Update on Ferrisburgh post 11/12/08

Richard Kerschner of Ferrrisburg contacted me this weekend to ask permission to reproduce my painting of the Ferrisburgh Grange/Town Hall for use on a brochure. He's a member of the Friends of Ferrisburgh for Responsible Growth, recently formed to urge residents to join in protest against a proposed large truck stop/convenience store/McDonalds on Route 7 within sight of the stretch of road in my painting. He said the grange hall in my image "will stand in wonderful contrast to photos of the 106 foot long gas pump pavilion and 72 foot long diesel pump pavilion proposed as part of this project. "

What's the problem with building this "convenience store"? Richard's group thinks that it will compete unfairly with existing businesses, that it's out of scale and not in character with the rest of the town (ie., it's ugly), that the food offered is terrible for locals, and most importantly I think, that the building will open the door for further commercial strip development along this section of Route 7 (see Route 7 south of Burlington for possible future!)

They'll be a Planning Commission site plan review on Wednesday, Feb 18th at 7:00 PM at the Town Hall, if you'd like to add your opinion on whether this proposed development will benefit the town of Ferrisburgh and Route 7 . And if you'd like to help Richard in his efforts against this very sprawling "convenience" and fast food spot, email him at rskersch@comcast.net.


  1. Crap. The current "convenience store is very nice, and very serviceable. When I was still working on pianos, I had a customer who lived just up the road across from the current store and I always enjoyed going to Ferrisburgh.

    And, Richard is exactly right. It is obvious from the sketch that there has been no attempt to blend in. The hubris it takes to assume that one can simply impose this kind of architecture on a village like Ferrisburgh is beyond comprehension. And, that there is nothing really meaty in place to stop it is frightening.

    This is validation of the Art of Action for sure!

  2. Susan,
    The Ferrisburgh painting versus developer's proposal is right on the mark. As is your painting in East Montpelier representative of an economy of scale that I far prefer. Thank you!!
    Let's hope that Ferrisburgh painting will be pivotal with decision making - you might have to attend a meeting with the Planning Commission there.

  3. The Ferrisburgh Town Plan says " All uses in this area should be conditional and include only small-scale commercial enterprises and mixed uses typical of a 19th century highway crossroads area". Unfortunately, town plans are "vision statements" and lack teeth. The group fighting this is well-organized, including a 5,000. matching grant from the Preservation Trust.

    The brochure says "This' under my image, and "not this" under the proposed building, and under both, "If you do not act, this truck stop WILL be built".

    Now they need a cadre of envisioning artists at the planning commission meeting.

  4. Thanks for your comments. Actually, the most important meeting is the Zoning Board Public Hearing, Wednesday, Feb 4th at 7:00 PM in the Ferrisburgh Town Hall pictured in Susan's painting. this is the former Grange Hall that burned to the ground a few years ago and was rebuilt as a very faithful replica of the original building. A lot of fundraising and community work made that happen. It would be wonderful to have some artists from out of town voice their opinion on this project and it's effect on Ferrisburgh's image.