I am a 38-year resident of Wellington. For 21 of those 38 years, I have lived in a pastoral area called Lakefield South. However, the community was recently informed of a plan by the Wards that will fundamentally change the face of our area. The Wards intend to put nine barns in our area, two directly in the middle of Country Golf Drive. They also intend to make waterways smaller and put barns behind the homes of residents. They, additionally, plan to include grooms’ and residents’ quarters and paddocks.
Lakefield is a residential, zero-lot-line area, and the inclusion of these homes and barns in a zero-lot-line area will result in many hazards for the existing residents, who are opposed to their presence within the community. Aero Club residents will also suffer, as that community will have four barns directly across from it and near the landing strip, which could be potentially dangerous for all residents nearby, since horses and planes are a hazardous mix.
The Wards’ plan will, moreover, bring increased and dangerous traffic from more cars and more trucks being in the area, causing even more congestion on already-crowded streets, and this will impact all of Wellington’s residents who use the street, not just Lakefield’s residents. The horses, furthermore, will produce manure, leading to a strong and perpetual odor in the community, and the manure will attract flies and other insects, raising questions about the impact of this plan on the residents’ health.
A major issue with the plan is a proposed road that the Wards would like to put behind the homes of residents. The Wards have suggested that they will buffer and landscape to block the road, but no amount of buffering will drown out the noise and smell, or remove the potential dangers that will come along with the vehicles used on this road, including horse trailers, trucks for manure removal and feed trucks, just to name a few of the vehicles that will be necessary to care for the horses.
Additionally, emergency services will have access to this road, adding to the dangerous mix of residential homes and a commercial and publicly used road. Also, a road brings with it security issues, as unfamiliar people will be able to gain easy access to the community via the road. What will stop a nonresident from gaining access to the community through this road? How can the Wards ensure that they will be able to keep out those who do not belong in the area? And, then, there is the issue of the noise. Currently, we can hear the traffic on Greenbriar, and this road would bring more traffic, and all of the noise that inevitably comes with it, much closer to our homes, in fact, nearly in our backyards. Currently, we live on a golf course with no traffic. A service road being placed directly behind our homes is not something we anticipated needing to entertain when we purchased them.
There are many aspects of this plan that may lead to lower property values for Lakefield’s residents, but a sure threat to all of our investments in the area is the threat presented by the presence of a road. The Wards can buffer, landscape and use legal terminology that does not directly define this as a road, but it will clearly be a functioning and hazardous road with vehicle access, including use by golf carts and trucks. At the moment, many use this area as a walking path to stay healthy and to spend quality time with their families and pets. The road will put an end to that part of people’s lives in Lakefield.
Further harming our investments will be the fact that some residents will have water behind their houses, while others will have this dangerous and unpredictable road, which will surely turn away potential buyers should someone wish to or need to sell. How is that demonstrating fairness to all of Lakefield’s residents or concern for the impact this plan will have on all of the people involved?
Peter Frusciante, Wellington