5/20/14 Letter to Pittsboro Board of Commissioners

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  1. Pittsboro Citizen says:

    There will never be enough money for these developers, ever. They have no respect for the simpler country way of life. There is no regard for the unspoiled terrain and wildlife. They are only interested in the money to be made…by them. Pittsboro is not so far from the bustle of city life that it needs to make its way here. Why can’t Pittsboro’s inhabitants choose to go to the city instead of the city bulldozing over its inhabitants? Comparatively, the tranquility enjoyed in Pittsboro is a utopia, but developers don’t like anything to be free. The enjoyment of spending any time in the quiet countryside is being commercialized for spa getaways and the vacation industry. The simple enjoyment of life is becoming something to be sold to only those who can afford it. Can’t people just be allowed some peace, and sanity? We are being overrun by parasites! It is getting to the point where like the Amish and the Indians, country folk need to fight for their own government protected areas to preserve their way of life. Otherwise, their culture is destined be a thing of history books or more aptly stated, the “Cloud”. Technology is the name of the game, right? If you wanted to live somewhere like Chapel Hill or Cary, wouldn’t you just move there? Preston Development’s biggest financial backer is Mr. James Goodnight whose “personal” net worth to date is 7.6 billion dollars. As he pockets a nice hefty sum of profits from his community development investments, it is interesting to note his vested interest in the community of Pittsboro. Troubling is the Triangle Biz Journal’s article of January 24, 2012 which presents Preston Development’s obvious intent to transform Pittsboro into a bustling community similar to Mr. Goodnight’s cherished Cary elite community. In a July 21, 1996 News and Observer Article titled, “Citizen Goodnight”, Mr. Goodnight is described as “a man used to getting what he wants.” Most especially of concern, amongst others noted in a PittsboroMatters article, is the fact that the renowned Chatham Park lobbyist/planning Phillip Culpepper was the only witness a public hearing on March 25, 2013. As reported by PittsboroMatters, “Beyond as required legal advertisement, the public was not notified about the public hearing.” (http://pittsboromatters.org/chatham-park/historical-background/) The statistics and implications of another PittsboroMatters article stating that the approval of Chatham Park will bring 55,000 and 70,000 new residents to Pittsboro, placing its population density on par with Baltimore, MD and Boston, Mass. are staggering. (http://pittsboromatters.org/chatham-park/) Along with such immense growth also comes an immense growth of crime, vagrants, traffic accidents, pollution, and death. Is that the vision of the Town Board for the Pittsboro community? The vision proclaimed by Preston Development for “a live-work-play environment where you live with research centers, shopping, hospitals, and you can bike or walk to your job site; where you can go to the park and play, walk down to the river and have lunch” is much like the vision held in 1857 for the development of New York City’s Central Park. In 2013, an article in the New York Times called New York’s Central Park an “Oasis of Fear”, citing felonies including rapes and robberies. Please do not cave to the empty promise of jobs. Per capita, how many of these tentative 100 – 400 corporate jobs will actually be given to the existing inhabitants of Pittsboro? Those 55,000 – 70,000 new inhabitants will need jobs too. Please do not industrialize the Pittsboro community. There are some things that money cannot buy, though I doubt Mr. Goodnight believes that this is true. Every unspoiled acre of field and forest is not an open invitation to bulldoze and build. Charles Hayes’ declaration that “Chatham Park will set the standard for quality and will be an asset to our region and our state” is the biggest canned sales pitch that will ever be tossed within ear shot. It would appear when speaking with Pittsboro natives; Preston Development and Research Triangle Regional Partnership need the community of Pittsboro much worse than the community of Pittsboro would ever need them. It was them who came knocking. They are the hunters and we are the game. The devil is in the details.

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