I am writing to city councilors to oppose site plan restrictions, beyond the presently existing rules, for the Gateway Zone that would effectively reduce the progressive development of the city of Westbrook. What started out as a good idea has turned out to be quite unrealistic. Forget for a moment about size, buffers, operating hours, and 500-foot situations and examine the ordinance revised as late as April 4, 2005.

There are 19 or more listed uses for the Gateway Zone. Some are industrial, municipal, kennels, commercial/retail, multifamily housing, etc. However, only one is singled out in the proposed ordinance, commercial/retail. Does this differ from the other 18 users? Often, it is difficult to discriminate between a mere exaggeration and a deliberate falsehood. Is ordinance 505.11 a discriminatory action? To be discriminatory, one must see or note a difference. Do you? Discrimination exists when a favor of or against is in the making, such as Ordinance 505.11. Is this the American way or are we beginning to politically control the social and economic system in Westbrook? Loosely described as Communism and Socialism.

Let’s examine a few parts of Ordinance 505.11

Emergency access:

Did the City Council really want to limit emergency access to a minimum for people or property in a commercial/retail zone? What has happened to safety first and a fast response? What a disaster for the people of Westbrook if an emergency happens and they happen to be in a commercial/retail zone. They are not second class citizens.

Lighting:

Does commercial/retail lighting have to be dictatorial? Does it have to be the lowest wattage and have an amber hue? What has happened to low energy and high efficient lighting? Why cannot Westbrook do that? Sixty years ago amber was all the rage for its efficiency despite making for some hideous color combinations. Will the committee be dictating red and green lighting for the holidays, red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July, and maybe green for Saint Patrick’s Day?

Traffic:

Traffic is always a whipping boy. Change will come, and change has to be accepted. For years there have been “cut through” drivers seeking a safer, faster way. Can you blame them? It is ironic that dangerous (by some) streets are presently ignored with no suggestions for improvements even if thousands of dollars worth of improvements are voluntarily offered and turned down. What are you doing? What are you thinking?

How much?

Ordinance 505.11 is definitely not business and job friendly. Just give the people of Westbrook the estimated total costs listed below and find out why:

1. Study-Visual Screening $_________

2. ” Lighting $_________

3. ” Sound measurement $_________

4. Building Standards

A. Material

B. Color

C. Shapes

D. Roof

E. Building Scale $_________

5. Access Management $__________

6. Traffic Analysis

X2 (six months) $_________

7. Traffic Changes $_________

8. Impact Studies

9. A. Employment $_________

B. Business $_________

C. Tax Revenue $_________

D. Projected tax revenue $_________

F. General assistance resources $_________

G. Project Real Estate Impact $_________

TOTAL COST $__________

Will the city be willing to pick up the cost? Are you going to dictate that the innocent will pay? How reliable are estimated items? When no waivers are possible, what corner are you backed into?

Let’s live where life is the best. Usually, that’s the good old USA, the home of the free and the brave. Using others property for your own is rare in a democratic society.

PLEASE REJECT ORDINANCE 505.11 IN ITS ENTIREITY.

Alwyn Waite

Westbrook


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