Letter: Boards, do your job to protect our Bristol

Posted 6/7/18

Just a short note to express my extreme disappointment at what may be a catastrophic decision for the Town of Bristol. Long touted on a grand national scale for our small …

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Letter: Boards, do your job to protect our Bristol

Posted

Just a short note to express my extreme disappointment at what may be a catastrophic decision for the Town of Bristol. Long touted on a grand national scale for our small town wharf-side charm, it’s our duty to remember when we dilute already determined standards, we dilute what our boards and commissions have been tasked to preserve. Conforming to established standards that govern the quality of our town. Your most important role.

It's absolutely true that Rockwellian Bristol will never be a T-shirt/shot glass and spoon kind of tourist designation (even if available), but along with our peripheral treasures such as our National Historic Register sites, world class parks and museums, it is just as important to preserve and protect our crown jewel — the heart of historic downtown Bristol.

It’s imperative that we continue to value our waterfront streetcape and skyscape, dutifully stewarding compliance without exception. It's also true there are buildings that range higher than the proposed plan — built hundreds of years ago when there was a rolling lawn that led to a view of our panoramic harbor.

By historic default, they exist gracefully. I agree that the Belvedere property is a beautiful embellishment, but let’s not confuse savior-ship with rehab for profit.

We must not allow our high level of Geotourism — defined verbatim as “tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place, its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents” — to be compromised by capitalism or special interest.

If there's a loss of capital by constructing a smaller structure that falls within existing parameters — take the loss like you VALUE Bristol.

By allowing those cornerstone components to be disintegrated, we open up the proverbial door for a corridor of further development once this precedent is set.  Precedent does hold up in a court of law. Byproducts of entertaining weak standards will be an onslaught of multi-cluster housing, a divided township, more preservation groups, and the list goes on.

Vicky White

2 Ursula Drive, Bristol

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