catherine clairmont 0

Request for Moratorium on White Pond Beach Improvement

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We, the undersigned citizens of Concord, firmly believe White Pond is a precious jewel that must be protected. The White Pond Improvement plan being proposed by the town concerns many citizens due to the extensive changes and impact to White Pond’s beach property hillside topography, natural landscape and the fragile environmental ecosystem including in-pond-water quality that already has been seriously compromised.

We ask Concord’s Select Board to put an immediate moratorium on this project, except for the water run-off plan, until such time as: 1) all concerned citizens have a chance to truly participate in the process and a consensus is reached with citizens’ and WPAC’s input; 2) the water quality problems that have keep the pond closed for the past few seasons are effectively addressed, a sustainable water quality plan is in-place and it is anticipated there is viable chance of the pond’s recovery and opening for the next season; 3) town governance has been re-established with the hiring of a new Town Manager who will lead the way toward a collaborative management of White Pond with the WPAC, and; 4) the pragmatics of the Universal (zig zag) path design are reviewed with consideration to the people this path is supposed to serve. Note, this universal zig zag path was reviewed by Concord’s Commission on Disability and they raised concerns about use of the path by wheelchairs users given its length on the hillside.

This past week, trees have already been removed from the hillside without notification to the citizens in the White Pond neighborhood. After requesting the town mark the long Universal (zig zag) path that centrally cuts through the hillside, it was finally marked this week with erosion logs put in place, however this massive path looks overwhelming and dominates the hillside. We urge the Select Board to walk the hillside and view this path outline in person to see the visual and environmental impact and consider our stated request and concerns before more work is done. Imagine the erosions logs are 5 feet wide, or wider, with borders as you envision the plan’s design.

We question the functionality of this path, the effectiveness of the design, its cost and the impact it will have on the environment: The removal of so many mature trees will impact runoff erosion and water quality, two key issues we are trying to address. Since this proposal was issued by Weston & Sampson, this massive Universal (zig zag) path that transgresses 7-8 times across the landscape of the small steep hill, has continued as the central element of the White Pond Improvement Plan despite the fact that many believe it is tragically flawed and needs further review, revision and consideration of alternate solutions. White Pond will no longer look like woods but resemble a park, which was not the intent of the gift of the White Pond beach association’s land to the Town of Concord.

Please assure us and support the WPAC that has also requested a moratorium on further development, so we can work together as a town and community in the best interest of preserving our White Pond jewel that the Town of Concord has an obligation to protect. Henry David Thoreau called White Pond: “the most attractive if not the most beautiful of all our lakes, the gem of the woods.” Let’s work together to keep our White Pond gem and beautiful lake for ourselves to enjoy now and for the future of our community.

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