To the editor:
I am writing this letter to the developer of the hotel/restaurant in what was the Intervale Motel, owned by the Cannell family. I will not be able to attend the public comment meeting on Aug. 26, but this is what I would say.
I have no problem with you erecting a building. However, I have so many problems with you putting your building in our neighborhood.
I am a 40-year resident of the Kearsarge/Intervale area. It is with a great deal of sadness and frustration that I watch these events unfold — sadness because I hate to see our neighborhood change and frustration because I wonder how many of our comments will mean anything to you.
You are planning to build a large (by our standards) hotel in our neighborhood. “Our neighborhood” is a small charming place with a magnificent scenic vista and a cluster of small shops. The architecture of the area is mostly New England-style buildings, Colonial and Victorian two stories.
More importantly, the community is made up of people who love living here. We love it for all the natural splendor and small town feel. We love going to the post office and running into VM and talking about her flower garden, or giving KD a hug as she recently lost her husband, or talking with DVN about politics, both local and international. And if we’re really lucky, we could see MS, who at 95 and still has a sparkle in her eyes and glows positive energy.
Do you know that we all participate in Valley Pride, a weekend in early May where we pitch in to pick up trash along our roadways? We also love to Nordic ski in the winter on the many ski trails in our neighborhood. I bet you don’t know any of these things. You are a business developer, interested in the “bottom line.”
The one key ingredient missing from the planning board’s regulations that allow you to build a building like your proposed one is aesthetics. It is how a structure looks, the visual appeal of it. Is your hotel design in keeping with the size, scope and setting of our neighborhood? Absolutely not.
Let me give you an example, I recently visited Sedona, Ariz. Such a beautiful place, with the natural red rock outcroppings all around. When you visit Sedona, you are struck by how all the architecture is similar in style, Southwest buildings, lots of stucco, large timbers and painted to match the rock formations. (Frank Lloyd Wright would be so pleased).
If you took the 1785 Inn across the street from your proposed hotel and put it in Sedona, the neighbors would be outraged. It’s a perfectly fine building, but it doesn’t fit in with the Sedona aesthetic.
Your proposed building is exactly the same. Your plan will squeeze every square inch out of your property and fill it with steel, cement and blacktop.
Your design will block seeing Mount Cranmore when standing at the scenic vista, and will block seeing the vistas to the west when standing at our post office. Your plan will probably block our connecting ski trails.
Oh and by the way, did anyone tell you that on certain busy three-day weekends, the traffic going south to North Conway Village is backed up beyond the Scenic Vista? I wonder how your guests will feel when they can’t safely get back onto Route 16.
Now you know.