Falmouth is at a watershed moment. Will it keep its small-town rural charm, or allow itself to become an urbanized imitation of neighboring cities?

Municipal planning professionals and group-think committees fell captive to constituencies that profit from development. Ignoring traditions and surveys pleading to preserve treasured neighborhoods and town character, in 2016 they imposed a reckless zoning package that puts urban-style growth and density on steroids.

Seeing their neighborhoods being crassly exploited as cash cows, residents are recognizing that the toxic new zoning is a suicide pact against everything they love about Falmouth. We believe that our homes, the appeal of their surroundings, and the congeniality of our neighborhoods are at the heart of our quality of life. Also that the single-family home with its own yard is the indispensable pillar of small-town rural character, that multifamily housing is antithetical to this, and that if not held at bay, urban habitat drives out rural habitat.

There being no high-capacity east-west road in Falmouth, the high-density urban-style mix of commercial and residential zoned for West Falmouth will create gridlock as the population bubble vainly struggles to travel south and east to Portland and other coastal destinations.

Unwanted growth and urbanization aren’t inevitable. They’re a choice. Take a stand. Demand a full rollback of the 2016 zoning.

Robert D. King