are pulling a request for a traffic study for their off tonight's after angry signs denouncing the project were posted around the Leshes' neighborhood in Ross and outside a funeral at .
According to Jill Lesh, signs saying "Stop Terrapin" were posted directly along Phil's morning walking route and anonymous flyers against the project were posted on cars at St. Rita's for a child's funeral.
The flyers around their neighborhood in Ross followed Phil's morning coffee walk directly, she said, suggesting someone had been watching him.
"We were dismayed that [the process] started with such tactics instead of with open communication," said Jill in an email.
Because of the aggressive tactics, Jill said they decided to pull the initial proposal for a traffic study off tonight's town council agenda.
She also said that this happened after they made an effort to reach out to neighbors, provided them with contact information, and tried to be as "transparent" as possible.
Tonight was supposed to be the very first public meeting on the proposal and would have been a time for public discussion, said Town Manager Michael Rock. Instead, he said, people have unfortunately been taking sides before any public meetings have even been held.
"Clearly, there's misinformation," said Rock.
Jill said she was very dismayed by the tactics of people in opposition, particularly those that affected funeral-goers at St. Rita's. She said they've tried to engage neighbors to address their concerns and had pledged in writing to add a fee to tickets to benefit the town directly, in addition to other community benefits from the venue.
"We weren't trying to ram it down Fairfax's throat," said Jill, pointing out there are a number of other places that have come forward since the proposal was submitted, but that Fairfax just seemed like the perfect place.
"We really brought the project to Fairfax with the best of intentions and with the hope that we could make a positive difference to the town. We were ready to treat all concerns with respect and honestly look to see if we could resolve them properly," she said by email.
The proposal will be shelved while more community outreach and education is done.
There will be a community meeting sponsored by the Chamber on Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pavilion, said Rock, with the project manager and town staff to provide information and discuss how the project will mitigate concerns like traffic, security and noise.
After that, later in the year, the Leshes will consider bringing the proposal back to the town to start the use permitting and environmental review process.
"It may be more of a challenge than we want right now," said Jill.
"We really did just want to bring a special place for art and music to the town and were early in the process of exploring the issues. We are very sorry that honest communication seems to have no place in this process," she said.