To the Editor:
When the people of Brookfield voted — twice! — in 1999 to preserve Happy Landings Farm as a "permanent, protected, open, space," they knew exactly what they meant by that term, and what they did not mean. A "mixed-use location" was what the other side was voting for, and that meant: A place with designations for special interest activities, or other possible amenities such as commercial interests, sodium vapor lighting, or hot dog wagons, etc... What Brookfield won, by referendum, with a margin of almost 3 to 1, was a beautiful place to remain just as it is — a wide open pasture with a wide open sky — all of it equally accessible to every Brookfield resident to find his or her own personal delight.
Although the June 4 town meeting this year was the first public announcement of it, the private concern, "Kanine Kingdom," mentioned in their presentation that they had been working on their project for 18 months. Those at the meeting who opposed this project (about 7-1 against, in a show of hands) stressed that they were in no way opposed to a dog park, but rather to the location proposed. Of course a dog park, encompasing only 2 percent of the total of Happy Landings Farm, can be thought of as hardly an incursion into the 74 acres, but it immediately changes the definition of the whole property from a "Permanent Protected Open Space" to a "Mixed-use Location" — the very meaning Brookfield citizens worked so hard to prevent — and makes the land vulnerable to any other private activity that someone may wish to set up on the field in the future. Why would the people of Brookfield have called two referendums to prevent it if that is what they wanted?
IMPORTANT: The town has recently changed the scheduled date for a town meeting to vote on this project, from June 28 to June 18, leaving the absolute minimum (five days, including Father's Day weekend) for those opposed to the private use of this public property to marshall opposition, or gather signatures for a referendum! These dedicated volunteers, the "Happy Landings Association," have an application in progress for a nonprofit 501c3 license, dedicated to preservation of the farm as "permanent, protected, open space." They have a Facebook presence for updates, and will shortly have set up a website.
The HLA are seeking an attorney, accepting volunteers, and donations for their cause. Messages can be sent to HappyLandingsAssociation@yahoo.com.