Finding a way to fill Lancaster’s IPOD (Integrated Planning Overlay District) with corporate, retail, or industrial businesses that preserve the historic, healthy, country nature of Lancaster is challenging. Currently, Harper’s, Kimball’s, Kalon Farms and, in thriving years, Atlantic Union College, Perkins School, Sandee’s, Michael Bridge Diner and health offices all economically complement the culture of healthy living in Lancaster’s historic, agrarian setting.
Lancaster’s IPOD sits in the middle of three neighborhoods – the rural White Pond, the recreational Fort Pond and the forested fire roads. Lancaster’s town leadership is charged with first protecting the integrity of Lancaster’s neighborhoods and environment. As developers propose industry for the IPOD, our town officials must discern which types of business will have the least effect on the “country like nature” of these neighborhoods and the surrounding town environment.
Selectmen must focus on Lancaster’s cultural goal of maintaining a country-like atmosphere with business to provide additional tax revenue. This charge of discernment takes time and negotiation. The matching of industry and business to a town’s culture is prudent in the long run while demanding in the present, however historic Lancaster’s community deserves no less.
The town boards must be ever cognizant that they are representing first and foremost the taxpayers of Lancaster who reside in the IPOD’s adjoining areas. Discernment and prudence of choice relative to the type and placement of industry bordering and encroaching on environmentally, critically monitored land is mandatory for historic Lancaster’s well being.
In closing, selectmen and Planning Board members must not settle for less than an IPOD that preserves Lancaster’s culture of people residing on healthy land in a country like setting as our forefathers intended. “Like Minded Business is Welcome.”