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Fairfax governing board members should be honest
(From Letters to the Editor - St. Albans Messenger - January 16, 2002)

On Jan. 7, 2002, community members of the town of Fairfax, met with the Select Board of Fairfax, to discuss the issue of funds for a utilities study; and/or an upgrade of utility systems, which will be needed if proposed developments are built in the village.

At that meeting, Mrs. Barbara Young, owner of one of the properties where development is proposed, and member of the Development Review Board stated...our development in question was just an idea that came up after we were "forced out of town".

Years ago, when I started expressing my concerns about the intolerable operations of L. W. Young Screening and Gravel Extraction Business, which abutted my property in the village of Fairfax. I was told by Mr. young that I "better get used to noise because there was going to be big development out here (on the Young property) one of these days". So, I find it difficult to believe that the idea of a development on the Young property just popped up recently. There has been a plan, and steps have been taken over the years toward that goal.

Furthermore, no one can "force" another party out of town. The L. W. Young Excavating Business operated in violation of Town Zoning Bylaws and State Environmental Laws, specifically Act 250, for over 20 years. Because of non-compliance with the laws of our town and state governments, the Youngs created the situation which they are experiencing.

Mrs. Young has stated, several times, at public meetings that she did not know they needed permits. I have difficulty understanding how a person who has served on the Planning Commission for over 10 years, and served as Chair of the commission for over 3 years, could not know that permits are needed for a high impact, industrial, commercial, highly toxic business in the middle of a residential District!

Also, at the meeting on Jan. 7, Nicholas Haden, present Chair of the Planning Commission, made a comment concerning my participation on the Planning Commission while the new town plan and new bylaws were being created. I have been a member of the Commission as he stated, and I want to be clear with the community members concerning my input on the Commission.

I have been consistently opposed to the part of the town plan and bylaws which refer to the growth center and the approval of 1/3 acre building lots. I have been listening to the people of the community at various public meetings and have consistently heard the members of the community opposed to small building lots. I have brought that information into the planning meetings to the best of my ability and feel that it has been ignored. We must listen to the people of the town in order to serve responsibly on the governing boards. I, and apparently many members of our community perceive conflict of interest.

At the meeting on Jan. 7, one gentleman asked for truth and honesty from the members of the governing boards of the Town of Fairfax.

Let us begin.

Colleen M. Steen Fairax, Vt Member - Fairfax Planning Commission