Forum, June 11: Concerned about Lebanon building plans

Published: 6/11/2022 5:02:25 AM
Modified: 6/11/2022 5:00:19 AM
Concerned about Lebanon building plans

On June 13 the Lebanon Planning Board will again meet at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers to discuss the waivers requested by Recreo, LLC. These waivers relate to the proposed five-story, 48,000 sq. ft. building with 72 units and the proposed six-story, 56,800 sq. ft. building with 80 units at the former Village Market Site. These requests apply primarily to the Site Plan Review Subdivision Regulations.

In basic English, most of these waivers relate to less landscaping (greenery) so that more parking (asphalt) will be available for these 152 units, as presently proposed. A simple solution to this issue of parking is far fewer units than the 152 currently outlined. As yet the number of units for the third building has not been disclosed.

As to landscaping, Charlie DePuy, a member of the Lebanon Tree Advisory Board, recently stated that the Board sees “pockets of extreme heat as a public health problem” and further that “Mechanic Street and Hanover Street and other quarters of the city — they beg for trees.” This proposal at 2 Mascoma St., is on the corner of the extreme heat pocket and has no plans for additional natural relief — and they have even requested waivers to implement less natural relief.

Initial comments by the Fire Department indicated concerns as to fire equipment accessibility and movement; comments by the Police Department indicated problems with parking and traffic, stating “We are concerned with parking for businesses as we already receive complaints regarding parking in the areas around the mall and green.”

Notes in the initial application stated these issues of the Fire and Police departments might be waived — or in Planning Board jargon, additional “feedback” would be received.

In January of this year some changes to the Zoning Ordinance included decreasing frontage and increasing building heights, with parking areas unscreened, and now this project requests additional exceptions to these most recent zoning changes.

Residents should be concerned about the numerous requests for waivers, conditional use permits, off-site parking and the need for additional “feedback” in regard to this development. On June 13, residents, either in person or via Zoom, must remind the Planning Board that residents take priority over the developer’s pocketbook.

Mary Ann Mastro


When indifference reigns

My heart bleeds and my mind shudders as I attempt to fathom the why of what happened at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

There, so many sentient beings were subjected to finite death, many others suffered multiple injuries, and all of the remaining were subjected to lives of infinite recollection as they live on steeped in the horror they experienced on that day.

I loath the indifference of that sector that permeates United States governance. I also continue to question the indifference of humanity’s gods.

William Gilbert


A modest proposal on gun safety

Recent editorials and commentary regarding the murders in Uvalde do not go far enough. I suggest we take Republican recommendations to the next step. If arming teachers and administrators would be effective, why not arm students, too?

Of course, I’m not talking pre-K! That would be absurd. But certainly no later than first grade, students should be handed an AR-15 and told to defend themselves as their forefathers did so gloriously at Bunker Hill and Iwo Jima. Guardians of public education will object that teachers will lose control of classroom discipline, but that concern is easily addressed by issuing teachers machine guns and concrete pillboxes. Logically, principals need to retain the upper hand and should be given a tank of some sort or a drone with first-strike capability.

It must be clear to all that our freedoms and liberties are threatened by Democratic overreach. I suggest Republican governors and legislators everywhere issue the ICBM codes to all adult citizens — no background checks, please! — so that every American is ensured their God-given right to decide when he or she has a grievance that can only be resolved via direct nuclear action.

With this kind of leadership, there will be no further need to talk about climate change, health care for all, our decaying infrastructure, broadband in rural America or anything else that actually matters. Stop the Democrats before they destroy the country! Give kids the guns they need to defend themselves now!

Robert Ciernia

White River Junction

Reconsider assault weapons ban

Being concerned about the mental health of unstable people is all well and good, but it is a very thin reed to lean on in trying to reduce mass shootings. The only solution is to ban the sale of guns like assault weapons and unduly large magazines.

An earlier Congress banned such weapons in 1994 but inexplicably included a sunset clause which took effect in 2004. It beats me that our national legislators could think that the need for such a ban no longer applied. It’s been said again and again that assault weapons have no purpose beyond killing people. I beg the Congress to get rid of them.

Anne Harms

West Lebanon

NRA cartoon was low blow

I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter to the editor in this paper. But I was frustrated and saddened to see in Sunday’s paper (June 5) the insulting Clay Bennett cartoon of a man with an NRA cap, holding a gun labeled AR-15, with his IQ cited as a low number.

Insulting NRA members will not save anyone, but might help stiffen folks’ resolve to resist any changes. This kind of name-calling sends us down the same shame-filled dead end as Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment.

Let’s keep the debate on what might work best (and what enough of us can agree on) to reduce shooting rampages, rather than trying to shame people.

Jordan Green


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