Normally I write a recap of meetings/workshop I attend but Joe Hill has already done that for me in an excellent manner. I want to add a few items that I personally feel are important to the people to know.
First, I want to address the results of the survey on Route 9 Business and Land Use. There were 216 responses to the survey. On the question “What should be considered for future business on Route 9?” 48.58% answered “No changes are needed for small businesses on Route 9.” During the workshop, a show of hands indicated that the majority of the people are in favor of leaving Route 9 alone.
However, there are always those that have a difference opinion. This was clear by the fact one family (Gina and Rick Mason) wants to sell cars off their property. This is a clear violation of the current Rural Open I where they live. However, because they are, I believe, members of the “Good Old Boy” network; the town is trying to find a way to make this possible. Chairman Roger Bickford and Fern LaRochelle are trying to make this happen. This is the second time our leadership have bent the rules for these two. Several years ago, Rick Mason applied for a “Conditional Use” for his excavation business. Strange thing happened; the application was approved with no conditions and it was based on a “Temporary Land Use condition without an expiration date. How is it possible to have a temporary land use condition without an expiration date?
Amanda Bunker provided a presentation and facilitated the workshop. No matters how you try and spin it, the majority of people in attendance was not in favor of changing the zoning on Route 9. The majority of residents living on Route 9 like the scenery and the characteristics of the Rural Open I. It is a shame that the town is spending a great deal of time and money to pacific one family. It is disgraceful to have all the energy of the Planning Board and the Chairman of the Town Council dedicated to making one family happy when it is definitely not in the best interest of the town to change the zoning.
Let’s put this to rest for another four or five years. It was brought out by Amanda Bunker; this very same situation came up before with the same results. Enough is enough; let’s move on to more important things.