As a Dyberry Township resident of 15 years who treasures our beautiful countryside, I have come to feel strongly about the issue of farmland preservation in our community.
To the Editor:
As a Dyberry Township resident of 15 years who treasures our beautiful countryside, I have come to feel strongly about the issue of farmland preservation in our community. I grew up in northern Bucks County, Pa., 50 years ago when it looked like rural Dyberry does today. Within only 30 years, that Bucks County farmland of my childhood disappeared completely into suburban housing developments and strip malls.
I fear the same future -- one without farmland -- awaits Dyberry Township unless we, its citizens, say now what our vision is for our local community. If we do not try to exercise local control over our own future, what is to stop large, organized, outside interests from coming in and making it their future?
Today, our township supervisors have it within their power to make farmland preservation a stated, shared vision for our municipality by including it in the township’s soon-to-be-finished Comprehensive Plan. Sadly, there has been much misunderstanding and misinformation about the Comprehensive Plan Some opponents have tried to paint it as a form of zoning or a plan to bring central sewer to Dyberry. Emphatically, it is neither.
And so, just to clarify, a Comprehensive Plan is a Vision Statement. It is not a legally binding document of any kind. It is certainly not a document that tells any farmer what he can or cannot do with his land. It is not government telling anyone what he or she can or cannot do with their own property. For this reason alone, I do not understand why any of our supervisors could not, in good conscience, accept this Plan as our Vision Statement and sign it. It can do our township no harm and it may do us some real good some day in our future.
I applaud our township for having had the foresight two years ago to start work on a formal statement of our vision for the future. I trust that our present Dyberry Township supervisors also will have the foresight to support that vision spelled out in the Comprehensive Plan.
If the plan were not to be adopted, our municipal leaders would be walking away from an important opportunity to clearly state our community’s desired vision of preserving Dyberry’s rural character. If the Plan is not accepted now, likely there will not be another effort at a Comprehensive Plan for decades. By then, one of our most precious natural resources -- our farmland -- may well be gone.
I urge Dyberry Township citizens to tell our supervisors how you may feel about this important issue!