Pleased to see Shires Housing held accountable

It was reassuring to read the Bennington Banner headline declaring the stay imposed upon the proposed Shires Housing development on Silver Street. I am pleased to know that there is some accountability for the multiple violations of the Act 250 permit awarded to Apple Ridge Condominiums, a decade ago.

It is interesting to note that the piece in the Banner quoted Apple Ridge representative Gordon Black, saying that none of the issues had been raised by "residents of the Apple Ridge Condominiums, nor any office in the town of Bennington."

Property abutter Dave Fredrickson has approached the town several times in the 10-year period to point out violations and has the documentation to substantiate this contact. Black also stated that the developer "has been actively working with the state to bring the project into full compliance."

Ten years of knowing about the deficiencies does not seem to me, "actively working."

The Banner article did not mention additional restrictions placed on the construction project by the Act 250 Board. These include efforts to reduce damage caused by removing bedrock. The Board will allow blasting of the bedrock only after all other means to remove the ledge have been exhausted. Finally, the Board requires a third-party contractor to perform pre- and post-construction surveys of adjacent homes to determine any damages resulting from ledge removal.


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The Act 250 decision has been appealed by both Shires Housing and Healthy Neighborhoods, MBE. Healthy Neighborhoods, MBE has also appealed the DRB decision and expects a trial before the Environmental Court in the fall of this year. I recommend you visit Healthy Neighborhoods Facebook page if you are interested in staying informed about these appeals.

— Becky Amos Bennington