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8/13/19 Letter to the Editor: Parsonsfield Development

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

To the Editor:

Parsonsfield Public Hearing Tonight at 7:00- Nathan Wadsworth Final Subdivision Proposal.

The Parsonsfield Planning Board has been reviewing Mr. Wadsworth's subdivision proposal submissions for 29 months, but the current application for the final plan still does not meet the requirements of the town. The location of the proposal abuts the Leavitt Plantation on 160 and includes the intersection of Hussey Road. In March, and despite extensive legal advice from the Town's Attorney that included denying the project, the Planning Board approved the fourth submitted preliminary plan. The many months of legal advice disregarded was all paid for by Parsonsfield taxpayers (estimated 9 plus thousand dollars to date) regardless of the Town's knowledge of Article 6.2.b, which is in place to protect residents from contributing funding to subdivision proposals by placing this responsibility on developers, not taxpayers. Why?

Taxpayers, including abutters like myself, should not have to continue to reach into our pockets for Mr. Wadsworth's subdivision proposals, but it is up to the elected officials to follow the regulations that the people voted into law. Unless Parsonsfield Selectmen correct what they have knowingly done wrong behind closed doors, unfortunately, taxpayers will likely be paying more attorney fees related to this proposal in the future. If you do not support contributing your hard earned tax dollars to any illegally proposed development projects, you should attend the meeting and inform the Town Planning Board and Selectmen of your displeasure of how they are using your money. Freely dipping into our pockets for something no resident should be paying for, especially when the town uses our money to violate citizen's rights, needs to stop. 

Because of past and current issues that are well documented, citizens have been requesting an independent review of the project for 26 months.  The Planning Board denied the independent review of the licensed soil scientist I hired in March, which showed the proposed subdivision on record still didn't meet the Town's requirements.  After denying my independent expert's input and advice from the Town's attorney, it was no surprise that the Planning Board passed the preliminary plan the same night leading us to this final proposal.  This and many other issues are still on the table, giving the appearance of the Planning Board pushing this project through on their own terms, not the terms the Town voted on as a whole.  For instance, after two years of requests by multiple citizens, the Town has still not issued the required driveway permits while Mr. Wadsworth continues to state DOT will ensure Town standards, but these claims are not true. Could this be because the road agent is known to have been an employee of Mr. Wadsworth and the Zoning Officer built the house that already exists on this parcel which is not legal due to, at the very least, not meeting sight requirements for safety?

I have heard officials of the Town boast about Home Rule and being able to do what they want, but these sight distance regulations and all of the other standards are Home Rule and voted on by citizens. The regulations that are in place are what the citizens decided was needed to protect the health and safety of the public. Home Rule is not determined by any elected official's wants or needs but determined by the residents and they apply to everyone, not some of us.

These topics and many others will be discussed tonight (August 13) at 7:00 p.m. at the Parsonsfield Town Hall. Please attend if you care about your taxpayer dollars, the Town of Parsonsfield honoring the regulations that were voted in by the residents, and equal treatment when applying them.  The regulations in place determine how Parsonsfield is developed and were enacted by all of us, not a select few.   Sincerely, Gerard Clifford Abutter, Parsonsfield


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