Editorial: Winter in July

For all the nice weather we’ve been having this month, it seems all anybody wants to talk is winter.

That’s because a proposed, 250-member skate club on the town’s New York border — in the neighborhood of Peaceable Street and Old South Salem Road, on the old Pinchbeck Nursery property — has stirred up a ruckus.

Yes, we’re talking protest buttons, petitions, and attempts to change the town’s zoning regulations.

Despite the town’s recent championship success, it doesn’t appear that hockey is in vogue.

In all seriousness, what’s drawing the ire of neighbors in the area of the project is the possibility of a high-intensity facility moving in next door.

Previous letters have focused on the aspect that the town’s zoning regulations allow commercial businesses, such as municipal storage buildings, refuse disposal facilities, and “private clubs” — like the one applicant Bud Brown seeks to build.

This week, the editorial page chorus is singing a drastically different tune.

Supporters feel like the depreciating building is in much need of a facelift, and the proposed skate club will bring that to the blighted property.

There’s also the other side’s main argument turned around against them: what if the property was purchased by a waste management company? It is legal.

If the neighbors get their way — and the Planning and Zoning Commission is making them wait on that verdict until Sept. 5, then clubs won’t be allowed anymore in residentially-zoned areas.

That’s a step — at least in their minds — in a positive direction.

But what about other, less desirable businesses? Or even affordable housing developments?

Well, that will leave everybody wishing they hadn’t been so quick and swift to give Brown’s idea the boot.

Speaking of boots, let’s leave them in the closet. It’s summertime, after all.

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