Letters, Camden Herald
Interested in Camden's future, too
Although I have been writing for 20 years about Camden’s past in order to perhaps save its history, I am also very much interested in Camden’s future. As a tax payer in Camden since 1957, and this town having been home all my life, I am very interested in the “Fox Hill” issue. So here is my opinion, for what it is worth.
I am not against a “rehabilitation hotel” for addiction to drugs and alcohol. We all know it is necessary. I am not against such a place being in Camden. What I am against is its location.
“Fox Hill” is a wonderful home built more than 100 years ago by Mr. Borden. Shortly after many “summer” homes were built in that area and all along upper Bay View Street. I believe it was in 1970 that Camden adopted some zoning ordinances. It was about another 10 years before we had a Comprehensive Plan and the current Zoning Ordinance. Bay View Street would remain a residential area. I have never liked “spot zoning”, where the ordinance is changed to benefit a party usually “for profit.” If we keep making changes, what good is our protective Zoning Ordinance?
Also, it is said, that the laundry from that proposed home would be done outside the facility; the meals brought in and the people employed would come and go on different shifts. Bay View Street, I believe, must have been laid out by a snake, with its many, many twists and turns. The entrance to “Fox Hill” is on a very blind corner. The road was not built for that kind of traffic.
I am sure it would be a profitable business for the owners of the facility, but many of us who love this town, would like to keep it the Zoning Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan in place. There was much work put into it by many dedicated residents.
Barbara F. Dyer
Employ common sense and courtesy
Our family lives just down the road from the site of the proposed substance-dependence rehabilitation center, a commercial enterprise. An amendment to the zoning laws is required to allow the operation of this facility. While we endorse the concept that all ordinances should be subject to review, we also reserve the right to plead our case that the zoning rule in question should remain as it is.
Ours is a residential neighborhood, and that is why our family settled here; thus, we oppose the introduction of a business into our little area. Joining us in this opinion, along with a number of our nearby neighbors, are Camden residents who, though they reside in other districts, wish to preserve the overall character of our town.
We respect the views expressed by citizens who admire the goals of the rehabilitation center and who anticipate the creation of jobs. However, we encourage proponents of the Fox Hill development to employ common sense and common courtesy before leveling the charge of "not in my backyard" syndrome against those of us who object to a zoning change. Please think it through. Homes represent both a monetary and an emotional investment, and homeowners have every right to try to protect the environment in which they have chosen to live.
Granted, there are situations in which "the greater good" is at stake, but we do not consider that to be the case in this instance, given that the proposed business is not a charitable organization and that the potential jobs would still materialize if the facility were located elsewhere in our region.
We and the other Camden residents who support the current zoning regulations are not standing in the way of a philanthropic venture or a one-shot chance to boost the local economy, as has been implied by the proposed company's campaign and some letters published by Midcoast residents. We are standing together to uphold the nature of our community.
Amy and Dan Smereck
Welcome, wealth (from away)
Proponents from Camden and nearby towns pull the NIMBY — not in my backyard — acronym out of their rhetorical pockets and suggest that opposition to the Fox Hill proposal comes mainly from well-heeled neighbors with backyards bordering the property in question. "Shame on those mean-spirited rich folks!"
But these proponents seem utterly oblivious to the fact that, while holding that view, they are simultaneously supporting the rotating entry into the Fox Hill neighborhood of additional well-heeled individuals, albeit for shorter stays, many of whom, I wouldn't be surprised to learn, are card-carrying members of the NIMBY branches in their own hometowns.
Bottom line: Wealth from away is welcome. Local wealth? Not so much. Huh?