To the editor:
Thank you to Carole Owens for her timely and insightful “Bamboozled Berkshires” article. Her statement that “the promises to the Berkshires are always the same” really hits home. We do need to learn from history or else we’re doomed to repeat it.
Along with many in Stockbridge, I was bamboozled by what happened with Elm Court. I was present for many of the meetings and was emotionally motivated to help this longtime Stockbridge family save their property. Let’s learn from the history of the bylaw changes that were made to accommodate their needs. And how many times has the property been flipped since then? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Our attention has now turned to out-of-town developers who claim to know what is best for Stockbridge. They complain because town residents check the schedules and agendas for public meetings and then show up and ask questions. It’s not collusion. We are an informed electorate and this is the way our town government works. We believe in freedom of speech and transparency in government.
It’s not just a few abutters who question Mr. Sheehan’s tactics. It’s also proponents for Stockbridge who want to preserve the quality of life that motivates us to live here. The proposed bylaw changes would impact all Stockbridge residents, full- and part-time, as well as other properties throughout town.
Residents of Stockbridge need to defend Stockbridge’s zoning bylaws, the purpose of which includes “to minimize the adverse effects of development on the town’s unique environmental and historic features and for the protection and enhancement of the town’s existing small-town character, open spaces, low density of population and, in the interests of the town’s orderly growth at deliberate pace.”