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Waitsfield

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  • 19 Aug 2014

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  • 20 Aug 2014

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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673
802-496-3928
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Because we can

To The Editor:



These words are very upsetting to me because they came from a member of the planning and zoning board during a dialogue about a lot line adjustment. This adjustment was a transaction between two private parties, having no bearing on the town - the transaction served merely to transfer a small portion of property from one owner to another. Our planning and zoning board, however, decided they wanted an easement on this property for the town. When the aforementioned board member was asked why the board was getting involved in a private matter, I was told, "Because we can." This same attitude is being applied by the Waitsfield Planning Commission in dealing with the Hartshorn subdivision. The planning commission seems to believe that they can impose their intentions upon the taxpayers of Waitsfield. The legal wrangling now transpiring should be considered criminal. If the permits and paperwork involved in the subdivision are in order, then what is the problem? Legal expenses on the taxpayers have to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, with still no resolution.

What is the commission's intent in meddling with this subdivision? Do they want an easement through this property for future roads? What price is the town offering Mr. Hartshorn for the easement? Is the commission implying that there will be no subdivision permit granted without the easements? This seems to be extortion by members of an appointed commission.

The ongoing saga between the town and the Hartshorns is better than most soap operas; the problem is that an elected official and taxpayer of our town is being targeted. Paul Hartshorn is thus being forced to spend many years of hard-earned money on legal fees to fight for his own property. The commission is dictating to Mr. Hartshorn, a private property owner, what they want to do with his property (which is not owned by the town at all). The easement requested coming from a separate parcel of land should have no bearing on issuing a permit for his subdivision, unless the Waitsfield Planning Commission is trying to use their power to get what they want.

The planning commission has manipulated the system to fulfill the goals of a few appointed members. This is unethical and could be construed as being illegal. Before more lawyers become involved, and more taxpayer dollars are spent, a neutral group should be summoned to investigate these activities.

Stan Barosky
Waitsfield

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