Survey says Shermanites like their town, just the way it is

Sherman residents seem to want to maintain the town's status quo.

In an online survey regarding their town, respondents overwhelmingly hope to keep development low and maintain a low population density.

The survey -- accessed through the town website -- asked 23 questions about potential growth, senior resources, possible expansion of the commercial zone and satisfaction with the status quo.

The responses will be used when the updated Plan of Conservation and Development is created next year.

It appears from the 216 respondents that Shermanites frequent the bank, the market and the post office with some regularity. The thought of having a convenience store, clothing store or office supply/computer center opening in town was found "undesirable" by more than 80 percent.

A bar or pub were equally undesirable to the majority.

Sherman was shown from the survey to be a community that values its farming heritage and the presence of working farms.

More should be done to encourage farming and farmers should be allowed to sell produce, either grown on site or off site from their farms, the majority of respondents said.

Sherman residents also want to maintain the heritage of their community. Historically significant structures in town and barns should be protected, whether located in the historic district or outside.

Similarly, 64 percent of respondents want to see measures in town to protect and maintain the stonewalls now existing.

Shermanites were reflected as being fiercely independent, according to the survey. Less town government regulations were called for by several respondents writing comments.

Yet regulations to protect watersheds feeding into Candlewood Lake were favored by 76 percent of those responding.

The majority of the respondents were 55 or older. Few of those claim to use the senior center as a regular resource.

What could make people leave Sherman in their elder years?

A lack of affordable or suitable senior housing topped the respondents' list, followed closely by high taxes.