NY Journal News Letters

Retain communities' bucolic character
(Original publication: August 11, 2004)

Many of the towns that make up Putnam County have always been referred to as bedroom communities. That has been a large part of their appeal to live here ­ away from the hustle and bustle of more populated areas and areas with retail and commercial centers. This is why my parents chose Lake Carmel as their summer community in 1964 and ultimately moved here from the Bronx in 1974, and why I choose to live here as an adult as well.

When a large-scale project such as Patterson Crossing is proposed for our bedroom community, the title of the musical "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" comes to mind. Why would we want to change one of the very traits that make the towns of Kent and Patterson unique?

The developer of this project states that we currently have to drive 15 minutes or more to shop for wider variety. Are we that lazy that we must have big-box stores in our backyards to satisfy our every shopping whim? A 15-minute drive is not unreasonable to shop in an area where the infrastructure supports the retail establishments and, when we come home, we have left the lights, noise and traffic behind us.

A retail project of this magnitude will permanently change the bucolic character of our bedroom community. It is important for us to maintain that character and our very sense of community itself, which is an admirable trait that should be encouraged, not paved over.

Kathleen McManus, Lake Carmel


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005