To the Editor:

After receiving my certified letter, I attended my first zoning meeting recently in my hometown of Roxbury.

Our town has always been known for its picturesque rural country feel. This is why my husband and I purchased here some 20 years ago.

My attendance was requested to give my thoughts on the proposed special permit for the Shepaug Valley Bible Church to build a new church across the street from my home on the Bridgewater end of Route 67.

I was shocked when I heard Planning and Wetlands already approved the building and the last step was this special permit from zoning.

I wish I had received a certified letter from either Planning or Wetlands so I could have attended those meetings as well.

If each member of those boards, whose service to the town I do respect and will not diminish in anyway, had simply thought, "What if it were right next to my home?" right before voting, this may have gone differently.

I believe any church is an asset to the town in which it inhabits. I feel churches in general should be community hubs and places where not only worship but fellowship of community can take place.

For that specific reason I feel the new Shepaug Valley Bible Church should be built somewhere in the town center so it could be utilized by the community and enjoyed in an area that does not infringe on residential homes' right to quiet, country living.

I did not enjoy being the bearer of bad news to the potential church members that I am not in favor and do not look forward to sharing my residential enjoyment with a church accommodating 90 pews and extra room to accommodate possible day care or other types of commercial endeavors and gatherings in the future.

I do not want to hold back their enjoyment and enthusiasm for building a new place for them to worship. But I feel town center, along with the other churches and businesses in Roxbury, would be a more ideal, less intrusive place for such a wonderful community enhancement to be located.

I wish the two ideals could co-exist.

However, it seems a thriving, vibrant church will bring traffic and gathering events to our area, disturbing our rights to quiet enjoyment.

And having the church conform to our need for quiet enjoyment will suffocate its ability to be a community asset.

I hope the church will reconsider and build in a non-residential area.

Carrie DeMilio