In-town businesses held to separate standard
A recent Press letter raising concerns about the Village Hearth parking situation strongly hints that the town must have been sleeping during the review process.
In fact, the subjects of parking and safety were raised during the planning and zoning review process. At the public zoning hearing, these concerns were voiced by some surrounding property owners but were quenched by a list of special circumstances such as limited hours of operation, the addition of a new delivery service and the use of an optimized curbing system.
The zoning commission may have been anesthetized by the fragrance of fresh hot sticky buns but were certainly not asleep. The granting was a surprise to some considering that recently another business owner was forced into adding six parking places to cover unoccupied attic storage space.
The Aug. 21, 2008 Press article announcing the approval noted that excessive water use was the only real concern. This one-sided reporting failed to support the opinions and concerns of surrounding property owners.
What may have been missed was a traffic pattern study because the Watson Avenue entrance from North Main Road is not wide enough to safely support school busses and waste and recycling trucks that frequently use this intersection with a string of cars parked in front of the restaurant and across the street. Adding to this already marginal condition is that this intersection services foot travel for two schools and now presents a safety issue.
This festering problem was already evident and tolerated after the town allowed the tiny ranch house to become a bakery. Now the parking problem will be diffi cult to control unless the town sprinkles no parking signs everywhere except in front of the problem itself, essentially pushing the burden on to others. Roger Lavallee 20 Luther St.