LETTER: ‘Developers whose agenda is purely financial must not intimidate us’

To the Editor:

I have serious concerns about the approval of the Saddle Ridge application. The threat to our private and public water supply is much more dangerous than the need for affordable housing in Easton. (Vacancy rate for affordable housing in Easton is approx. 50%).   

I regard an approval of this application as an action that is in direct contradiction to the goals and values of the thoughtful process conducted by the Planning and Zoning Committee over so many generations.  

The application proposes high-density development directly on a watershed property, draining into the Easton and Hemlock reservoirs.  This development poses a threat to the safety of the water supply not just for Easton, but to all the surrounding communities supplied by these reservoirs.  

Furthermore, the applicant has not filed for a permit from the Conservation Commission.  The applicant claims that the current application is the same as the 2014 application, which was approved in 2014.  Yet upon approval, the applicant sued the Conservation Commission because they disagreed with the conditions of approval.  

The applicant has not filed with the Conservation Commission, the legal body responsible for the protection of the wetlands and watercourses in Easton, thus precluding them from examining the application and assessing it for potential harm to these wetlands and watercourses.

Aquarian Water Company has serious concerns about the impact this development would have on the public drinking water supply.  Their letter dated Nov. 15, 2016, states that the density is inappropriate and urges the town to deny the application.

The applicant has insufficient safeguards to protect the watershed.  There is no funding provided for the maintenance of the subdivision including, but not limited to detention basins, catch basins, open space, private roadways, nor is their any provision for supervision.

This application is completely contrary to the 2006 town Plan of Conservation and Development, a large component of which is designed to protect both the environment and especially the watershed.

And finally, the application sets dangerous precedent.  Breaking zoning opens the door for developers to buy and develop high-density housing and other non-conforming land uses.

We must collectively, have the courage to stand up for the health and protection of the environment.  Developers whose agenda is purely financial must not intimidate us.  I believe residents who appreciate turning on a faucet to the flow of dependably clean water will agree.

Joan Winter

Old Orchard Road

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