Letters: Looking for special glasses that are lost
Looking for special glasses that are lost
My wife left her solar shield glasses at the doctor's office on Tuesday afternoon, July 8. She has a rare glaucoma and needs to get her glasses back. You can return them to the same doctor's office where you picked them up. Room 211. Thanks.
As a resident of Silver Street, I was dismayed by the manner, a few years ago, in which the Bennington town administration allowed a condo development on the property stretch between Route 7 and Silver Street - now the Appletree condominiums. The developers consistently failed to provide the screening greenery promised, and in the subsequent years that much of the land has been empty they have failed to maintain the property in an attractive way.
Now, in 2014, the new owner of the property, the Shires, has plans to put in buildings even less in character with the neighborhood than those condos - duplexes and large apartment buildings, with the capacity for many more people than the neighborhood's resources can comfortably sustain.
Runoff from paved areas, lack of true green space, and most importantly, the cramming-in of many new people, will seriously affect the character of this quiet residential neighborhood with its narrow streets.
If Bennington's own downtown - about a mile away - were not seriously in need of tenants and renovations (there are, among other empty buildings crying out for rehab, a school and several warehouses; and there are many empty apartments looking for renters) the argument about the need for affordable housing would carry more weight. But couched in this progressive-sounding phrase is nothing more than the same old business of real estate developers trying to make money without consideration for the neighborhoods that they destroy, assisted by town planners who are not thinking clearly. Since Bennington's own planning board has been so remiss in looking after the interests of its townspeople, we can only hope that the state will hear our objections - at the meeting in Montpelier, later this month, of the Vermont Community Development Board - and intervene on our behalf to stop this misguided project.
Shires project a 'defeatist effort'
I am a long time resident of Silver Street. I grew up in this house and purchased the house from my father. My house is directly across from the former Applegate Development. I was deeply saddened to see the clear cutting of a beautiful forest across from my house. We spent countless hours as children playing in the woods, and when that was taken from us with the promise of a condominium development; I was deeply saddened that the town would allow such a travesty.
Now flash forward, we have a mostly empty field because the project was not well thought out and it failed. So now the town wants to get rid of the eye sore, and build a low-income apartment complex so it can get more taxes.
If this goes through, we will be using our tax dollars to build this project, and then subsidizing the residents who will be living there, and trying to pay for new students in a district that is already stressed with large class sizes. The town may be getting "additional money," but it will be on the backs of town and state tax payers. So is that really "more money" or is that just taking more money out of our pockets.
Also, if this goes through, where exactly are these kids going to play? I do not see any green space in this project. There are apartments and pavement, that's it. The kids are going to go somewhere close, so where will that be? They are not going to walk all the way to the Recreation Center. They are going to hang out on Silver Street, or even worse, roam around on Main Street, a perfect breeding ground for gang activity, something this community does not need.
So If I am one of the residents most affected by this project, what would be my choice? Do I support having an "eye sore" across the street or a subsidized apartment complex? If I had to choose, I would settle for the "eye sore," and wait until the economy gets better and build something respectable that shows some faith in our community. How about building a playground, or use the land to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, or a few more condominiums with some green space for the kids to run around.
Please do not support this defeatist effort to build a apartment complex in the middle of my single house neighborhood.
Select Board should change mind
Shires housing is proposing a 24-unit apartment complex on the 3-acre lot off Silver Street. At the May 12 Select Board meeting Mr. Broderick claimed, "This is 'workforce housing.' This is not 'low-income' Section 8 housing." Yet, if one look examines the application submitted to the Vermont Community Development Program for a supplemental $700,000 grant, the application clearly states, "The development has applied for the maximum amount of possible federal Low Income Housing Tax credits." Those tax credits total over $4 million - yours and my tax dollars!
According to the figures Mr. Broderick presented at the May 12 meeting, one person making minimum wage and working 40 hours per week makes too little to live there, yet two people earning minimum wage and working 40 hours make too much to live there. So if anyone wonders who will be living there, again refer again to the submitted application, which states, "Since such development often attracts existing holders of Section 8."
This is only one of many discrepancies between what Shires housing has been telling the people of Bennington and the paperwork submitted for the supplemental grant. The Bennington Select Board is unwilling to reconsider its decision even though the information about the project was not made available by Shires until after the May 12 meeting. Hopefully, the select board will change their minds and allow the people of Bennington the same chance to speak as Shires Housing received.
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