Letter To The Editor: No To SLV Development


To the Editor,  

Heartsick thinking about irreparable damage to MBTS’s character and feel resulting from SLV’s ill-conceived 40B project.  Gravely concerned about impacts on our environment and MBTS infrastructure.  Hoping decision-makers choose to respect grounded data and decline the SLV project. 

I support the focused, professional, thorough work organized by MECT, and share fully their substantiated perspectives.  That said, I speak personally, not scientifically, as an active citizen, appreciative of the natural beauty, wildlife, and precious resources of our surroundings. 

Quoted from the plaque in the woods: “To the glory of God and for the benefit of man these woods are preserved forever – 1879.”  In these woods are certified vernal pools.  Manchester has created, and long stood by, strong by-laws to protect them.  I implore leaders to maintain this steadfast commitment -- decline any request waiving their protection.  

Also concerned about proximity to Saw Mill River and water supply impact.  Please listen to technical experts.  I respect ZBA’s difficult situation.  However, what we have in nature cannot be regained once we give it up. 

Besides irreversible environmental impacts, our town must deal with increased wastewater treatment needs.  After significant investment, we achieved some hard-won increased capacity.  But if the proposed project continues, much of that increase will be diverted to that one area.  Not prudent.  I encourage no waivers in this regard. 

Finally, it comes down to preservation for the “benefit of man.”  Agreed, developing affordable housing benefits people, but not development within a valued conservation area! 

A monstrosity sitting on a once beautiful hill is so distasteful, not in keeping with the area (as required by MA 40B guidelines).  For drivers, natural roadside peace and serenity will be replaced with unattractive over-sized development.  Walkers seeking the healing value of undisturbed woods will no longer find the calm haven we once had, and the ability to find the sense of peace, solitude, and refuge from stresses of daily lives will be inhibited.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.  Sadly. 

Please MBTS leaders—think about the future, stay firm, do the right thing.  New affordable housing should “fit in” and be consistent with MBTS values and small-town feel.  Consider this -- all the destruction would produce only 35 units of affordable housing out of huge number being planned.  

We would lose so much to gain so little.  Please help protect what is priceless and what past generations have worked so hard to keep!


Marilyn Kobus


slv, 40b, woods, conservation, mect