Recently we came across an article entitled “Communities circumvent housing law” that was labeled as the “…first in a two-part series from Business NH Magazine on affordable housing.” Interestingly, the title of the article makes it sound the ‘law’ has any teeth, when later in the article they admit, it does not.
The picture accompanying the article displayed “…an Anagnost property in Bedford.”
It is of course, preaching the myth: “Among the greatest needs is affordable housing, also called workforce housing, which includes starter homes, townhouses, condominiums, apartments and accessory dwelling units.”
The article goes on to cite the passing of “The NH Workforce Housing Law (RSA 674:58-:61)” and states that municipalities were given “one year to adjust or prepare their zoning or other ordinances with a vote at town meeting…” We must admit we are a bit confused about this statement. So they were given one year to tell the voters how they had to vote? I thought voters voted however they saw fit, not however the state instructed them?
Wouldn’t this statement suggest to you that if zoning laws and housing ordinances had to be voted upon at town meeting, that the NH law is not enforceable and that each NH town still has the right to choose what type of housing they want?
Ben Frost, managing director for policy and public affairs for the Housing Finance Authority (HFA) said that a consultant they hired “…identified the need for ongoing education of local decision-makers, planning and zoning board members in particular,” and that “There also needs to be some level of enforcement; there are no housing police. It is up to individual developers to sue a community if they feel they have been mistreated under the workforce housing law.”
So here we have a non-governmental organization (NH HFA) with no enforcement authority trying to get towns to follow a patently UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW (nowhere in the NH Constitution does it provide that the state can force towns to build anything) while actually ENCOURAGING builders and developers to SUE towns who won’t let them populate their spaces with ugly apartment buildings; projects that take advantage of your tax money in addition to not producing property taxes for up to 10 years thereafter!!!
This is nothing more than outrageous cronyism that developers are only too eager to take advantage of.
In case you were wondering why Londonderry has been ruined as a desirable place to live as far as many are concerned, a good explanation is given of that, as well.
Frost then claims “There is still a market for the single-family home on a large lot, but it is a less robust market than the one for smaller units, smaller lots, in town.” This is simply NOT TRUE, according to a top realtor we know. And furthermore, statistics taken from Bedford’s records show clearly that these apartment complexes NEVER pay their fair share, even when they finally do pay taxes.
Not surprisingly, the article mentions HB 586, a bill that was rightly tossed out by the House of Representatives. This bill would have ‘trained’ planning and zoning boards in the philosophy of ‘new urbanism’, given MORE tax incentives (your money) to greedy developers, and even further given them ‘tax relief’.
As it is, the illegal Housing Appeals Board has already run amok of Francestown by violating its Master Plan and zoning laws in a section of its historic district. This was a result of its first ‘decision’ to override the voters there. Sure it works, it works for the pushers of high-density eyesores and people who want to recreate your town into a city. And to think the extremely wealthy Mr. Anagnost dared to whine about being unable to ‘afford’ to carry projects while they appealed to the courts. “Developers don’t have the pockets to carry projects for long periods of time with no revenue,” he says. Really? How disgraceful! What about those in single-family homes such as retirees, that will be pushed out by the higher taxes caused by ‘high density’?
Governor Sununu, who claims that HB 586 “embraces our traditions of local control and individual property rights,” (it does just the opposite) we suspect is not supporting this push for the influx of high-density housing for philanthropic reasons but more to satisfy certain of his acquaintances who openly brag about how much control they have over him. What does he expect from them in return? Make no mistake, HB 586 would have stolen local control, in addition to stealing your tax dollars, all just to satisfy developer buddies.
The bottom line is, private special interests like businesses and realtors are teaming up with government to steal YOUR tax dollars for their pet projects, projects which they want to move ahead with, regardless of how inappropriate or unwanted they might be.
If you are not thorough outraged by this, you can’t possibly care about your town. More and more towns are catching on and will be challenging the Governor on his plan to turn NH into Massachusetts.
Write to your State Reps and let them know you want them to:
– Keep HB 586 OFF THE TABLE
– Revive HB 288 to REPEAL the Housing Appeals Board