Accommodate growth” or “foster development”: What do the voters want? Why vote “yes” on Article X?

Compare the opening sentence under the Growth and Development section in the current plan with the proposed revised plan. The current version reads, “The Town of Shelburne desires to accommodate future residential and non-residential growth at a pace and in locations that reflect the town’s paramount interest in retaining its sense of community, its natural resources, and its traditional character.”

The new version reads, “The Town of Shelburne desires to foster future residential and non-residential development while considering the need for conservation of culture, history, and land; environmental stewardship; and successful integration into a larger regional community.

These are significant changes. The current Town Plan, which has served us well for 15 years, is being opened to rapid residential development and carefully stipulated growth processes are being ignored and abandoned. This revised statement sets the tone for all the numerous seemingly “small” revisions throughout the proposed Town Plan. The Town Plan serves as our legal document. These proposed significant changes in wording will become a key piece of evidence in any future litigation and the intent will be interpreted to mean the town wants to expand rapidly and become integrated into greater Chittenden County rather than retaining its traditional identity.

Our future is at stake. What do the town residents want? Have your voice heard. Vote “yes” on Article X.

Chris Cunningham, Shelburne

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