Brunswick needs a moratorium

I appreciate that reporter John Terhune covered our Town Council’s public hearing last Tuesday on the proposed development moratorium (“‘Developers will flee’: Brunswick Council holds off on proposed development moratorium,” June 22).

However, he over-emphasized the alarmist tone of the developers and wrote little about the large number of residents present who support the moratorium.

Many developers mistakingly conflated the moratorium with revised zoning regulations that might impact their projects. These are two, different actions. The moratorium would simply be a much-needed pause to allow a collaborative process of reviewing and revising zoning to include the interests of all residents, businesses, government, and the environment.

The rate of building new housing has increased enormously, with new pressures on all municipal services. Brunswick is working with an out-of-date Comprehensive Plan and regulations that don’t adequately provide for affordable housing, increasing costs of community services, environmental protection, and quality of life.

Town government needs to act quickly in the next 3-6 months, and the only way to do this thoroughly, fairly, and kindly to all parties is to take a pause through a moratorium. Please learn about the good work our Council has done on this moratorium proposal, attend meetings, and write supportive letters. As Councillor Foye commented, if some developers can’t pause for a few months and do leave town, there are plenty of others who will come.

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Bruce Kantner,
Brunswick

Story ignored other side

I don’t know whether to be more dismayed by the inaccuracies of the article about the Town Council’s decision to delay a vote on the proposed moratorium, or by the article’s giving voice without context to developers who spoke against the moratorium. Not all those who spoke against the moratorium were from Brunswick, and the article completely ignores the Brunswick citizens who spoke in favor of the moratorium, a number equal to those speaking against it. Instead it peddles its headline — “Developers will flee.” Really?

A long life of watching development says to me that when one developer goes elsewhere another arrives. Brunswick’s an attractive town, one might say “hot” now. The mix of redevelopment at The Landing and covid-booming sales has as many new units coming on line as typically happened in a decade only a few years ago. What’s not been brought forward — even with incentives to do so — is new affordable housing. Town Council and staff are proposing a pause to figure out why.

Those of us who spoke in favor of the moratorium did so because we favor a pause in headlong development so that we all may work to develop affordable housing, maintain rural areas and conserve what so many value about Brunswick. The developers I listened to at that meeting seemed simply intent on trying to intimidate Brunswick’s Council. It smacked of a naked power play. That your article offered no balancing opinions leaves the reader with the impression that that power play worked.

Sandy Stott,
Brunswick

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