As we watch the town of Shelburne fiddle with the proposed Fiddlehead expansion, we may be coming to a crossroad for our fair village. Few people would doubt that Shelburne has been the town of choice for families wishing to raise their kids in safe, peaceful surroundings. And when the kids are grown, their parents often choose to stay here for the same reasons. A fair number, if they can, remain even after retirement. It’s just a good place to live.
Some people, however, would like to turn a sizable chunk of our town into an alcohol/entertainment complex. Now, don’t think I’m a prude. I have nothing against responsible drinking, and I enjoy music just as much as anybody. However, to force neighbors to endure the effects of increased drinking and loud music is simply wrong, and will change the entire complexion of parts of Shelburne. Our town government needs to step back and consider that there are two radically different paths ahead. One will continue Shelburne down the road of being the preferred place to live, with stable or rising home values. The other path leads to increasing numbers of people coming to the village to drink and jump back into their cars on Route 7, and to loud music every night of the summer months, resulting in declining home values for all those within earshot. Picture a slightly lower volume Ben and Jerry’s museum concert every night of the summer; would you want to live in that neighborhood? In the nature of things, reversing the second path is not an option, so choose wisely Shelburne.