Déjà vu: zoning change request

Early in the last decade, I was a member of the original Shelburne Citizens for Responsible Growth. Informed by that experience, I am concerned to hear that the O’Brien Brothers residential project south of Irish Hill near Thompson Road is back on the front burner. Over 10 years ago, a similar south-of-Irish Hill proposal, plus the current development know as Rivercrest Estates and the expansion of the sewer district were all being hotly debated.

At that time, the increased capacity of the Shelburne sewage treatment facility was going to serve several older, densely developed homes, many with possibly failing septic systems.  However, the new capacity was also going to remove the issue of septic approval from any new development, unless there were limits on both the boundary of the sewer service, and the amount of capacity that would be allocated in any given year.

While I don’t recall the exact boundary that was finally approved, I do remember that the southern boundary of service was Irish Hill Road. I considered this boundary a long term resolution to the placement of dense planned unit development in Shelburne, as did many others.  I don’t know how others define “long term” in the context of town development, but to me, it goes far beyond 12 years.

To the list of issues, including the loss of open space, the precedent for arbitrary change to established restrictions, the cost of added school and town services versus the incremental taxes collected, we can add the redefinition of the sewer district to the serious concerns the citizens of Shelburne should have about the O’Brien Brothers Agency’s request to rezone this property.

Randolph Rowland, Shelburne

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