Resident Jack Falvey, who has been critical of aspects of the Woodmont Commons Planned Unit Development (PUD), did not attend the Wednesday, July 10 Planning Board meeting but watched it at home on television, and in a letter to supporters, said he didn’t like what he saw.
“My day job ran late last night and I had to watch the Planning Board meeting on TV, like many of you, when I got in,” he wrote on his Et al email listserve. “The advantage of this view is you get to run instant replay! The hits, runs and errors stand out. Last night the Woodmont train kept rumbling down the track, pouring out great volumes of smoke, making a lot of noise and giving the impression of going great places on schedule.
“It was disconcerting to see the Woodmont team treated once again with great deference and the citizens present and those submitting written comments treated with great distain (sic),” he wrote. “This pattern has been consistent for two years and is part of the frustration we all feel with our Planning Board.”
But it was regarding a letter written by board member Tom Freda in response to a letter received by the board from residents James and Carol Tomaswick, in which Freda quotes a judge’s reference to the Magna Carta in a previous court decision protecting the rights of private property, that Falvey took exception.
“A perfect example was the accusatory email read in reply to a legitimately concerned couple living in the path of the Woodmont train. For the second time I was mentioned by name and charged with the violation of the Magna Carta for recommending the planning board request the developer add a park to the master plan,” He wrote.
“In the English language there is a distinction between a request and a requirement. A request is a right under the law. Denial of that right is a denial of due process. Those trained in the law must first be trained in the English Language,” Falvey wrote his email followers.
Now Falvey wants an apology.
“I would like an apology from the town attorney and the attorney serving on the Planning Board and Town Council (a reference to Freda) for being accused of recommending the Planning Board require a park when in fact I suggested we request the developer consider a park as part of his voluntary open space offering,” Falvey wrote.
However, on May 1, 2013 Falvey sent a letter to Planning Board Chairman Arthur Rugg that said in part “I would urge the Planning Board, as a condition of the approval of the Woodmont master plan to require that WC-4 and WC-5 be preserved as open space and that its residential dwellings be shifted to WC-12 thereby keeping the dwelling number unchanged for this move. The open space in WC-12 can be adjusted accordingly.
WC-4 and WC-5 could then be maintained by Woodmont as a decorative orchard with all trees pruned and all grass cut to resemble the working farm land it once was. No trails or paths need be built and no curb cuts would be allowed on Gilcreast Road.
“If you could read this letter into the record at the next public comment segment of your next Planning Board meeting, I would appreciate your recognizing this public input to your planning process,” his letter states.
Later on, on June 12, he said “Consider having 19 of the 600 acres you are considering for redevelopment preserved as Apple Way Park….Dedicating 3 percent of our first PUD to preserving a representation of our legacy is a reasonable request.” He also said, “I would ask you to Keep 609 trees standing in Apple Way Park.”