Letter: Agritourism issue needs cooling-off period
To the Editors:
I’ve followed with interest the saga unfolding at Millstone Farm. (Kind of an unfortunate name, it seems, with its biblical allusions to a weight around the neck).
Town Planner Nerney’s role is a bit perplexing. One wonders, of course, how he, or anyone else at town hall, did not know about the shindigs going on up there on the farm? But it rises to comic farce, à la Chief Inspector Clouseau, when he tells them there farmers that they have to stop or, if they won’t stop, then to pursue approval. It’s like “stop or I’ll shoot; or don’t stop and I won’t.”
But it’s the farmers themselves, the Van Reesemas, who steal the show. Feigning Beverly Hillbilly innocence they simply don’t seem able to comprehend that the “R” in the zoning ordinance stands for Residential — always thunk it stood for Reesema, yuk! So they threw a few hoedowns and such, hoping to pick up some spare change to keep the still running, but meanin’ no harm, no harm whatsoever…
I’m not sure where I stand on the notion of changing the ordinance to permit so-called “agritourism,” but the way this is being presented does not seem like a good way to be going about considering it. It feels like we are being forcibly backed into the issue — for the sake of special interests — a process that can only obscure the issues and lead us to making wrong decisions. I think we should send Mr. Nerney out there with orders to shoot; in other words, the town should slap an injunction on the Van Reesemas to cease and desist. And then, after the dust settles, if it appears that there really is a reason for the town to spend valuable resources on the matter, to take up the agritourism issue in a cool-headed, non-pressured environment.
Wilton, Jan. 10