The TPUDC-LLC bills itself as ‘new urbanists’. The best way to learn about the ‘new urbanist’ agenda is to read about the goals and philosophy of the movement as presented by the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU). You can also read how they are connected to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
If you have read all the material under the ABOUT tab, you now understand that there are several unelected, unaccountable, private groups, most from OUTSIDE New Hampshire, that have already had, or are poised to have, an inordinate influence in shaping Bedford’s Master Plan. The TPUDC is only the latest. (UN/WHO/AARP/APA/SNRPC/Celebrations Associates/TPUDC)
WHAT ABOUT TAXPAYER INPUT?
Ultimately, the taxpayers of Bedford may or may not get to vote on items that find their way into the Master Plan. The Master Plan is NOT an adoption of these items, it is NOT a law, nothing is ‘codified’ by its existence. Zoning decisions have not yet been removed from voter control, but don’t think they didn’t try. So far taxpayers have only been invited to fill out a survey to comment on ideas, ideas that have been generated by these groups. So far only a few hundred people have responded. In a town of over 20,000 residents, does that seem like a fair amount of input?
The presence of numerous foundations and NGOs in our local government is the earmark of ‘regionalism’. Regional government is an unaccountable, and legally non-existent entity, by the RPC’s own admission. For our purposes, the Town Council is the ONLY taxpayer-elected body, and thus the buck stops THERE.
A good question for our Town Council/Planning Board would be:
Who authorized the money spent to hire a private, ‘new urbanist’ company, to direct the process for reworking Bedford’s Master Plan? How much money is being spent on their slick websites, postcards, free receptions, and possible charette process? These efforts might give the impression that they are ‘engaging’ the voting public in the decision-making process, but are they really just to bring the public to a consensus over a pre-determined agenda?
So far, the TPUDC-LLC has set up a website which is dedicated to information about the process which is to be completed by November of 2019.
They have produced some slick postcards which advertise a public reception to be held on September 13th at the Manchester Country Club and which state: “Learn about the goals of the project, provide your ideas, and help us build excitement as we begin to develop the vision for a future Bedford.”
Make no mistake, you can be sure that ‘vision’ is already pretty clear, and it follows the urbanism agenda. Much of the agenda is enabled by federal grants obtained through the RPCs or private foundations.
TPUDC-LLC is nothing more than a public relations firm that has been hired to sell the ‘urbanist’ vision to you, the taxpayers. We suspect the first event will be a general informational session where lots of ‘data’ will be introduced; data which claims to support ideas such as the need for ‘workforce housing’ in wealthier towns, that people want government-sponsored transit, that people want bike paths, that people are willing to rezone rural areas in favor of mixed-used housing, that millennials don’t ever want to live in single family homes or use cars, or that the re-zoning of areas must be done in order to support commercial construction.
To futher gain your input, TPUDC-LLC may use the “Charrette” system, which we are very familiar with and which has been described here.
Interesting to note that the same methods of gaining voter approval are being used everywhere by regional planners, in every state in the country. A quick read of these articles will give you a good idea of the striking similarities of the ‘script’: