Many years ago, I was involved in the design of the Downtown Phase I redevelopment project, now the area called First & Main. The new Library was to be the focal point of the development, with surrounding buildings that were to be compatible in size and scale with the existing historic buildings on Main Street. It had been my understanding since then that the area planned for Phase II, including salt dome, bus garage and telephone company properties would be developed primarily for residential use, with the Library remaining as the focal point. When I attended the April 13 community meeting to discuss the Testa Company's plans, I found a very different use and plan for the Phase II land than what we had formerly agreed upon. It now appears that there will be a 3- or 4-story building at the end of Owen Brown Street and multiple 3- or 4-story buildings throughout the rest of the property. According to the latest iteration, the new buildings will be taller than what was allowed for Phase I and will serve multiple uses, including parking, residential and office space, and maybe some retail. When and why were the guidelines for Phase II changed so dramatically? These proposed massive buildings will not be compatible with our historic Main Street, and the Library will no longer be the prominent anchor to the area. Instead, we will have an urban center like Crocker Park right next to our Historic District. Is that what we want?

Virginia Rogers,