Dr. Jeffrey Gordon
Chair, Woodstock Planning and Zoning Commission
Woodstock Town Hall
Woodstock, CT 06281 May 19, 2011
Re: Public Hearing Regarding Pulpit Rock Road Maintenance
Dear Dr. Gordon and members of the Planning and Zoning Commission,
Thank you for holding a Public Hearing on this issue and allowing all citizens of Woodstock to express their thoughts. I am sorry not to be able to be in attendance tonight but would like to voice my concern about recent and proposed “improvements” to Pulpit Rock Road.
I have reviewed our Scenic Road Ordinance and read prior PZC meetings’ minutes and related correspondence and attachments. I have walked and driven the road in many different seasonal conditions. I do not have professional expertise in current “best practices” for dirt and scenic road maintenance and preservation. However, I do have a profound respect for the natural beauty, the ecological significance, and the historical and cultural distinctiveness of Pulpit Rock Road to Woodstock. Pulpit Rock Road is a defining space to Woodstock’s heritage and to our rural character. It demonstrates that historic, scenic places can exist and remain functional even as our town grows.
I urge you to give the highest priority to retaining Pulpit Rock’s unique character and choose carefully the methods and means in its maintenance. Certainly safety for residents and all Woodstock citizens is a priority. However this is not in any way inconsistent with methods which would preserve the essential look and feel of Pulpit Rock Road. Specifically, I urge PZC to:
- Investigate and employ Best Management Practices for maintenance and preservation of Pulpit Rock (and all of Woodstock’s unpaved and scenic roads), including raising the road profile with appropriate material;
- Remove asphalt millings deposited last fall;
- Avoid widening the road, which changes its historic look and feel and creates environmental consequences;
- Avoid paving the road, which would ensure its demise and create significant safety issues for residents and drivers as it would become a higher speed thoroughfare and shortcut between Rt. 169 and Rt 171
Last week, my youngest child walked along Pulpit Rock Road along with all of the third graders at Woodstock Elementary School as part of their “Grand Tour of Woodstock’s Historic Places.” Pulpit Rock Road has a special place in our town’s heritage. I hope we can keep it looking as distinctive as its history is.
Thank you for your consideration, and for your service.
Sincerely, Lindsay B. Paul
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