On 12-15-2018 the Business and Industry Association of NH wrote of their intention to support legislation to establish an ad-hoc appeals board to allow developers an easier path when appealing local zoning decisions.
Quote: “This January, BIA will be working to pass legislation establishing a state-level administrative housing appeals board (similar in concept to the state land and tax appeals board) to give developers the ability to appeal local zoning decisions that unfairly restrict housing development without having to endure the time and expense of suing in Superior Court.”
This proposed “housing appeals board” would essentially be established with the goal of overriding local control regarding zoning decisions.
The article states public opposition to high-density construction “is often predicated on myths about overcrowding school systems, attracting undesirable people or urban sprawl. Statistics don’t support these myths, according to housing experts who advise the Business and Industry Association.”
We suspect these “experts” who are advising the BIA, are the developers themselves, who do not want local zoning to impeded their projects.
Overcrowded schools and “urban sprawl” are not “myths”. Statistics in Bedford show there are currently 40 more kindergarten students than can be accommodated, with Bedford’s high school already 35 over capacity. “Statistics” claiming there is no “urban sprawl” do now show the visual effects of ugly high-density construction, contributing to the debasing of the rural character of a town that consists of 97% single family homes in its residential, agricultural, and historic districts.
Developers seeking profits with ‘high-density infill’ in inappropriate areas do not seem to care about the burden of extra taxes on the homeowners when town services become stretched to the brink.
The BIA can slap the word “business” in its title, but it doesn’t mean it’s pro-conservatism. If it were, it would respect local control. Three Republicans teamed with one Democrat to propose this LSR, and one of the Republicans is married to Gregory Carson, lawyer for HUD NH.
Please watch for this LSR when it becomes a full-fledged House Bill.