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April 8, 2014

Town should compromise, avoid litigation with Rizer

The 25-acre Rizer property lies between Winchester Street (left) and the North Rock development (right).
By Stephen R. Bathon

I am confused. You might have read my letters to the editor, where I agreed that Jeffrey K. Rizer has the right to develop his Winchester Street property but made several suggestions in regards to the entrance, setback and the direction of the houses facing Winchester Street.

When Richard Sanders developed North Rock, he was directed to stub a road that would eventually be part of the future access to the development of the lots behind Winchester Street. Anyone buying a home in North Rock certainly would have understood the purpose of the right of way and to suggest otherwise would disingenuous.

Anyone living in the new subdivision commuting to Washington or offices on Blackwell Road would not like having to go by way of Winchester Street. A road that connects the two is the only logical solution for the residents of Winchester Street, North Rock and new residents of Winchester Chase, the Rizer subdivision.

It is my understanding that Mr. Rizer has offered up yet another plan reducing the number of lots to 75, with a connector road from Winchester Street to North Rock Drive. As far as I am concerned, this is the best possible solution to the problem and makes a lot more sense that a protracted lawsuit that would appear to have no other purpose than to punish Mr. Rizer.

The town does not need another lawsuit, the cost of which is being borne by the taxpayers. Consider for a moment the considerable financial loss to the previous owners of the Winchester Street properties, who were told (without any legal justification) that they could not develop their property. Is that another potential lawsuit sponsored by the town’s inability to understand its own laws?

The writer lives on Winchester Street. He emailed this letter to the town council Tuesday morning.
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