For all of the Falmouth Town Council’s “environmental protection” speak, and the millions of taxpayer dollars spent buying acres of inland land for conservation in the already protected Rural District (reducing the tax base), it is impossible to understand councilors’ reluctance to repeal the reckless 2016 rezoning that incentivizes density in new “growth” districts along the town’s vulnerable shorelines, exacerbating an already enormous, and costly problem: stormwater management.

Where will the storm runoff from innumerable duplex roofs and driveways and patios go? And the runoff from new fertilized lawns and gardens, protected by pesticides and weed killers? How much will there be? No one knows! Because no environmental impact studies were conducted before the rezoning, and none has been subsequently requested by the Town Council.

With no planning in place, it will seep into rivers, streams and wetlands, endangering fisheries and wildlife, on its way to fragile Casco Bay. Even before the rezoning, our valuable clam flats have been closed for years because of existing toxic runoff. And many Falmouth waterways fail state water quality standards already.

What is the tax burden to mitigate the inevitable environmental damage? No one knows! Because no tax impact studies were conducted. (Sensing a theme here?) But it will have to be wrung out of residents’ pockets, after they’re drained to pay for the exploding school population (another “unintended consequence” of the rezoning) by higher property taxes that many residents cannot afford.

The 2016 rezoning doesn’t hold water. Nor does the 2013 Comprehensive Plan.

Attend the Growth and Density forum at the elementary school Thursday and demand that the council repeal the rezoning before the deluge of environmental and financial damage drowns us all in a flood of red ink.

Valentine Sheldon


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