BURLINGTON – Unveiling a new anti-development strategy, local activist Steve Goodkind, who admits to being neither good nor kind, asked, “Why should we opposers have to wait until a project is actually proposed to oppose it? It’s preposterous!” Goodkind says that as a member of
Aging Hippies Against New Development, Jobs, or Business (AHANDJOB), he is putting pressure on the group to be more proactive. Goodkind hopes the organization will step up their game by suing to stop projects before they reach the idea stage.
“Once projects are proposed, we’re at a disadvantage,” Goodkind says. “At that point, we only have, like, 5 or 10 years’ worth of procedural delays we can deploy to kill a project. That timetable favors the developer. Better to start the lawsuit a few years before the project is even proposed.”
Goodkind and a handful of other old people with gray ponytails gathered with protest signs at a muddy, industrial lot off Pine Street currently used to store abandoned vehicles. They were there to launch Operation B.A.N.A.N.A. (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody). “Someday someone might try to build something ‘useful’ here,” sneered Goodkind. “We’re here to say, ‘No way Jose’ to that.”
Burlington officials say that there are no current plans to develop anything on that particular property, and they have received no proposals of any sort relating to development there.
“Exactly,” said Goodkind. “And now we have the upper hand.”