Conversation about Guilford development plans lacks one crucial word

GUILFORD — As a resident of Guilford, I read Jean Eastman's commentary. In chronicling the purchase of a 24-acre piece of land at the entrance of Guilford on Route 5 by GPI (Guilford Preservation Inc.) from John L. Hannigan, a former resident of Guilford (now deceased), Ms. Eastman writes, "GPI immediately conveyed a conservation easement to the Vermont Land Trust on the parcel, thus ensuring its conservation in perpetuity, with a 5.5 acre exception for future development of affordable housing [...]." (Emphasis is mine.)

If one reads the Grant of Development Rights and Conservation Restrictions and Public Access Easement document - which, by the way, was executed on Feb. 27, 2003, the very same day as the purchase of the property by GPI from John L. Hannigan - one will notice that Ms. Eastman leaves out a very crucial word when she says the 5.5 acres has been set aside for the future development of affordable housing.

That one crucial word is "senior."

The easement stipulates not once, but three times, in paragraph 7 of the section "Permitted Uses of the Protected Property" that the acreage set aside for housing was to be for "affordable senior housing." (Again, emphasis is mine.)

Since both the deed and the easement were executed on the same day, we can presume Mr. Hannigan was present. (He signed the deed.) It only stands to reason that he approved of the use of the property for "affordable senior housing."

So that would mean that not a few of the units in the project be designated for seniors - thereby giving lip-service to the stipulation of "senior housing" - but that the entire facility be inhabited by seniors, and none other.

I encourage all active participants in this project, and, further, all Guilford residents, to read in its entirety the Hannigan/GPI deed with the accompanying easement and that they all dedicate their efforts to the carrying out of John Hannigan's legally binding wishes - affordable senior housing.

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

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