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An Extremely Difficult Decision On Castle Hill

To the Editor:

 While I always admire The Bee editorials as thoughtful, pithy and thought provoking, and have nothing but admiration for the way in which the paper, its editor and staff have handled things in the past few terribly difficult months, I don’t agree with the sentiments expressed on March 15 in “A Case for The Board of Irony.”

The land use officials, in making decisions about the Castle Hill property owned by the Diocese of Bridgeport and in the process of being sold to a private developer, were presented with an extremely difficult decision. The land encompasses property both at a high elevation with a beautiful view, and bordering Taunton Lake, a body of water that already has serious ecological problems. They had a choice between approving a development with houses on one-acre plots extending everywhere on the property, both at the highest elevation and bordering the lake, or approving a “conservation subdivision,” a more appropriate term than “cluster housing,” which would preserve as much open land as possible and preserve the ecologically fragile lake.

A lot of thought in recent years has gone into town agency preference for these ecologically sounder subdivisions and I think that the decision was made in favor of the lesser of two evils. The real tragedy is that the town could not afford to buy the land to preserve it in perpetuity as open space, so that residents and their children and grandchildren could enjoy both the beautiful view and the beautiful lake. Once open space land is gone it is gone forever.

No one is at fault for this. The town has no money to speak of for such expenditures. Fortunately a group of citizens has undertaken the Herculean task of fund raising so that the acreage can hopefully be preserved. While I like the actual irony in the name of the agency proposed by the editor (“The Board of Irony”) perhaps a more appropriate agency would be “The Board of Fund Raising” which would function to aggressively pursue funding from private and corporate donors and state and federal agencies to keep open space land for the health of the environment and the enjoyment of our citizens.

Sincerely,

Marjorie Cramer, MD

38 Huntingtown Road, Newtown March 21, 2013   

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