Letter Box

There are 12 comments on the Brattleboro Reformer story from Aug 13, 2010, titled Letter Box. In it, Brattleboro Reformer reports that:

Mr. Cohn, you are not quite right to compare the Nazi Swastika to the Baddish Swastika -- it is like comparing a thumbs up to thumbs down.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Brattleboro Reformer.

BF Taxpayer

Bellows Falls, VT

#1 Aug 13, 2010
Mr. Reis,

A single driveway access to the public road system should be sufficient for any single-family home unless there are extenuating circumstances and they need to be pretty compelling. Your circumstance was apparently compelling enough to allow you to build a second drive access to your house. But, once that circumstance no longer exists, you must return your second driveway to green space. I see no lack of logic in this approach.

You don't wish to go through the expense of building the driveway only to have to remove it later? Then don't. Don't build it. Or remove your existing driveway first. The amount you pay in taxes is high, as is mine and every other property-owner in the village. However I fail to see how that is relevant to this issue.

We all live by the same rules and in this rare case, this rule makes sense.
Neighboring Taxpayer

Bellows Falls, VT

#2 Aug 13, 2010
I live in your area Mr. Reis as well. You will note that there is already 2 multifamily properties on that hill. Multifamily properties lower surrounding property values. A second driveway gives that appearance. We also have green space laws here for a reason even if they don't apply in your case. Taxes in Rockingham and BF are out of control, but don't try using them as an excuse to buy your permit. Your development of the entire hill paid off well, you neglected to mention that in your letter. Please try to keep the nicest neighborhood in town looking that way and not turn it into a multifamily wasteland like the lower part of the village. We pay more in taxes so we can live in a nicer area.
Anywhere

White Plains, NY

#3 Aug 13, 2010
BF Taxpayer wrote:
Mr. Reis,
A single driveway access to the public road system should be sufficient for any single-family home unless there are extenuating circumstances and they need to be pretty compelling. Your circumstance was apparently compelling enough to allow you to build a second drive access to your house. But, once that circumstance no longer exists, you must return your second driveway to green space. I see no lack of logic in this approach.
You don't wish to go through the expense of building the driveway only to have to remove it later? Then don't. Don't build it. Or remove your existing driveway first. The amount you pay in taxes is high, as is mine and every other property-owner in the village. However I fail to see how that is relevant to this issue.
We all live by the same rules and in this rare case, this rule makes sense.
I didn't see that he was putting in an additional driveway - just additional parking for van access and room for more than one car. Seems reasonable to me. Seems like a little overreach by whoever makes those decisions. Glad I don't live there.

“figuresdontlie*l iarscanfigure”

Since: Feb 10

S. Londonderry VT

#4 Aug 13, 2010
Lack of leadership, vision

Editor of the Reformer:

I must vent my anger yet again at my town Selectboard. I recently filled out a driveway permit application for my mother’s house. I wanted to put in a Surepak parking area so it would be easier for the senior citizen van to pick her up and so the oil truck could back up to the fill pipe.

Also, when the house is sold after she dies, extra parking would be an asset for families with more than one car. This was only approved with the stipulation that it be returned to grass when she passed away. Why the hell would I spend $2,200 just to spend it twice to return it to grass? She’s 88 years old.

We developed Reese Circle with our own money. No handouts. This development has brought hundreds of thousands of dollars to this community in property taxes and utility charges. Not to mention the contractor that we employed. I presently pay $6,447.60 a year for less than one acre of land, with $2 back from the state as a tax rebate. Try common sense.

I would like to thank Mr. Walsh for his help -- he’s the only one with vision.

If I continue to live here for another 15 years, I will have wasted $96,714 and built my house three times over. Add in an $11 million upgrade to the middle school with no economic growth.

Great job, public officials. Ask yourselves again why Bellows Falls has the highest taxes in the state for one square mile. Why 80 homes are for sale. Go home and look at ourselves in the mirror -- are you proud? The young people can’t afford to live in the state of Vermont.

Thank you
~~~~~~~~~~
I really get a little tired of commenters w/obvious multiple sockpuppet accounts attempting to make it appear that more than one person has the same viewpoint.

The request does not seem unreasonable & Surepack has a rather understated appearance. I also fail to see how it would cause harm to anyone's property value, the neighborhood or BF.

I can understand the frustration re rules, perhaps never intended to apply to the circumstance taken the the nth by silly bureaucrats, especially when one is & has been a contributor to the betterment of the village or town.

I agree, it is a nice area.
thatwas

Attleboro, MA

#5 Aug 13, 2010
They wanted him to return it to grass!..that's one of the funniest things I've ever heard.

“figuresdontlie*l iarscanfigure”

Since: Feb 10

S. Londonderry VT

#6 Aug 13, 2010
thatwas wrote:
They wanted him to return it to grass!..that's one of the funniest things I've ever heard.
Yeah really. Never a dull moment in Reformerville or BF. At least they didn't say it must be returned to 'green field'.

He could maybe cut a deal & use an astroturf covering. Astroturf the Surepack, park on the covering & remove it in the winter. Maybe that will satisfy the Reese Circle Committee members.

But then they would say it violated the codes as it must be 'real grass', or rewrite the codes to specifically exclude astroturf to guard the bureaucracydom.
I Vote Vermont

Bangor, ME

#7 Aug 13, 2010
How's it going Paul? Still fighting the good fight I see. I wonder if the selectboard made a unilateral decision on this? Did you go to the highway dept or the planning board first? What I have found is that selectboards throw policy around as if it were zoning or other binding rules. I think that your time would be well spent checking into zoning and researching presidents for such projects in your type of zoning. So if you are strictly zoned residential, drive around and check out other residential areas and see if someone else has a curb cut like the one you have requested. Also, check and see if the highway dept do they have a right 'of' way or do they have a right 'to' way.
Their concern might be clipping someones auto while plowing the street. If that is the case, try ammending your plans so that the parking area is deep enough to eliminate that concern. Personally, if septic tanks and leech fields are not a problem, I would put in a horseshoe shaped drive. Any way, see you at our 30th. Go Purple Gang football!
Neighboring Taxpayer

Bellows Falls, VT

#8 Aug 13, 2010
The zoning is pretty clear regarding curb cuts and driveway access, paving if a down hill slope to the street, etc. You may wish to check the zoning before you speak as well.

“figuresdontlie*l iarscanfigure”

Since: Feb 10

S. Londonderry VT

#9 Aug 13, 2010
I'm familiar with BF. If I'm not mistaken, home is ranch after turning left @ T. How a ranch can be construed as a 'multiple family home' does not make sense. If I am correct & this is the place, the only thing that could be done is to widen the drive & it is a smallish drive.
Hannah

Montpelier, VT

#10 Aug 14, 2010
The only people who seem to be able to afford to live in the state of Vermont are the aging hippies you see everywhere.
Spuds

Burlington, VT

#11 Aug 14, 2010
Why is BF so obsessed with grass?

If you own the land and pay taxes you should be able to do what you want with it as long as it doesn't harm anyone else or their property. We need to bring back the bill of rights that we legislated away to committees with the enabling laws. Property rights are fundamental!

Is this the home of the free and the brave with liberty and justice for all? There are more sheep in Vermont now than 100 years ago, but now they walk on their hind legs! Vote for leaders who will work for us!

“figuresdontlie*l iarscanfigure”

Since: Feb 10

S. Londonderry VT

#12 Aug 15, 2010
Spuds wrote:
Why is BF so obsessed with grass?
If you own the land and pay taxes you should be able to do what you want with it as long as it doesn't harm anyone else or their property. We need to bring back the bill of rights that we legislated away to committees with the enabling laws. Property rights are fundamental!
Is this the home of the free and the brave with liberty and justice for all? There are more sheep in Vermont now than 100 years ago, but now they walk on their hind legs! Vote for leaders who will work for us!
Amen! Too Many self-important frustrated former hall monitors that do not have the skills to do anything else doing their best to gum up our lives because 'they can'.

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