The Goris-Baker family message to Dayton
Dear Dayton Community,
I am writing to you as I have recently learned of inaccurate information, rumors, and falsehoods that have been propagated throughout the community about the proposed development south of town on what many of you may know as the Baker Farm. The picture being painted is that my family is looking for a quick buck and making a hasty decision with little to no regard for the well being of Dayton and its residents. This could not be further from the truth.
The Goris-Baker family has a long heritage in the town of Dayton, first settling in the area in 1851, just 24 years after the community was founded. Six generations of our family have resided in Dayton on the maternal side and five generations on the paternal side. The last family homestead still stands today just south of the proposed development. Built by relatives in the early 1900’s and constructed with Wyandotte brick, it is where our mother, Jane, and her twin, Jean, were born and raised.
In addition to being pioneers and pillars of Dayton, our family was known as caring neighbors and friends. They were active members of Memorial Presbyterian Church of Dayton, where our Grandmother, Earlma, was organist for many years. One of the church’s stained-glass windows bears the Baker family name.
Although our mother and father were the last generation to live in Dayton, we still care about the community, its citizens, and wish to positively impact its future. It has been rumored that since our mother’s passing we are in a rush to sell the land. This simply is not true. The fact is my siblings and I have had ownership interest in the land since 1993. Over the past 21 years, we have been approached by various parties wishing to purchase our land. We turned down previous offers we felt were not in the best interest of the community nor representative of the legacy we wish to leave behind, including a proposal from Gunstra Builders 12 years ago.
The currently proposed development was initiated three years ago, with preliminary discussions occurring prior to the passing of our mother. It is a wonderful project with large, single-family residences of at least 2,500 sq. ft. for two-story homes and no less than 2,000 sq. ft. for single-story homes. The lots are sizeable and have 40 ft. setbacks for the houses, when zoning only requires 25 ft. setbacks. The homes will also include brick or stone, adding to their appearance and value. The size and price-point of these dwellings are certainly not starter homes and will positively contribute to the tax base of the community.
The proposed neighborhood will attract families who appreciate and respect the charm of Dayton, value its sense of community, and cherish a safe place to raise children. It will provide the opportunity for new generations to create their own Dayton heritage, just like multiple generations of our family. We strongly believe this development will be an asset to the Dayton community, respecting its past, while maintaining its small-town appeal – leaving a legacy of which our family can be proud.