Letter – Grange is good for Smithfield
Published 6:41 pm Friday, May 26, 2023
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
The Grange at 10Main has triggered fear and dissatisfaction for a number of residents here in Smithfield. This plan promises additional living quarters and business opportunities for the future.
When no one else stepped up to buy the plot of land in question, Joseph Luter III paid the owner for the dilapidated buildings and the ragged and unattended pastures and woods that surrounded it. The next step was a plan that would benefit the town in a number of ways: housing for both individual and apartment living for the young and elderly, walking trails within the western end, a brick colonial permanent farmers market with extra parking, plus small businesses to entice visitors from near and far for eateries, and biking trails to entice leisurely activities year-round.
What is missing is the interest of the town. The response has been mostly negative, and letters have expressed discontent with the changes. At this point, If the project is rejected, business in this town will be subject to random housing projects, untrammeled business and no overall plan to retain the beauty and heritage of Smithfield.
Are we willing to accept this generous offer to negotiate reasonable solutions that retain character and beauty of small-town living, or are we standing still and hoping that chance will pass us by and leave us surrounded by rampant patches of housing developments, large shops that change from year to year?
Unfortunately, some have implied that the Luter family is in this for their own fiscal benefit. On the contrary, Joseph Luter and his heirs have retained the architecture and culture of Smithfield’s town life in the projects that we enjoy daily. Let the Luter family know that it matters and that their offer for a sustainable future is only a whisper away.
Patricia Vellines Frech,