Letter to the Editor


Regret is a terrible thing.

Having moved away from a town that we loved and that I dedicated a good deal of time to serving, I look back in regret not for the things I have said and done, but for the ideas I have left unsaid and the opportunities I have missed.

Long a proponent of maintaining Weston's rural character, I embraced the concept of two-acre zoning and the narrative that surrounded it.

However, in light of the issues of inequality and injustice that have so painfully bubbled to the surface over these past few weeks, I have been forced to reexamine my ideas surrounding our (now your I suppose) two-acre zoning laws and the significant and understated impacts they have had.

It makes me proud to see so many Westonites actively engaged in taking a stance against racism and the very systems that support it. In that vein, I ask you to go one step further and revisit our long-held system of two-acre zoning. I understand that there are many challenges to be overcome in doing so, and I am confident that town and community leaders will be able to work through them successfully.

But let's take a minute to look at the advantages. Abandoning two-acre zoning will allow Weston to develop affordable housing: something that has not only been long overdue but is rightfully due in this time of awakening regarding systemic racism and oppression. Housing diversity can only enhance Weston's diversity as a town.

This is not solely about race, although that does play a part. It is about diversity as a whole. Affordable housing will help us address our persistent problem of maintaining age diversity in a town with huge plots of land with even huger houses that do not appeal to many of our eldest members.

It will help us develop socio-economic diversity by opening up our town and schools to people who may already be part-time members of our community through various outlets but cannot afford to live here and be full-time members of our community due to the two-acre zoning paradigm.

And yes, affordable housing will help Weston develop racial diversity as it seeks to mitigate the issues that Black and Brown people face as participants in a society that adversely impacts them at a rate and magnitude greater than that of their White peers.

For weeks Westonites have been talking, posting, speaking, and protesting about ways to confront issues of inequity and injustice head-on, and that should make everyone proud. Here's one more thing that can be done...who is up for the challenge?

— Dan McNeill
Now of Charlotte, North Carolina

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