Ballston Journal Your Hometown News since June 14, 1798

Letter to the Editor: Milton Needs Diversity in Affordable Housing

The Town of Milton’s website banner-head reads, “Welcome to Milton, a town to work and live.”  The present development pressure trends that we are experiencing has me wondering however, will this soon read, “a town for just retired folk aging out in place.”

The Town of Milton Comprehensive Plan states that it provides for planned growth and preserving rural areas. Yet those rural area seem to be falling victim to the blight of the bulldozer much faster of late, as developers force feed us the delusional need that more and more senior housing that isn’t needed, their wallets speak…”is needed.”  Ironic that our local history boast the first settlers to Milton 20 years prior to becoming a town in 1772, was the David Wood family.  That was exactly 200 years before I graduated from high school, and although being a Wood myself, I assure you I’m not linage related.  How I am related is in purpose, as I too came to settle a homestead of a modest home and yard for gardening in a quiet neighborhood where I can get to enjoy my neighbors, and though not ready to retire, Milton seems to be a place I’d still enjoy.

Milton seems to be a place I’d still enjoy?  Let me rethink that statement.  The 90-plus housing units for 55 and older adults that is being proposed nearby on Hutchins Road is yet another high density development which has me rethinking if I should stay. What? Another old folk filing cabinet built for anyone but families?  Others have been built, are slated to be built and are being built in Milton and this just is just counterproductive of becoming a community “to work and live” as it becomes exclusive housing for non-families.  Speaking of non-families, town folk seem proud to have the Navy Training Center here in Milton and the residual spent dollars these young folk bring, yet we shut the door in their faces when it comes to housing them as many  ( if any) are  55-plus.  We need a variety of available housing offerings for everyone.

The proposed 14 acre site on Hutchins Road is zoned R1, meaning at most less than two dozen single family homes can be built. Yes, that supports the planned growth of the adopted Comprehensive Plan.  Yes, it protects the rural character of the town as well as possibly the same forested trees David Wood had known as he hunted.  Yes, it protects the valued fabric of having a diversity of families, homes and aesthetic character of our neighborhoods.  Yes, if Hutchins Plus gets approved to be built, it smacks of spot zoning, where developer and land owner are the only ones who benefit. The Comprehensive Plan for our community had the foresight to protect our social and natural environments. We can’t be bullied into thinking we should give that all up just to build nearly 100 more human storage units, and further exclude Milton FAMILIES.

J-D Wood
Ballston Spa


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