This is hardly a NIMBY debate

PUTNEY — Julie Tamler's letter addresses pertinent social and economic issues associated with the Windham-Windsor Housing Trust's proposed development on Alice Holway Drive. I hope the world will read it.

There is a huge disconnect between the glossy presentations by WWHT for "affordable" housing and comprehending the long-term social, economic, and environmental consequences of building on this particular parcel of land.

This lot was sold to WWHT by Jeff Shumlin, brother of former Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Peter Shumlin appointed Judge Thomas G. Walsh to the Environmental Division of the Vermont Superior Court. Thomas S. Durkin (appointed by former governor Jim Douglas), that court's presiding judge who issued the recent appellate ruling in favor of WWHT, is a longtime resident of Brattleboro.

Several physical realities connected to this development reveal that the town sewer system periodically backs up and discharges adjacent to the Putney Meadows property line. WWHT revised their plan after sinkhole testing was done on the portion of land on the opposite side of Alice Holway Drive, where parking is designated for the complex.

Route 5 traffic does not go 30 mph into the town by any stretch of the imagination. Air quality will not be monitored or tested from idling cars due to increased traffic to and from the complex. That was considered outside the scope of concern by the Environmental Review Board's decision to OK the permit for the project.

There are serious environmental and legitimate land-use issues raised by Ms. Campbell. To those who live near the gardens, this is hardly a NIMBY debate - sorry, State Rep. Michelle Bos-Lun. There are valid objections from residents who live nowhere near this lot. NIMBY is a manufactured buzzword that has never accomplished anything but to polarize people. Not everyone can live near a proposed development site yet are adept at determining long-range effects enumerated in the appeal.

Environmentalists have been arrogantly accused in the press of impeding progress regarding this proposed build. Environmentalists want sustainable progress. There are alternatives.

All the promotional brochures will not persuade anyone that this complex will engender a healthy and safe beacon for families in need or that the community garden will survive and thrive. Because WWHT and the organization's supporters say it will does not mean it is or it will be so.

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates