POSTED: 17 UNE 2007 - 4:30pm

Another thought from Connecticut visitor

image above: marina in Westport Connecticut off Long Island Sound

by Barbara DiPiazza on 12 June 2007

I am still suffering from the time difference [ Hawaii to CT] so I figured I'd send another idea which worked to stop development in our end of town. Our battles were varied and it might help spark an idea you could use.

Our conservation committee and zoning and planning committee were both going to give full approval for yet another condo project. [ we keep getting attacked by various projects] This argument was a big roadblock in the approval process. Firetrucks and EMTs. If the condo development passed, we argued that our town did not possess the equipment and personnel needed to put out a fire .

As town taxpayers, we were unwilling to increase our taxes to purchase more fire trucks and ambulances. It also helped that we have wells and therefore argued that we would be unable to have enough water to put out any fire. Our town laws were written that only a maximum of 12 houses could be on any one way street. The developers were willing to expand and extend roads but balked at purchasing equipment. Plus our town has a volunteer fire dept and EMTs. This has been kept intentionally by our residents to roadblock further development.

Does the Kaua'i town in which the development is slated to be placed, have issues with the quality and quantity of fire fighting equipment and personnel?

Here's another idea. The town directly south of our town is Westport. An obnoxious developer wanted to build his condo project. He had quietly purchased land from seniors then went for the kill. His attorney was the MOST arrogant former CT supreme court judge who actually bullied members of the town counsels and lower courts. It was felt the developer was unstoppable but some quick thinkers refused to raise the white flag. Here's what they did.

They quickly had the area in question designated as an Historic Area which provided them some extra rules to protect themselves. They sat with multiple teams to record the traffic already in the area. Next they quietly watched when some soil samples were taken, taking photos and the like without being observed and then legally and publicly had soil experts themselves take samples. The developer DID NOT KNOW...which was the point.

During the committee meeting, the developer presented their findings saying the soil quality was grade such and such and therefore fully able to withstand the additional demands from the housing units. With great gusto, the residents presented their findings....which said the direct opposite. What happened? The developer had quickly realized that the soil could not withstand the demands so they SWITCHED their soil to be tested, using soil from a totally different area. Yes, they gave a false sample. This caused a huge uproar... and ultimately did them in.

Lesson? You have to test your own soil and not trust the findings of the developer's samples. Do you know if this has been done?

I followed the case of that particular developer because we caught him crossing over a nature preserve next to our property. He purchased land deeper in the woods from families who only used the land to supply their homes with wood during the colonial period. He wants to build condos in there but says he only wants to build one house as a means to open the door. What has stopped him so far is that he would have to cross over a tiny section of a land trust to access a public road. That has been argued in court that he cannot just ignore a nature preserve.

Surely the land in Kauai can hold some historical significance. Any chance any land can be designated as a preserve?


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