Most of us moved to NH for peace, quiet, and semi-rural living.
Sadly there have been many bills proposed at the state level that would seek to allow special interests to interfere with a town’s ability to operate according to the will of its residents.
One such bill is SB 43. Both houses of the NH legislature passed SB 43, which is a bill to “study barriers to increased density of land development in New Hampshire”.
After publishing one of our letters to the editor about this subject, the Union Leader came out against creating a state level board allowing developers to appeal, and thus override, local zoning decisions. Such a board had been proposed by two bills, HB 104 and SB 306, both now “laid on table”. We are pleased that the Union Leader stood with us on local control. But now, SB 43 would hand the fate of our towns over to a commission of decidedly biased, pro-urbanist special interests who would be scheming to examine even more ways to circumvent local control.
Call or write Governor Sununu and tell him that we find the makeup of the potential study commission quite outrageous and unrepresentative of the towns. It would include two random members each the Senate and House, the Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives, the Commissioner of the NHDES, the Commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, the Executive Director of the NH Housing and Finance Authority, the Executive Director of the NH Legal Assistance, the Executive Director of Housing Action NH, a Representative of the NH Municipal Association, a Representative of NH Home Builders Association, a Representative of the NH Association of Regional Planning Commissions, a Representative of the NH Business and Industry Association, a Representative of the Housing Subcommittee of Governor’s Millennial Commission, a Representative of the Society for the Protection of NH Forests, Nature Conservancy, and member of the NH Association of Conservation Commissions, a Representative of the NH Association of Realtors, and a Member of the American Council of Engineering Companies of NH.
That is the list of unelected, unaccountable special interests cited in SB 43 that would be tasked with dreaming up more ways to interfere with local control.
The deck would be stacked against the residents of any town. In addition “two public members appointed by the Governor” would also be on this committee. How can we be sure they would represent the residents? Clearly there would be no balance of representation. When do the townspeople have a say?