Dillman: East Manchester Road threatened by plan
To the Editor:
The entire character of residential East Manchester Road and adjacent side roads is under threat. The proposed Boorn Brook Farm development on Bensons Road would insert a huge commercial enterprise amid rural/agricultural residential and forest conservation districts that is entirely inappropriate.
This so-called Eco-Retreat is anything but ecologically sound for this neighborhood. It abuts National Forest including the Lye Brook Wilderness Area, significant pasture lands and an aquifer protection area.
As proposed, it would cater to weddings, corporate gatherings, and all manner of special events and would include:
- Overnight accommodations for upwards of 100 people,
- A 30-seat restaurant with two nightly seatings,
- A 6,000 sq. ft. lodge in addition to existing large farmhouse and barn,
- 43 separate "shelters" in the guise of fancy tents, each with its own sewer/water disposal needs,
- Live bands or DJs with horrific noise pollution,
- Parking for 100-plus vehicles, plus service truck deliveries,
- A widened, paved road on what is now a dirt country road, and
- Shuttle buses for overflow event crowds staying elsewhere
Most of these things are not allowed in Rural Agriculture/Forest Conservation districts.
It threatens all residential neighborhoods on E. Manchester Road and imperils the wildlife cycles that our good neighbor the U.S. Forest Service is pledged to protect.
Benson Road namesake Brian Benson may have said it best, "For an eco-resort, they are creating a lot of impact on the wildlife habitat and the natural setting."
The Benson's have been landowners there for some 100 years. My family has resided in our home a half mile from the proposed resort for 70 years and joins the Bensons and others in saying NO to this vast commercial enterprise in our midst.
A third hearing by the Development Review Board is set for Aug. 5. We urge all residents of this area of town to voice their objections to the DRB by July 22, Send an email to town zoning administer Janet Hurley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minutes of the previous hearings on this project (June 10 and July 1) are available at www.manchester-vt.gov/board-and-commission-
The writer, along with sisters Johanna and Lisa Dillmann, own a home on East Manchester Road.
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