Letter: In defense of the 37 Interlaken project

Posted
To the editor:

Shirley Miller's Jan. 30 letter contains unfortunate misinformation about the 37 Interlaken project.

For example: She has no basis for claiming that the many jobs to be created will not pay a living wage. And why would the developer want to import labor — an expensive proposition — rather than use local workers?

As 37 Interlaken's lawyer stated at the select board meeting on Jan. 28, it would be foolish and mindlessly expensive for the developer to prepare formal design documents before he has an expectation that the project has a reasonable prospect of being approved. When the planning board and town meeting approve the proposed bylaw change, the developer will promptly produce detailed and complete design documents for all to see.

It is simply wrong to claim, as Ms. Miller does, that if the town meeting votes yes, "the developers can go ahead with the project and the town loses any say in any further proceedings." In fact the planning board will still have full authority to impose reasonable conditions on the property's design, and the police and fire departments, the water and sewer commission, the conservation commission, and all other relevant town bodies will be able to review and negotiate changes to the design.

Another common misconception among opponents of 37 Interlaken is that the bylaw change will forever change how the town administers all future development projects. In fact the bylaw change would affect the only two cottage-era estates remaining in town: 37 Interlaken and the Marian Fathers at Eden Hill. There is no "threat" to all other future development projects, be they residential or commercial, taxable or tax-exempt.

William H. Vogt

Stockbridge

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