Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 7-11-19

Proposed multi-family zoning changes and the closed Chinese restaurant

We applaud the Salisbury Planning and Zoning Commission’s efforts to address our community’s need for multi-family housing. The proposed Multi-Family Housing Overlay District (MFO) has the potential to significantly increase the availability of housing, including affordable units, in the villages of Lakeville and Salisbury. 

Four units per acre would be permitted in the MFO, which could increase to 16 units, if at least half were affordable. A Special Zone is proposed for Lakeville’s Pocketknife Square (PKSQ), which includes the Holley Block. Here, 16 units per acre are permitted and if affordable, a greater number as long as each unit is at least 350 square feet.

Unfortunately, the proposed plan has two major problems.  One, it drops the requirement that developers provide parking spaces. Clearly, tenants need to use automobiles. Think about removing the 20 or so parking spaces currently in the Holley Block, and increasing the demand by more than twice. Second, it does not provide for developing the Chinese restaurant.

We agree with the thrust of the editorial in the July 4 Lakeville Journal that the zoning regulations be changed to make developing the decrepit Chinese restaurant feasible. A developer interested in building multi-family units at this site stated at the July 1 P&Z meeting that the four units per acre density was too low and the affordability bonus level (50%) too high to make the project economically feasible.

To address the eyesore of the former restaurant, the Special Zone for Pocketknife Square should be expanded to include the Chinese restaurant site. So, too, with an eye to promoting multi-family housing, should the Pope property be in the same Special Zone. Zoning requirements should be identical for the 56-acre Pope property in Salisbury and the former Chinese restaurant and Pocketknife Square in Lakeville. Parking spaces should be required for all development.

There is a meeting to discuss the proposal on July 13.

Pamela Wilson and George Mason



Zoning changes in Salisbury need more scrutiny

I’d like to thank the town of Salisbury Planning and Zoning Commission and the Salisbury Housing Commission for the opportunity to review zoning changes they are proposing in the interest of attracting private developers of affordable housing to our area. I applaud their work and their attentions to the important issue of affordable housing. 

However, I worry that some of the amendments being proposed are more to benefit a developer than they are in the interest of our town.  

For instance, special “density bonuses” will be offered in the Pocket Knife Factory area to allow for 16 family units in an area no bigger than an acre. While that proposition is start-ling, what more concerns me is the requirement for parking. It is being eliminated. 

The new amendments would allow a developer to add new housing units without providing parking for them. Isn’t that like soliciting developers to build a new airport without requiring runways?

I’m grateful to both commissions for offering another opportunity to the public to hear about the zoning changes being proposed for the town centers of Lakeville and Salisbury: Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m., upstairs in Town Hall.

Helen Klein Ross



Trumpism is the danger to the U.S.

I would like to respond to Mark Godburn’s column in the July 4 issue of The Lakeville Journal. I am appalled that Mr. Godburn would say the threat to democracy is coming from the press and the Democrats. So it’s not President Trump’s bigotry, lies, criminal activity or support of Putin, Kim Jong-un, or the Saudi Crown Prince? We have listened to Trump’s idiotic blathering for two and a half years with absolutely nothing accomplished except the rise of racism, a military parade that cost taxpayers millions, staggering lies that strain reality and actions befitting a spoiled seven year old brat.

The FBI and CIA have been denigrated by the president, while his friends, the dictators, are held up as examples for the United States. Did you know that over $2 million was taken from federal agencies to have the Trump Day military parade? And this for a man who couldn’t remember which foot his bone spurs were on when a reporter asked him why he didn’t enter the military.

There have always been divisions between Democrats and Republicans, but not to the extent they are since the beginning of the Trump presidency. Mr. Trump’s most ardent sycophant is Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was supposedly the late Sen. John McCain’s good friend, yet Graham and the other sheep stand by and listen to Trump degrade an American hero. This man was tortured mentally and physically but refused to leave his men when he could have. Would Trump do that? No. I believe he would step on others to save himself. And by the way, John McCain was a Republican, of course.

Imagine, if you will, what other countries must have thought when they saw our president giggling with Vladimir Putin, a malicious enemy, about meddling in the United States elections. Or when Mr. Trump crossed the DMZ to greet Kim Jong-un so effusively. We can’t forget the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who butchered Jamal Khashoggi while he was alive — Trump has an arms deal with him.

The humanitarian crisis at the border is being handled in typical Trump style. He says the people are living better there than where they came from. Really, Mr. Trump? No clean water to drink or bathe in, very little food and thrown into cages? These are human beings, yet the president does nothing but criminalize and degrade them.

It is delusional to think another four years of a Trump presidency will be anything but more chaos and divisiveness. Trumpism is the danger our country is facing and if we continue to follow him, it will bring our country to its knees.

I fervently hope we are smarter than that.

Gretchen M. Gordon