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Calling Redskin name 'barbaric', Resident Wants change to 'Harmony Lane'

Colin Williams, who has lived on Redskin Trail for more than 20 years, feels that the name of his street is "barbaric," and wants to have it changed to Harmony Lane. In addition, he also wants to change the numbering of the homes on that street.

His proposal, however, was anything but harmonious, as many of his neighbors voiced their strong objections to this to Selectmen at their Monday night meeting. Residents of the street said that this would require them to change drivers' licenses, business cards, and mortgage documents, change the street name on deeds, change the billing for credit cards, utilities, etc. Residents asked if this were to happen, who would pay the costs for things like title changes.

Williams said he didn't think that there were any businesses on the street. He also did not have a count of the number of houses on the street.

Attorney Bob Collins, who grew up on Lost Lake, advised that there are fee indexes for selling and/or refinancing a home. "It is problematic, and easy to miss such a change. When an examiner runs a title search, they tend to discard if a name is not correct. This will not be an easy thing to do," he said.

In terms of renumbering, Land Use Director Michelle Collette explained that street numbering is based in a national standard, with a new number set every 20 feet, with even numbers on the right side and odd numbers on the left. It is done this way for mapping and GIS reasons. Collette added that the Building inspector and Fire Chief are the ones who determine the house numbers in Groton.

Selectman Josh Degen said he could see both sides, but that the changes for licenses and business cards would be burdensome. He pointed out that a sports team located in the nation's capital is called the Washington Redskins. He stressed that there doesn't appear to be a majority of residents who want this change and there is no documentation to the contrary that has been presented.

Colleague Jack Petropoulos said he, in fact, wanted more than just a majority, but a significant majority. Chairman Stuart Schulman agreed, noting, "If a majority wants to do this, it's one thing, but there is not a majority here."

The discussions became animated with many residents talking at once, prompting Schulman to tell one member of the group that he was acting like a two-year old and was behaving childishly.

Following further discussion Town Manager Mark Haddad advised the Board to reject William's application without prejudice. Degen then asked Williams if he would withdraw his application without prejudice and submit it at a later date with more detailed information and Williams agreed to do so.

Groton Herald

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