Thursday, January 3, 2013


The PC is using the terms like "traditional settlement" or "historic settlement" to suggest that it is natural for Underhill to have an urbanized village, as if upzoning would be a return to Underhill's past. In Underhill, the historical settlement is just the opposite: scattered settlement in service of unsustainable resource exploitation followed by abandonment. With the extraction of trees, then pasturing livestock, Underhill's buildings have been generally scattered throughout the town along the edges of main roads.

Beers Atlas, 1869
The Beers Atlas is on display in the town office. A quick glance at the roads and buildings will confirm a lack of driveways and access roads.  This atlas reflects Underhill's 19th century peak, at a population of about half of our current population.  With 14 school districts, Underhill was extremely decentralized -- no street network or grid, just mobility roads running through the middle of farmyards.

Through the late 1800s, population declined to about 20% of our current population by the 1950s before it began to increase.

We do not have grand, old homes -- not even old mills. For the past four decades, large lots have protected the hills and mountain, while keeping our water clean. Land has remained open, accessible, walkable. We do have three country stores and two post offices. Try finding another town that can boast that.

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