I am a Harrisburg resident whose lot adjoins the Stallings property recently rezoned by the town council. I don’t doubt Benita Conrad’s love for the town and regret any “over the top” behavior by some of the many residents who were extremely disappointed by the vote. Many people put a lot of time and energy into identifying what are still legitimate reasons for concern.
Like the other “redshirters,” my wife and I anticipated the day would come when the woods and pastureland behind our house would become a housing development. We accepted growth and change as inevitable and supported the group leaders’ repeated statements that we were not opposed to growth, per se. That said, we expected any development would be consistent with the density level when we moved here in 2006.
I agree with Ms. Conrad that “small town” is better defined as the way we treat each other, value people over money, and listen to one another, and nobody disagrees with a property holder’s rights to sell his or her land for the best possible price. However, what troubles disappointed residents is that while they may have been listened to, they were ignored. What else could a resident think when the council did not offer residents any explanation of what the benefits of such a rezoning were, let alone how they trumped all the arguments against it? If the council has a bigger picture in mind, it should have shared it.