Background:  For 2+ years there has been a battle within my town over the development of a property close to my home.  Extreme nutshell version (because the whole story would is so detailed and convoluted that I can't even begin to try to explain it all):  the developer needed to get several variances in order to proceed.  Last night after countless meetings, the public was able to speak.  Here is what I said:

I am a lifelong resident of this town.  My family has resided here before it even was incorporated into a town.  From childhood to adulthood I've seen this town grow and change, for better and for worse.

I haven't come here to ask you to approve or deny this application.  What I'm asking is much more difficult.  I'm asking you, before you make your decision on theses variances, to think.  You've heard from the applicant.  You know why all of these residents of the town are here today.  It is time for you, the planning board, to make a decision.  But before you do so, I ask you to think.  Will approving or denying benefit the town?  The decision you make will impact the town not just in the short term, but will affect the community in the years to come.  Keep this in mind when you make your decision; will my approval benefit the town or will it harm it?  What is its long reaching effect?  Not just the immediate impacts that it will have on the town, but what the long reaching implications could be on the town.  Will your approval benefit the town in 5 years, 10 years, and in the decades to come?  Your decision doesn't just impact the people in this room, but the entire township; now and in the future.

So before you cast your approve or deny, please take the time to think about EVERYTHING that you have heard over these past months.  And as a member of this board, which serves the town, make a decision that benefits not just an individual, but an entire town and its future. You will be shaping the landscape of this town; you will be acting a custodian of its future.

Thank you.


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