Good presentation last evening at the Village Vision Committee by Kyle Barker on the possibilities for smaller lower cost "cluster" housing neighborhoods in proximity to the village area of town. He emphasized a number of valid points about how cluster housing can increase density and reduce cost and at the same time, encourage healthier living with more interaction with neighbors and green space interspersed throughout. The concept is based upon smaller minimum lot size and smaller square foot homes that seems to be a trend these days. Smaller homes are less expensive to build and are therefore more affordable to entry level buyers and those seeking to downsize. It is of course very conceptual and highly dependent on changes to zoning ordinances for the village, incentives for developers and perhaps most importantly, whether there is sufficient demand for such housing in our village.
That brings me to my main point. Who will live there?
Assuming we have done our part and relaxed zoning in the village and solved the issues surrounding water and sewer, I think we could broaden our perspective and think a little out of the box. If we looked at a potential market of people who may not necessarily work in Moultonboro, but perhaps Meredith, or Plymouth or even Laconia, we may be on to something. I can see some families who want to be close to a good school, living in a town with a low tax rate and find affordable neighborhood housing, but work in another town. There are plenty of businesses in a 30 minute driving radius from our village that are looking for qualified employees, but can't find them. Is it because the employee pool can't find affordable housing? Maybe.
None of this will happen overnight, but thats what a vision is all about: defining the possibilities and then creating a road map to get there.