Luck Farm Market: wrong development, wrong site

Applications to pave the way for the proposed Luck Farm Market on the west side of Ashland are up for public hearings before the Ashland Planning Commission Wednesday, August 10, 6:00 p.m. in Town Hall.

This development is wrong for this area because it is now mostly semi-rural residential. The application batch includes planning gymnastics of comprehensive plan amendment, a rezoning request, an ordinance change and two conditional use permits (CPA2022-03, REZ22-0414 & ORD2022-04, CUP22-0627A & CUP22-0627B) in order to cram Luck Farm Market next to a rural conservation residential area, a pre-school and a care facility. The Market, if approved, would then occupy a 3.6 acre parcel of what is now open space buffer.

The loss of green space, the increase in traffic, additional noise and light pollution, increase in impervious surfaces, loss of a soft transition between suburban and rural — all of these are palpable environmental and aesthetic changes that do not advance a good quality of life. No amount of proffers would make this square peg fit into a round hole.

Moreover, the residents living in the rural conservation community of Luck Farm deserve better than this retrofitted commercial development. They bought into the community, among other things, on a concept of quiet, rural character.

Hardening of a current gentle transition between suburban and rural is unwelcome.

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