Tuesday evening, we attended a Town Council meeting. One of the items on the agenda was a zoning change proposal developers were requesting. Currently these 28 acres are zoned conservation easement and sit on a hill behind our development. This property also backs against two streams that run through another, older development called Sandusky.
Developers want to build a 4-story office complex on this property, harvesting the trees and natural vegetation that add a serene beauty to the hill; vegetation that keeps the soil in place. For us, the loss of trees would mean a loss of view. Who would prefer a 4-story steel and glass building surrounded by acres of black macadam to the changing beauty of trees and undergrowth? The sounds of birds singing and chirping replaced by traffic noises and after work conversations. Who would prefer that? Certainly not us.
But for the residents of Sandusky, these building plans offer a greater hazard. During rains and snows, where will the water run-off go? Not into the macadam, for sure. This run-off will wash silt and dirt into the two streams, flooding their banks and flooding yards and basements.
About twenty home owners planned on speaking out in opposition to the zoning change. One lady presented a petition with over 800 signatures. Some showed pictures of flooding. Other cited statistics. A few talked of noise pollution and traffic issues. Calvin planned on talking, too. What did he say? He read a story, Chief Anacondia Comes to Sandusky. A short tale of an Indian chief who came back to see the perils wrought by unmanaged progress. The room was spellbound as he read his 2-page short story. Cal knows how to pack an intellectual punch. One can't teach high school students for 40 years without knowing how to "work" a room.
The Conservation Easement Handbook: Managing Land Conservation and Historic Preservation Easement Programs