and mobilized our citizens as a unified voice against a greedy development, completely unsuitable for the proposed location, which will pose significant danger to the environment and impact public safety.  You put lawn signs all over town and showed up in force for ZBA hearings and Town Meeting to learn about the project and express your opposition.  DIRC hired lawyers who helped determine our Safe Harbor status, attended and presented at key meetings, and worked with DIRC to assure the strongest Town Counsel defense possible. We engaged a hydrologist and wetlands expert which led to an appeal of the ORAD approved by the Conservation Commission, based on concerns over the accuracy of their documentation and delineation.  Even after the Town appropriated funds to hire lawyers to work to uphold our Safe Harbor designation following the developer's appeal, DIRC continues to fund consultants and lawyers to augment the Town's work to ensure success.

During the 20 Elm Street 40B legal process, now pending appeal in the HAC (Housing Appeals Committee), raising funds is critical to construct a solid, evidence-based case in defense of what we already know to be true. The town already meets state requirements for affordable housing and this development threatens the health and safety of 350,000 residents and businesses that rely on a clean Ipswich River Watershed. 

Fundraising Goal
We are within 25% of our $50,000 fundraising goal! Funds to date have financed the retention of a hydrologist, wetlands expert, and top notch attorneys with successful track records in similar cases. As legal and consulting work continues, our coffers drain, so consistent fundraising is critical. Our $50,000 goal was created using other towns' experiences in launching an opposition to similar 40B developments (e.g. Wayland), so we need your help to keep up defense against this greed and danger. Quitting now due to lack of funds would lay waste to all the good work we've done to get us toward our goal of stopping this monstrosity.

Updated Fundraising Priorities
  1. Utilize credentialed 40B attorneys to augment town counsel and ensure a successful appeal of our Safe Harbor status
  2. Leverage independent environmental and water consultants, whose expertise will help us win our appeal of the ORAD (Order of the Resource Area Delineation), outlining the wetlands of the property
  3. Hire additional peer reviews as needed (e.g. traffic, wetlands, storm water management experts, etc.) 

Join Us!
 To find out more and get involved,  please visit  and join the closed Facebook group "Defend Ipswich River Communities "

Thank you for joining us in defending our community, our environment, and our natural resources.

Your Friends and Neighbors,
Defend Ipswich River Communities Leadership Team
Defend Ipswich River Communities, Inc.

The Background

Nick Yebba, Sr. (NY Ventures, LLC) owner of Teresa's Hospitality Group, has proposed five 5-story buildings containing 200 units for rent, and including parking spots for over 320 cars under Massachusetts Chapter 40B to be built on his 20 Elm Street site in a quiet residential section of North Reading.  This site is the current location of his Teresa's Prime/Grille 19/Resorts North establishments, adjacent to the swimming pools. By submitting his development proposal through Chapter 40B, he is able to bypass local zoning ordinances in exchange for designating 25% of his housing inventory as affordable.

If this proposal comes to fruition, it would have negative impact on the environment, traffic, public safety, schools and rural character of the area where North Reading, Middleton, Lynnfield, and West Peabody meet. It would be an environmental disaster given its uncomfortably close vicinity to the endangered Ipswich River, a vital water source that provides clean water to over 330,000 people downstream of the site.  With the lack of sewers in North Reading, disposal would be via a private septic-type system discharging 35,000 gallons per day into the Ipswich River Watershed. Should this system fail, the groundwater and river would immediately be irreversibly contaminated.  The towns impacted include Danvers, Middleton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ipswich, Lynn, Lynnfield, North Reading, Peabody, Reading, Salem, Beverly, Topsfield, Wenham, and Wilmington. 



  • Margaret Stein
    • $250 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $200 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 3 yrs
  • Chance Reichel
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Katherine Britton
    • $25 
    • 3 yrs

Fundraising team (2)

Andrea Sorgi Spano
North Reading, MA
Minoska Valdez
Team member

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