Letter: A Yes Vote On Pathway Is a Vote For Commercialization – Vote No

To the Editor:

In his Sept. 18 message, ostensibly published in his role as First Selectman, Mr. Bindelglass went too far with his last line that people that should be cautious about “false and conspiratorial narratives.” I agree but I don’t know what those are in this context unless the First Selectman is falsely trying to portray those opposed to commercial development of Easton as seeing conspiracies behind every door. Perhaps the Courier can ask him to provide the public a fuller explanation? There are good people in town that oppose this pathway for very good reasons.

For his part, First Selectman Bindleglass and others repeatedly misrepresent the pathway proposal as merely going from HKMS to the Village Store so kids can walk to the store after school. Intentional omission of facts is the same as creating a false narrative. Facts matter. In fact, kids walking to the store is just the most publicly repeated justification for it but did you know the section of pathway under study is but one section of the proposed pathway to be built? If fully implemented the proposed pathway runs from Flat Rock Road all the way to Sport Hill Farm, the opposite side of the street near Silverman’s, sidewalks along Fireman’s Green and down Center Road. It includes three (3) large cross walks, with signage and crossing lights and redesigned intersections all to coincidentally align with plans for a Village District Commercial Zone. The pathway was developed in conjunction with MetroCOG and approved by unelected members of the P&Z Commission. That this was started prior to Mr. Bindleglass’s tenure as First Selectman is of no import. He is the First Selectman now and whatever changes to the town that occurs under his watch he is responsible for and should be held to account for by the electorate. For good or for bad those are the facts.

Get informed. Decide for yourself if this initial segment of pathway that will cost upwards of $1.2 million dollars is the only way to accomplish a safe pathway from HKMS to the Village store. Is it truly as represented by First Selectman Bindleglass and others or is it the camel’s nose under the tent that will lead to more commercial development in the “Easton Village Distrct”. Based on the most recent actions of the P&Z Commission I’ve concluded it is the latter and will VOTE NO and urge others that do not want commercial development in Easton to do the same.

1) See the drawing and read the statement issued with the Planning and Conservation Amendment that was passed: https://www.eastonct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3071/f/uploads/pz_-_pocd_section_6.6_-_add_-_recommended_plans_programs_adopted_8-20-2021.pdf.
2) See the creation of an Easton Village District as proposed in the 2018-2028 Plan of Conservation and Development? (See Page 31: https://www.eastonct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3071/f/uploads/pz_-_adopted_pocd_-_effective_123118.pdf ).
3) See that P&Z included a pathway through the woods in its most recent Amendment package a month ago: https://www.eastonct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3071/f/minutes/pandz_-_public_hearing_7-26-2021powerpoint.pdf.

There are alternatives to the proposal. There are woodland paths all throughout open space land and Aspetuck Land Trust preserves. A woodland path can be done and done and in a far less expensive manner if there is a will to do so.

David Antonez