Letter: Those opposed to Pear Tree Point Beach plans are engaged, town officials not listening
To the Editor:
In your editorial of Nov. 26 you correctly point out that citizens must be engaged in community government to get the best results for all. However the implication is that the many town residents who oppose the town Pear Tree Beach proposals came late in the game. Not so!
The town surveyed the residents in 2017 and complied a town plan, which includes Pear Tree Point Beach. You can look up the survey and town plan on www.preservepeartreepointbeach.com
There is nothing objectional in the plan, which has the sensible aim to upgrade bathrooms and concessions. However, when the town formed a planning committee it lacked any members from the neighborhood and a new charge to build an all year-round restaurant at the beach had mysteriously appeared.
When news broke, Jamie Stevenson arranged a November 2018 town meeting, which was packed (your reporting). Residents living in the vicinity asked for representation on the committee and everyone demanded that the town stick to its own plan.
Broader representation on the committee was swiftly denied. The restaurant disappeared to be replaced by” flexible event space “.
The result? A massively oversized two-story structure located in an extreme flood zone to house a rental room, which nobody asked for (and was in fact on the bottom of the survey of town residents wishes).
Town residents (not just neighbors) have turned up at every one of the committee meetings: inundated the town with letters and have raised three petitions (the most recent raised 500 signatures in a week, with signatures from all over town).
Opponents of the amended town plan have been engaged from the beginning and will continue.
But just as citizens need to be engaged, town officials need to listen. That hasn’t and isn’t happening.