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Letter: Quechee Development Doesn’t Belong

To the Editor:

It was with dismay and disbelief that I listened to the proceedings on Feb. 21 in Hartford regarding the proposed Quechee Highlands development. I had been stunned to read the article and see the drawing in the Valley News on Feb. 1; I found it hard to believe that things have gone so far as an Act 250 hearing. A Valley News editorial has called it “sprawl.” My term would be “ruburb” — a city/suburban development that is imposed on a rural setting. (In fact, only phase 1 was discussed, and the developers would give almost no information about phases 2 or 3.) Besides the huge scale and clear lack of adherence to the regional plan regarding development near interchanges (note that a much smaller project in Hartland was denied several years ago), this is both visually and practically out of line with the character of Quechee, White River Junction and Route 4 in general. Common sense tells us that traffic would be a much greater issue than stated. Given anticipated climate changes in coming years, it seems reckless to assume that the aquifer alone would be able to support the development in the long term. And what about the inclusion of low-income housing, which was part of the original discussions? These are but a few of the issues.

Some development at the site is certainly reasonable, but this proposal goes way beyond what is necessary or desirable. Better for these developers to instead participate in the restoration of West Hartford or the current revitalization of White River Junction.

Jane Woods

White River Junction

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