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Pomfret Survey Comments1. What makes Pomfret a special place:Family ValuesTeagoLack of overly restrictive zoning and land use regs.Working farms, small businessesHigh property taxes, lack of ordinance/law enforcement, lack of zoning andplanningWe rent from my nephewSense of communityFarms, SugarhousesViews and Don't see neighborsBirth PlaceFamily roots, heritageapple orchardit's citizens & undeveloped landRoad crew, winter plowingNorth Pomfret Churchhousing for the kids younger generation where?minimal light pollution (now threatened to lose this!)fire dept & fast squadbeing a part of a larger community landscape (Upper Valley) with a wealth ofresourcesthe full time resident; annual events in the communityapple orchardPomfret used to be special - no morethe natural topographyPeople, caring, supportive attitudes, working togetherExcellent small school with arts programs, drama and musicNice neighborsAccess to services/businesses/cultural/medical facilities inWoodstock/Hanover/Lebanon.FarmsHome businesses2. What would make Pomfret a better place:Keep population growth to a minimum, strict rules on where new houses arelocated.More money for principalCable TVModern land use regsBetter relations w non resident owners - more communication & opportunitiesfor non resident owners to have input on town issuesIf you own a location, you should be allowed to do what you wish with it.Competent Zoning Planning boards, Selectmen, fire wardens, ...



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Pomfret Survey Comments 1. What makes Pomfret a special place: Family Values Teago Lack of overly restrictive zoning and land use regs. Working farms, small businesses High property taxes, lack of ordinance/law enforcement, lack of zoning and planning We rent from my nephew Sense of community Farms, Sugarhouses Views and Don't see neighbors Birth Place Family roots, heritage apple orchard it's citizens & undeveloped land Road crew, winter plowing North Pomfret Church housing for the kids younger generation where? minimal light pollution (now threatened to lose this!) fire dept & fast squad being a part of a larger community landscape (Upper Valley) with a wealth of resources the full time resident; annual events in the community apple orchard Pomfret used to be special - no more the natural topography People, caring, supportive attitudes, working together Excellent small school with arts programs, drama and music Nice neighbors Access to services/businesses/cultural/medical facili ties in Woodstock/Hanover/Lebanon. Farms Home businesses 2. What would make Pomfret a better place: Keep population growth to a minimum, strict rules on where new houses are located. More money for principal Cable TV Modern land use regs Better relations w non resident owners - more communication & opportunities for non resident owners to have input on town issues If you own a location, you should be allowed to do what you wish with it. Competent Zoning Planning boards, Selectmen, fire wardens, c onstable Better Roads better town center preserve rural character
N. Pomfret country store, police station I like it just the way it is More school aged families! Speed restrictions on back roads by reducing width, size. Road Crew-conserve trees along dirt roads. bringing back the honesty & integrity of our town government. treat everyone the same internet cable only, no broad band towers walk/bike lane on main roads (Pomfret & Stage) police, country store more of people minding their own business - less govt. enforce speed limit More diverse population, more young families, more agriculture Better roads, more issues voted on by the people of Pomfret Add grades 7&8 to Pomfret School Keep fields open Public transportation for the elderly More working farms. Want reliable maintenance of roads. 3. The greatest challenges facing Pomfret: Commuter town, makes people less concerned about Pomfret. Volunteer services for community- Fire, EMS, Town officers Parity for non residents Communication in and out of Town. Recycle Selectman and Listers Keep building to a minimum Wind power economic diverse population private land. Absolute control by owner! Zoning dependency on cars to survive Maintaining rural character Streambank stabilization Maintain Suicide Six Full time residents We need services others get! Cell phones and High Speed Internet. Maintain the virgin ridgelines decrease road width & ditch depth. Speeders out of control Ignorant fools who make our neighbors plant thousands of dollars worth of trees to hide a garage that won't be noticed anyway!! Especially when there is a large ugly white house that sticks out like a sore thumb within the same view!! sustaining the population of year round working people (as opposed to retirees, or vacationers) Wind power Threat of development with homes which are grandiose and out of character with the town Sense of belonging to a community! Care about each other, not making more rules. Curb spending- Town government is not spending their own money! Better roads are not needed. Roads are fine now.
Keep Elementary school without merger Keep open! Keep Ag! Treating residents equally and fairly Prevent sprawl and have responsible growth. Identifying where and how Pomfret fits into the larger region. Pomfret is not a self contained entity. It is part of a larger region. We need to know where we fit –i.e. Lebanon is for Home Depot, Sharon seems to allow small affordable single family with out zoning or set back, etc. Pomfret is not for everyone, nor should it strive to be. Our policies regarding affordability, set backs, density, support (protection) of local agriculture all need to be considered in the context of Pomfret’s past and present situation. We don’t want development pressures on open land, ag land or forest land. 4. Important natural resources: Natural Beauty, Slower pace Air Quality Water Quality, well, rivers and streams Land not posted for hunting Clean Air undeveloped hills Unposted land open to hunting these are all great, but don't tell people they can't do what they want with their land if it is not against town regulation.. Keeping invasive species under control; also, preserving streamside vegetation. Clean air and water, both are threaten ed Better parking for recreational trails The varied mix of open and forested land 9. Other lot sizes: Road access and visual impact more important. As large as possible Different Lot sizes as you move further from village center. more than 20 acres how many families can do 5 acres or three kids? There isn't a right answer here. It should depend on where you are located in town. Do we have village/town lines? I would hate to see a house on every 20 acre plot such as you often see in southern NH. We need large parcels that won't be developed. larger is probably better but I have not fully considered the pros & cons one size for all is never best. Variable, depending on terrain, history, would be most satisfactory for preserving landscape & allowing some building I think lot size should not set the criteria for development vary according to area, topography 10 to 20 I support a pattern of compact settlements surrounded by rural countryside in theory, but not in a rural area like Pomfret Would support multiple zones Use 10 acre lot size to maintain open areas Location of growth is more important than amount. Less than 2 acres is great for cluster density. Have a balance of small and large lots
Should vary by region in town Would like more locally owned, geared towards creating a self sustaining community. Pattern of compact settlements surrounded by rural countryside works well in Europe. Support 100 acre zoning. 11. Non-residential land use concerns: Impact on streams due to allergies I would like to see some thing done to keep some of the dust level down after the roads are graded but I do love the dirt roads. commercialization of farms and cheese makers. Don't approve of attracting bus tours to them. Logging general environmental impact water resources Need responsibility to the land. Don’t like landscaping. Less signs. Take them down. Pomfret Town Hall sign faces an otherwise nice structure. 14. Residential land use concerns: Don't build in fields, hide new growth. Traffic increase Prefer not too many driveways on main roads. Property taxes Obstruction of trails and loss of open land. Not allow homes and property to become a junkyard. Loss of open land Lawn mowing constantly Zoning should be in keeping with the surrounding area. If houses are already close to the road, don't be restrictive about this. Better than plopping them down in an open meadow. Cluster housing should be cul de sac, only one driveway for all. too many affluent, older residences (no children) & second homes I am strongly against building long access roads to developments thus carving up the landscape even more. No opinion on mega houses as long as we can’t see them! Population density. We have plenty of room in Pomfret. We don’t need “cluster” housing. Strongly against mega barns, riding rings, etc. Nursing homes, assisted living for elderly should be allowed in zoning. Seasonal housing and mega houses should depend on performance standards. We have a "junkyard"- 4 abandoned cars on property behind us. Owner, XXXXX, has moved junk cars all over place in town and has been absent. Should be moved, creates health hazards to water, etc. There is a junkyard and collapsed house adjoining our house. It is owned by XXXXX and has four abandoned vehicles on property plus other assorted junk. I think it could result in a contamination to our well water supply. Have recent notices been sent to Mr. XXXXX? Clarify whether you are talking about "low income" housing or housing for young first time home owners. 16. Education: The issue has to be addressed at the state and federal levels. Pressure for changes in Act 68 and create housing opportunities for young families to increase school enrollment
Repeal Act 68 Explore making it a private school with free tuition to Pomfret residents. Get Creative Lobby Montpelier for a fair solution which will continue quality education even in our neediest towns. Work with Montpelier to change Act 68 to be more reasonable Advocate independent, non-partisan analysis of inefficiency/redundancy/bureaucracy in current VT school system. Our cost per student now is nearly highest in nation! Combine smaller classes if possible Talk to the state government and fix this mess Stop thinking we can afford everything and vote no occasionally at Town Meeting. Open Elementary school to out of area tuition students Reduce taxes Stop paying so much to Montpelier Decrease the operating cost of the school. Per pupil spending exceeds the cost of "tuition" from tuition students. Try to reduce education budget. Work to improve legislation. Vote out Act 68 The Pomfret school cannot continue as it is now. Budget more cost effective, consider reduction of faculty. Work with our government in Montpelier cut teacher benefits i.e. health care over 65 should get substantial tax relief lower teacher/pupil ratio, mixed -grade classrooms, lease empty classroom to education related private org. Montpelier money for education only- not to fund other This issue has a strong tie to housing diversity We need to keep out school to attract young families and maintain a sense of community. No town should lose its elementary school! Look for ways to fund education other than property taxes. We get penalized for being an excellent school. We attract tuition students and yet they are not counted in the school population when costs are assessed. (cost per pupil) Balance of almost all of the above. Keep local schooling, avoid mergers, some increase in taxes are inevitable. Continue to fight the funding method! work towards non diesel fuel on school buses which ever will lower taxes. Education is way too expensive in this town. Let the parents & wealthy support it. don't accept state $ - withdraw from Act 68, if possible leave these decisions to families w children Good schools are a necessity. not familiar enough to know what is needed, except that the education is very important, should be of high quality & easily accessible. thanks for all the hard work & supportive servic es separate all non-education charges from school budget. Move to town budget vote to send responsible people to Montpelier who will think before they act. instructing our legislators to sunset act 60 & 68 (or vote them out) and use proposed legislatio n by the League of Cities & Towns or the coalition to fund our schools go private - there is a way and it's much better
Attract more kids with affordable housing These are slanted questions! Enhance growth favoring young families with children or turn the grade school into a nursing home and day care center and keeping the outside recreation facilities for scheduled rec events. Continue to work with legislators to fix the funding problem. Explore if the “scholarship” was private money turned into public money thru tuition. Don’t see how to pull that off unless a direct payment to the student. Endowment fund in Pomfret Trust? The Pomfret School is the big issue. How can anyone expect the residents (and indeed second home owners) to continue to pay for the diminishing school population? A merger has to come 17. Municipal services: Town clerical functions are fine, Selectman should be more conservation minded, more protective of town character. Public investment/grant solicitation for wired broadban d Given the level of funding available to them, the Town Highway Crew does and excellent job. Need to keep families and maintain fire department, add playground Great! Keep up the good work! 3 fire depts is duplication of services –waste of $ I think we're being robbed by the Hartford dump assoc. - examine alternatives. I don't believe ambulance/paddy wagon vehicle is necessary in a town our size. Chuck should be mayor! Or at least honored for all he does for the community Pomfret is very fortunat e, as a small town, to provide its residents with excellent public services. Please keep Vermont rural and affordable. Residential growth means higher taxes. Town officials need to start representing the town’s people and not their own agendas. "Some" Town Officials should hold onto their emotions and personal opinions and work with Towns people and not against. Zoning Board needs members who reflect some of us little people with less than a million in bank and less than 100 acres. Still spends too much on duplicate and hostile fire departments. The Town's liability in taxes plus private fundraising plus hidden expenses is not proportionate too the threat. I am opposed to paving dirt roads - unnecessary and needlessly expensive to taxpayers. Please pave Stage Road! Would like to pave more dirt roads. The Town has been run too long by a self-selecting and self perpetuating oligarchy! New blood needed! The Town administration needs recycling! New people must have a turn- Town Meeting is no longer worth attending- business has all been decided beforehand. Change has to come, but so has the administration. Some kind of public transportation would be great for after school sports, shopping, etc. Seems to be too much self interest among some selectboard members. we need a veterinarian office in town prefer use of Woodstock Library school is too expensive Why do we need to fund a library when there is one in the school for children and one in Woodstock for adults. People who live in Sharon, So. Ro., Barnard etc. always comment on how our road crew does a great job plowing in the winter. Their roads are messy but when they hit the Pomfret town line the roads are clear. Only reason I didn't mark "Excellent" for roads is because we could improve the work done along streams. (e.g. lessen impact.)
Due to gas prices I would like to see public transportation started. The roads are great and well maintained. Sometimes a little too much dirt goes down on dirt roads in the winter. again roads are too wide, ditches too deep. Grader keeps scalloping land. Once roads are smooth, town dumps gravel or grades roads creating lots of bumps, dust & rocks. I have to question the motives, honesty & integrity of a number of our administration. I think that we surely have some of our town forefathers rolling over in their graves & for good reason! I also question the education of a few of these folks. love the fast squad & fire depts. when you live in a small town, one cannot expect services you may get in a larger community difficult to speak to administration Is there any way to get trash pick-up? Or law enforcement services? Veterinarian for a small town, we do really well - one shortfall is - we need to encourage more participation in town government, volunteerism, etc. Town wide high speed internet access is needed. It is becoming more and more impatient and will not be provided to most town residents unless it is done by the Town on a town -wide basis (not house by house with only wealthy residents able to have i t) Close library, not necessary with proximity to Norman Williams, sell building ($300,000?) and put on tax roles. Close or merge school. Don't need two fire departments. Selectmen and town administration seem to be developing "exclusive ideas" and adver se attitudes toward community members. They serve and should work together with community members and be respectful! Pomfret is no longer a friendly community, they are too busy excluding things they don't like. Town government- if you don’t have a future k-6 grade school base for that expensive "state of the art" school of yours than tsk tsk. That's too bad. I could have told you so back when a handful of you railroaded the school down Pomfret taxpayer’s throats. Work with Woodstock. Sell the school and or turn the building into a Nursing facility and day care with public recreation grounds. Zoning needs to be enforced. Planning Commission is good but rules need to be adhered to. Roads are fine. Poor conditions help reduce speed. More important than industry or village development is the school, library, volunteer services. If you improve the roads, people drive faster. Should have minimum standards but don’t need people to drive at high speeds. Very satisfying and responsive. We spend more than needed on roads and too much salt. Favor higher taxes to raise the wages of those already doing road maintenance. Our roads are great, they just need maintenance. Taxes high enough in Pomfret. Why do selectpersons allow holes to remain for months?! These holes are wrecking havoc with vehicles’ front ends when hole can be filled in minutes. Town administration is disappointing because most of them are sheep. We live on a dirt road that doesn't get much use, whoever drives the large grader keeps making the road wider and wider. This is totally unnecessary and very objectionable to us. Also, in the summer especially, our road will be in fine condition- very smooth and drivable, then along comes the grader and digs it all up again exposing large rocks which we must drive over. We feel this is just "make work" to justify their time. Pomfret is such a wonderfully unique town. Let's try to keep it from changing. 19. Energy conservation: Not a Town responsibility! Given Pomfret's size, I'm not sure this is feasible Cow Power!
Planning Comm. Could act as clearing house for info about environmentally friendly systems. As Pomfret may need to consider a "Living Machine" waste system. Encourage energy efficient lighting - rebates for fluorescent bulbs, the way Manchester has. Encourage insulation. Look into a chip boiler for the school Avoid cell towers all together What exactly can the town do without impinging on individual rights? Create committee to look into. Wind Turbines: So what if someone can see on e from their property. Please notify taxpayers re: meetings concerning this topic. Let's explore wind power on some of our many hills This applies everywhere Would favor wind power even if it affects our view. Recently viewed map of Scotland with notations for approved, and pending wind power installation. Illuminating! Regulate, not restrict or ban A small group should control energy conservation and development - Not the Town Administration. Not sure what this means, but sounds like a good idea. Explore energy cooperative and give tax incentives to energy efficient housing. windmills high priority Maybe- But at what cost? Hard to answer yes without a proposal or some specifics. Anything we can do to conserve energy and promote renewable resource s is important(except commercial wind power) Anything within reason that doesn't result in huge increase in costs. All the alternatives have their price. Either in $ or environmental impact… infrastructure, visual impact, birds killed by windmill blades etc. tax breaks for energy efficient systems. wind, geo thermal have declined an offer for cell tower on our land. Please keep them out! sell light bulbs, other energy saving appliances we all must work together to reduce our dependence on fossil fu els. We must do our part. I would favor looking into Advance Transit expanding bus service to our area & the development of any environmentally friendly energy resources Solar or wind power I have never seen a cell tower that would fit ascetically in the town of Pomfret, and don't feel we need one that badly town should develop or support development of alternative energy resources I don’t deliver firewood in Pomfret because of the Pomfret permit requirement seems like a good idea, but I suspect there might be strong resistance to the way it looked encourage home insulation, solar panels use and possible water power Development restrictions to prevent the building of mega homes. Promotion of affordable housing built with "green" technology. Allow wind systems for private use Wind power should be developed/allowed within reason We should allow cell towers and wind towers with restrictions Energy conservation would be a great way for people to act locally on an important issue. Wind power should be allowed, depending on bird studies. Do not prohibit cell towers through regulations. Energy conservation is up to individuals. No towers. We all should promote energy conservation.
This is important but is not the role of Pomfret’s town government. Favor private wind power under well defined regulation which doesn’t conflict with state/national law. 26. Other local newspapers: None! Wall Street Journal Vermont Guardian Burlington Free Press Christian Science Monitor NY Times Boston Globe National Newspapers Intl. Herald Tribune Eagle Times 28. How we get information about town issues and decisions: Town gossip, word of mouth, hearsay, gossip Mailings Newspapers It's damn hard to get, protected like its national security info! The School Neighbors Valley news Vermont standard Mail Teago Town meeting Yearbook Flyers Letters Notices Post office Town office Friends Town warrant Little to no info received or available Bulletin board Never informed From the horses mouth Vermont property owners report. I used to pay close attention, I don't anymore because I feel it's all talk by town administrators. Town clerk From my nephew Planning Commission mailings Rumor mill Don't get much Notices from Town Clerk. Town records
Elected officials North Pomfret post office Administration Town hall Zoning board NPR TV Meeting neighbors at library or store Very concerned about the pace of tax burden increased= 50% in 18 months. We will not be able to maintain/afford this for long My family Chuck Gunderson Private sources Would like more direct info from the town Other important issues: The "Old Roads" concept is ridiculous: Vote No! Most of the major issues here are covered in Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission's Zoning bylaw draft. Class size for elementary school too small. Committees studying this should be more diverse and not only include parents of students. Taxpayers should be heard. Centralizing elementary education with other towns is needed now. Town government is inbred. Need to have new and diverse thinking in town government. This will only occur when the "town fathers" allow outsiders to be heard. Real Estate taxes can be lowered with good planning but the town hadn't heard this yet. They will. I am greatly concerned with the school funding issues, the lack of affordable housing, and the lack of high speed internet service. We have a great school, excellent road, and emergency services. A community meeting hall where kids, teens and all of us can get to know more of our neighbors is a dream. Keep up the great work you're doing. I know trying to judge public sentiment about some of these issues is like herding cats. I would love to have broadband access, but I don’t think the town should use scarce resources obtaining it. Hopefully satellite access will drop in price. Realistically, Pomfret shouldn't compete with Lebanon, Hanover, or WRJ as a commercial center. Better to remain as a residential community primarily. We'd just end up with the disadvantages of growth with few of the advantages. The town lacks a dense enough village cluster to support a viable retail center or the road infrastructure. Reasonably priced housing. I am a professional, working parent and feel lucky to have squeaked into a property in Pomfret - our family probably could not do that today. Allowing development of small lots, for modest homes to attract families and kids. Stabilization or expansion of current school enrollment. Gated access to lots, estates, forests, homes should be forbidden A large part of Pomfret's land is owned by nonresidents - more effort is needed to convey info to them & to solicit advice/input. Nonresidents are likely to be very committed to Pomfret & may retire here, & may be a good resour ce for the town. For now there is a gulf, residents on one end & nonresidents on the other, feeling disenfranchised if sometimes taken advantage of. I would like to see a Town newsletter published, maybe on a quarterly basis that would keep Pomfret residents informed on current issues. So many last minutes surprises when the Town Report is received. Preserve "Ridgeline" Ordinances. Please continue to preserve the ridgeline. Our most important issue is preserving the looks of Pomfret. No cell towers or wind mills.
Reschedule Town meeting to Saturday and/or evenings. Send all property owners announcement and agenda for Town meetings. Only a few people run Pomfret, and all property owners/taxpayers should have a say. I hope never to see unnecessary fences and No Trespassing signs on either private or public "open" lands. I believe that ownership brings responsibility; multifamily houses are dangerous because fire safety if often ignored; and, apartments can be useful for short stays, students, farm help, and ski instructors. Establishment of a local land trust, establishment of a fund to purchase land in danger of being developed- for preservation. Reconstituting the Pomfret Conservation Commission. Thank you, Thank you for the many hours of good work you do on behalf of Pomfret citizens. Real Estate taxes. We do hope the Town fathers find a way to restrain the escalat ing real estate taxes. Our home in Pomfret has brought great joy to our family. We love the town please preserve its beauty. In a rapidly changing world, it is wonderful to get to our house in Pomfret and find the peace and quiet of the past. As a new resident/homeowner information about the town isn't readily available unless through above. I think info should be sent when the closing & proof of resident is reported to town. Conflict of interests on administrative levels For high speed internet, don't wait for Verizon. Work with Finowen of West Lebanon and Wavecom of Lebanon for small towers and sight line access. Maybe the town could sponsor a landowner workshop on streambank stabilization. It seems that people cut down trees, bushes etc. along the brooks at will without ever considering the impact. Some education might help (as opposed to passing a regulation preventing cuttings). I'd be happy to help and get Trout Unlimited and the White River Partnership involved. We very much want to retain our dirt roads. Growth and environmental sustainability are a reality and inevitable. Both must be managed properly and work hand in hand. Vermont is characterized by compact village centers surrounded by open space. Pomfret is an excellent example of this, but quickly falling victim to sprawl and unmanaged growth due to archaic zoning and struggles for uniform vision. A wide range of development and growth can take place in Pomfret if managed properly through zoning and sustainable design practices. Pomfret should utilize (or continue to utilize) resources available to them through the many state and non-profit organizations such as Regional Planning Commissions, VT Land Trust, VT Forum on Sprawl, Vital Communities etc. It is critical to have a community characterized by diversity (economic, racial, age) or w e will eventually become the land of large weekend homes. Pomfret needs to model a build-out of the town based on current regulations and share the results. Let's get new blood into this group. Thank you for such an in depth survey. We appreciate the efforts the Planning Commission is putting into the future of Pomfret. We know this is a controversial topic. Encourage and maintain trails for hiking, mtn. biking, riding. The loss of much of the skyline trail is a shame. We have maintained the section that goes across our property since the 1960s. Also, the trails should not just be all geared towards horseback riding. There should be some allowance for snowmobiling and mountain biking. Some trails should be restricted to non-motorized vehicles, but I resent the ridiculous "Fragile Trails" signs against human powered mountain bikes as I maintain 6 miles of trails and horses do much more damage than any pedal. We have horses, bikes and snowmobiles and we can all share the trails. Some mountain bikers are inconsiderate but that is no reason to ban them all. It is very important to sustain the character of Pomfret at all costs! Taxes. Our tax rolls are all over the place. I have a neighbor with twice the home that I have, but since he's never pulled a permit he has not been reassessed. His taxes are half what I pay! Pulling a permit to do reasonable upgrades in your home should not warrant a tax increase - To do so encourages remodeling without a permit or letting you house fall into disrepair. Pet Peeve: hate to see tour buses on our dirt roads - would like to see them kept off - roads are too narrow for them. Do not widen roads!