Letters to the editor
Published 1:01 am, Wednesday, January 20, 2010
with this change?
I have to question the decision by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) to overturn Planning and Zoning Commission's (P&Z) decision to amend the zoning regulations to allow the Inn at National Hall to have offices on the first floor.
What is wrong with this change? As a small retail business owner in the downtown area, this change along with moving the "historic building" on the corner of Wilton Road to free up traffic, would have done nothing but bring more business to the downtown and surrounding areas.
I don't profess to be a smart person, but I have been blessed with a little common sense. A vacant Inn will do little or nothing for our local economy. Occupied office space, by a well-run company with a vested interest in the property, would do nothing but enhance our local merchants; and more importantly maintain the property to the highest of standards.
What I think we are forgetting here is that people who work in offices; tend to shop, buy supplies, take clients to lunch and do other things that require infusing money into the local economy. To have an empty building owned by a bank, getting ready for a fire sale is not good business.
I have a lot of respect for our RTM and its members, as well as the people involved in overturning this text amendment. But we have to remember is that we are not talking about a 102,000-square-foot building in a residential AAA-zone like the YMCA's proposed move to Mahackeno. It's a simple change of use of an already designated commercial property.
What we have here is a good company, trying to work with P&Z to make a commercial piece of property work. When you look at this zone change it totally makes sense. A dead area would come back to life, the town would reap the benefits of commercial tax revenue to go along with a revitalized area. What would be wrong with that?
Sometimes in affluent communities, highly educated people tend to lose sight of one of the most important assets in the decision-making process: common sense. I think if a little common sense would've been applied to the process in this text amendment change, all parties could've walked away with a deal that would've worked for everyone.