Letter: We must stop shying away from new development

Posted 8/4/22

To the editor:

The Phoenix published in last week’s edition a letter from Barbara Robinson deploring the urgency to approve the Robin Rug development. Without progressive growth, this town …

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Letter: We must stop shying away from new development

Posted

To the editor:

The Phoenix published in last week’s edition a letter from Barbara Robinson deploring the urgency to approve the Robin Rug development.

Without progressive growth, this town will simply wither and die.

Did she not notice the multitude of empty storefronts in town? The Town itself has passed ordinances that restrict and limit commercial and retail and the unusually drawn out and painful permitting process is enough to discourage any new investment, not to mention the agony suffered by anyone trying to improve their property in the Historic District. This is all intentional, with the net effect of a stagnant economy in this town.

Point of fact it took over 10 years to get the Harriet Bradford property permitted and an equal eternity to get Stone Harbor and the Bristol Landing approved and permitted. The Town’s resistance to change and improve is well recognized in the development community and is amply demonstrated by these examples, not to mention many others.

The Town actually sponsored a public design charrette in years past that produced some very innovative design and planning options for this project. These were totally applauded by the public but were far too forward leaning, and were all promptly trashed in favor of a totally conservative and plebeian design.

We really need more residential options of all varieties, but does this justify mediocre design solutions? We will all live with the results for a long time.

George Burman
66 Highland Road

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.