Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Taking up space

Towns are complex organisms. People, buildings, geography, roads, businesses, families all interconnected to form unique entities.

I've argued, plenty, about how important it is to preserve the architectural character of a town in maintaining a town's identity. Middletown is not alone in wanting to dispose of older buildings, and covering the resulting vacant lots with blacktops to accommodate cars, but lately we've seen more than our share of history tarred by the brush of "progress."

Middletown currently has the opportunity to preserve something else which is essential to its character - open space. Tonight the finance board will meet to consider, and draft a bonding proposal for $2 million to purchase (using matching state and federal funds) up to 500 acres of open space. When drafted, the bond proposal will go before the Common Council for a vote on Tuesday to allow the bond proposal to be added to a November referendum vote.

While the current downturn in the housing market will slow the process of farm fields sprouting McMansion developments, an active effort must be made to keep lands open and green permanently.

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