For clarification, we’d like to point out an inaccuracy that occurred in the article about Paper Streets that appeared in your paper, dated July 20, and also request further explanation from the city on a few statements that were made. In the article titled “Yards shrinking on paper streets,” it was reported that the homeowners on Chestnut Street all received letters from the city informing each of us that we’d be losing our 25 feet of the paper street and that a development will be going in. You’re giving the city administration way too much credit. The first notice we had of any activity going on behind us was when the chain saws were cutting down our trees and the skidder was hauling the logs away. Never, once, were any one of us informed, by anybody, that this was about to happen.

After it all began, and we contacted them, our city councilor (Ward 4) told us to hire a lawyer and washed her hands of the issue, the mayor said that he’d look into it. That was the last we heard from him, and the rest of City Hall has offered only excuses as to how they inherited problems from before they were in their positions and there’s nothing they can do. Let it be clear, this whole argument is over the 25 feet of land that would have provided a buffer from the road going across the back of the property. You’d never have heard from us if the road were on the far side of the 25 feet.

Jerre Bryant made several statements that I’d like answers to;

1. “The City Council will have the question of how to deal with paper streets at an upcoming agenda.” I want to know the exact date when this will happen. I’m sure anybody that abuts a paper street would like to be present at that meeting so that it doesn’t get voted on without anybody knowing about it.

2. “There are between 40 and 60 paper streets.” I think it would be in the best interest of the citizens of Westbrook to know exactly how many streets and where they’re located.

3. “Since he has already begun clearing the way for the road, it is evident that Bellucci has already secured ownership of the land or, in the very least, has a right-of way to construct a road there.” This is probably the most interesting statement. “It is evident” Do you mean to tell me the city doesn’t know, for a fact, that the developer has secured ownership? The land is clear-cut and our city administrator says “it is evident”?! I’d suggest somebody do some research and find out the facts! Don’t make assumptions with something as serious as this. Do your job!!

I hope other members of the community speak out on this issue. It’s not going to end on Chestnut Street. It’s time the leaders of our city grow a spine and support the citizens. Stand up to the threats of lawsuits from developers. In Jerre Bryant’s words, “it can become a fairly complicated legal issue.” Maybe so, but you could support the citizens position rather than the developers.

Mark and Donna LeClair


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