I have serious concerns over the Gray Town Council’s move to rezone Route 26 in Gray. I find rezoning current residential/agricultural to retail/commercial/high density housing to be shortsighted and rushed. At a minimum, the council should have an obligation to let all Gray residents decide on a change of this magnitude via vote. From speaking with many of my friends and neighbors in town, most are not even aware of this proposal as only residents in the rezone area were notified and sent maps by mail.
As a homeowner by the schools in said rezone, I have serious concerns about what will happen to my home. What happens to my property values? Will I be able to sell my house if classified as commercial or otherwise? Will a drive-thru be my new neighbor? How much land will be taken from me as eminent domain? And most of all, what will happen to the quiet small-town vibe of Gray? I moved to Gray because it was a bedroom community. I wanted a quaint little town to raise my children with a small-town community feel. In my opinion, rezoning this section of Gray jeopardizes what I cherish as a resident of this town. And this isn’t even considering the major daily traffic issues that already exist on Route 26.
Traffic on Route 26 is a major concern for all Gray residents. Why is the town not addressing this issue prior to any sort of rezoning? You mention traffic to anyone in town and they will confirm that traffic on Route 26 is a nightmare as is. Adding a new commercial/retail/high density housing zone on Route 26 will only add more vehicles, traffic signals and congestion on this highly traveled stretch of road. The bypass was created to alleviate traffic in the village area that is zoned for business.
The Town Council and planner of Gray should focus their attention to developing this area already zoned for this purpose rather than negating any benefits the bypass brings.