By Mara Brooks, Editor

Resignation letter states Planning Commission should “focus solely on Planning”

Planning Commission Chair Peter Joslin has resigned, effective October 15.

Joslin has served on the Planning Commission since 2004.

In an email sent to the Selectboard, the Planning Commission and Town Planner Larry Lewack yesterday, Joslin prefaced his resignation by stating he believes the town has been “at a crossroads” since the spring, with “competing ideologies about development.”

He stated that the approach of “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” are “typical reactions” from those with a “fear of change”.

“Unfortunately most of the discussion of the pros and cons of a DRB versus a PC/ZBA have been lost in the weeds instead of looking at the big picture,” Joslin wrote.

He said for the community to grow and “remain vibrant, healthy and diverse” requires “a review of where we have been, where we are, and more importantly, where we are going.”

Joslin wrote that answering those questions would require “community involvement and a dedicated (capital D) Planning Commission to focus solely on planning.”

He said the reasons for his resignation were that he is “no longer able to commit the time necessary to be fully involved in Planning” and that, as someone who “firmly” believes in term limits, “I have not walked the talk.”

Joslin said he will continue to contribute his thoughts and ideas, “albeit from a greater distance.”

At press time, Joslin had not yet responded to requests for comment.

Joslin’s resignation letter, as obtained by The News, is reprinted in full below.

Dear Selectboard,

I believe the Town of Charlotte is at a crossroads. Competing ideologies about development, how much and where, have come to the fore since the Spring. The Selectboard is in the midst of deciding whether or not to move to a Development Review Board and the ZBA is full of new faces with new ideas. These changes and discussions are healthy and necessary for our Town and important for our future. “What’s broken?” and “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” have been typical reactions from the fear of change and are the wrong questions we should be asking. Unfortunately most of the discussion of the pros and cons of a DRB versus a PC/ZBA have been lost in the weeds instead of looking at the big picture. Necessary for any community to grow, remain vibrant, healthy and diverse requires continued review of where we have been, where we are, and, most importantly, where we are going. It is my opinion that we, as a town, need to answer this question. To answer it requires community involvement and a dedicated (capital D) Planning Commission to focus solely on planning, with new faces and fresh ideas with the time and commitment necessary to move forward.

I have served on the Planning Commission since 2004, over 17 years. It has been a privilege and honor to participate in Town governance in this capacity and I am grateful for the Selectboard’s continued support on my behalf.  It has been an education in planning and development and the delicate balance between the rights of landowners and that of the Town.

If you were to ask my wife Paula my thoughts on term limits, she would tell you I firmly believe in them. Unfortunately, I have not walked the talk. Additionally, I am no longer able to commit the time necessary to be fully involved in Planning; it’s taking too much time away from my studio. Therefore, I formally resign from the Charlotte Planning Commission, effective October 15, 2021.

I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve the Town over the last 17 years and will continue to contribute my thoughts and ideas, albeit from a greater distance.

I am sending this email  to Larry Lewack and the rest of the PC, as well, it’s important to me that everyone hear of my decision from me, not 2nd or 3rd hand.

Sincerely,
Peter Joslin