Letter: Cumberland development rules have a purpose

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Carla Nixon, Cumberland town planner, deals with compromise on a regular basis and knows that lines of division between property zones will often appear arbitrary, but they are a necessary evil. In the case of Cumberland’s two- and four-acre zones, one could argue that a preferred zoning change should as likely be to make a four-acre zone out of the entire area, keeping it more in line with the Comprehensive Plan. But a compromise was made. Perhaps it reflected the then-current wishes of two land-owners on opposite sides of the subsequent line, and at the time was convenient; who knows? But the line’s perhaps being no longer so convenient does not mean necessarily that it should be changed.

Relatedly, Town Manager Bill Shane urged that the town’s cap on residential building permits be raised because the number of permit applications was going to exceed the limit. I don’t find this a legitimate argument, but rather an example of commitment that “alters when it alteration finds” (because otherwise some people are discomforted). A permit cap is doing its job if it slows growth. It is not aimed at facilitating faster growth. If it is upped every time the limit is approached, it is meaningless.

Russell DuPree