"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

If they build it,will they move here?

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.


Crabby Native said...

Sounds like a social experiment to me. Let me introduce you to what history we have and where this is likely to take us... yes US who already live in low tax, rural, un-clustered (for the most part) Moultonboro.
Back in the 50's 60's & 70's M-boro opposed zoning of any kind so we ended up with Suissevale and Balmoral. After many years and some struggles Suissevale has come around to something much better than it started out as... Balmoral, not so much. My point is substandard lots with cheap (less expensive) housing will raise the tax rate and call for more town infrastructure than we have now. People who want to live in M-boro and work in Laconia, traveling some 40 mile commute per day (200/week) will be paying some $40+ a week (160/month)for fuel alone. Your folks we would be "helping" with clustering would be driving 10k miles a year just for work.
How about solving some of our "here and now" issues before we get sucked into the TA's socialist ideas he brought from Mass.
Fill the empty halls of the ever expanding structure of schools with some area towns who would save the mileage to Meredith or Conway or Kingswood by inviting them to join our ready build system. Sandwich, Tamworth, Albany even Tuftonboro might come along if the deal was well thought out and a positive for both.
I get tired of people who come here for retirement, summer homes, or just living and liking the rural culture we have and before you know it they are hell bent on saving the world with our town. Hell, why don't we just call for every citizen earning a living write a check for half of that to their neighbor's kid who isn't working and seems to be happy with their social media rather than work.

Anonymous said...

Dear Crabby Neighbor, I am one of the ones who moved here for retirement, having owned property here since the 70's. You are painting everyone with a wide brush, which is unfortunate. We came here for the beautiful, peaceful rural life, and the low taxes were an incentive, too. Not all of us want to spend OPM, and it's hideous to see how many really want to "stick it to the waterfront people". We don't need to subsidize people's recreational "needs" by building a fancy new gym. If people want a gym, why not raise the funds as was done with our library, through fund raisers? Let the people who have worked all their lives keep their hard-earned $$$!!

Grumpy Native said...

If you read carefully what I said was those who come .... and before you know it... I didn't say "everyone" who comes here has that eventual need for change. I have some very very dear friends who like you have come, seen, bought and fought the hard fight to keep it the same (or let the area evolve as it will with normal building codes and commercial zoning would let it do naturally). I have also seen a great number of folks who came here like you in the 50's, 60's or 70's and are now paying yearly half of what they bought their dream home for, just in taxes. But town hall doesn't seem to give a rats ass for them, as much as they say they do. Moultonborough is not and never will be (at least in a couple of life times) a mecca where the majority of the economics are derived from people to come, raise their kids (who are expected to say here and do the same) and fill the schools, pay their taxes and drive 40 miles a day to work. Ain't gonna happen.
AND considering all that, we are in an economy where we (taxpayers) are in no mood to dig any deeper for gilding of the lily.

Anonymous said...

Moultonborough is what it is. Our town center is not on the water like the rest of the towns around the lake. Stop trying to make Moultonborough into something it's not and accept and work with what we have.

It understandable the Selectmen are concerned the towns growth has slowed but adding more debt and building more facilities is not the answer.

Look Ahead.. said...

O K already..points well taken, and I suspect a good majority in town have your views. The question is ...How..Why...are we being led around by the nose by a town " leadership " that either disregards, or has no clew about what we want. I look at their goals, and say been there, done that, and then moved to Moultonboro. I never dreamed it would be steered by one persons views, and ability to manipulate. Knowing that, I would not have moved here. So much depends on a Town Administrator....as the BOS said " we all have 40 hour per week jobs, and can not micromanage...be that the case, we need to get a Town Administrator who understands, and believes in our goal.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Grumpy native- I drive 40 miles round trip to work, my wife about 22. I know of many people in town that do similar and some that go much further. A 30 minute drive to work is not a burden to be able to live here in our town. It is not reasonable in my opinion to assume that people will only live here if they work here.

Joe Cormier/jcormier@myfairpoint.net said...

"It is not reasonable in my opinion to assume that people will only live here if they work here. "

Have to agree with MoBo blogger about commuting, and I'd include retiring ("working" harder in retirement, albeit, around the house).

I retired last year, the wife, a year or so before me.

We both worked in Concord, and for the last 17 years of our work-life (when we made MoBo our residence), we actually enjoyed the sunrises and sunsets through the seasons. We love this area!

We were not the only ones commuting, we noticed. We'd come off the Neck road and turn left at Greens' corner, westbound on Rt.25 heading for Exit/entrance 23, I-93. There were license plates, vanity plates, that we saw there at Green's Corner and on I-93 southbound. The wife and I would get off of I-93 in Concord, and noticed some of those same vehicles with those vanity plates(occupied by more than one person) keep going past Concord.

Anonymous said...

I think it will be an experiment with an unpredictable outcome. The Planning Report stated that the younger people prefer to rent. If we are aiming for younger families with children, you are talking three bedroom homes. Those are unusual rental units in rural NH. Much is being made of the low tax rate. A low tax rate rate, as well as a good school system, means residential property sells for a premium. If we are discussing the purchase of cluster homes, mortgage affordability is based on Principal, Interest, and Taxes. You might save on taxes but you will spend the saving on the principal payment. I think the only well paying jobs with openings within quite a radius are healthcare related. The entire Lakes Region is highly dependent on the seasonal visitors and owners. The related jobs are not high paying unless you own the business.

What's New said...

At this time, the younger gen should rent. There has been no appreciation in housing for the past several years. In the 70's you could own a house for five years, and it would double in value.
Just starting out met a SMALL rental, second floor one bedroom....one bath, and socking away as much $ $ as possible for a down payment...10 to 20 % First house was a fixer-upper. Repairs nights and weekends, then after several years your earning power rose enough to look at your dream house. With a lawn and garage.
Riding around this area, there are many fixer-uppers available...take charge, and do this for yourself.

Mt. Rattler said...

Sounds really like Agenda 21, ohh my did I really say that? It's a myth right? HUD and the Granite State Future project are things to run away from, not embrace! Ok people who own homes or businesses in the village area, get ready to embrace the people who tend to occupy low income housing as neighbors! And the baggage it brings with it! As for those who own real estate in the district area, are you going to sell out so Federal incentives can pave the future for this beautiful town? I don't think so. Now, to you out of state wanna be New Hampshirites who unfortunately got in positions of leverage, cut the crap, we don't want this, and logic says keep it away from town. Now, focus on what they are really doing, pushing more wildlife corridors, and cluster housing for us humans. More control, when you don't have the means of being independent. Man, if you people really want to change this town so badly, why don't you move back where you came from.

Anonymous said...

WHoa there- Agenda 21? How about free enterprise. Dont need fed money to sell land and for a builder to build on it. I don't see the property owners as selling out if they choose to profit from their property.

Mt. Rattler said...

Free enterprise is fine, not disagreeing with you there, but look at the repracussions if it happened, it would not be the utopia that their trying to push. Good luck with your enterprises if you go down that path....

Synergy ? said...

Mr Rattler, one speaker discussed the affordable housing issue at that meeting. It was only a presentation, not a conclusion of the meeting. Agreed it sounds like the wayHUD wants us to live, but I do not see a HUD connection here YET.
Don't worry..you need water and sewer for cluster housing....
WORRY..in a brainless minute the town meeting gave the Fire Chief authority to build a pressurized water system in the village.. This was last year..
WORRY. For some astounding reason the new gym had a 500 user septic system Speced out. Wonder what they want to do with the extra capacity?? Seems to be the way things happen around MoBo

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rattler, you seem so angry, and that causes health "issues".
You might acknowledge the fact that many of the good people who serve this town well are not natives, and most of them are very conservative about spending OPM. Many are against the frivolous wish lists presented as things the town really needs. Please be careful when painting everyone with that broad brush of yours.

Look Closer. said...

Posted at 8:51...Dear Sweetness and Lite ( Lite, Lite, Lite ) Hard not to be upset when you watch the town hall closely, and see how the wishes of all the good people serving committees get twisted and Ignored. So many examples of how we are being manipulated, in spite of good committees. It may be time to get angry.

Anonymous said...

Dear Look Closer, I understand your frustration with town hall. Too many times the employees call the shots, and that is infuriating. We have some able volunteers out there, and I am banking on their ability to steer this ship in the right direction. What will defeat us: voter apathy.

What's On Your Mind? said...

Our Selectmen need feed back from the community. If you have something on your mind take the time to email or call them.

Grumpy Native said...

To the Blogger, Joe C. etal...
I too drove 50K+ a year in my career and lived in M-boro. A few anecdotal examples will exist. The vast majority will prefer to work at home, down the street, or in the next town. My Office was in Manchester for many years. It was worth the effort, however, I was not looking for cheap, cramped, socialist style housing either.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

My earlier comment referred to commuting ... a decision, on my part, to facilitate MY work choice, with MY lifestyle choice.

The following looks like MoBo to me!!!


Cluster housing can be a solution ... but to what.

Is "solution" created before "demand"! Visions, and timelines for those visions, need to be coordinated. Otherwise they get blurry and give headaches.

Cluster housing:






Mt. Rattler said...

To Anon: LOL!!! Yes, there are good logical folk representing and working for our needs, kudos to them, my frustration, not anger, stem the growing "need" to change for changes sake. It is very interesting that these ideas are being brought up with the Granite State Futures Project at our back door. I see agendas at work, and I see big item issues being analyzed to death with committee after committee, however, is the town really telling things as they are? We want business here right? Well let the bakery go where they wanted it on 109, lesson the restrictions on commercial areas to a degree, we can't fit everything on 25 anyhow. Give some sort of local incentive, tax reduction or something to businesses that wanted to move into the village area. We are not tapping the true issues here. Cluster housing is not the way to go, people move here because of those areas, they want space around them, they want privacy. If you focus on a business model, then the younger generation would stay. Hell, maybe if the State of New Hampshire didn't have such high business taxes than maybe that would help increase and help retain our youth here. Sigh.

Big Govt.. said...

Rattler, stay away from that tax incentive stuff. It lets the govt pick winners or losers and political contributors..
It is the slippery slope that erodes free enterprise.
Looking ahead, you will have tax subsidized kiosks all over the Taylor property, with a summer job guaranteed for every kid of a town employee. Your tax dollar at work.

Accident Waiting to Happen said...

Mt. Rattler, the issue with the bakery at the corner of Old 109 & route 109 was never about the bakery itself but the location and lot size. The business is in a residential neighborhood, the lot itself is approximately one fifth of an acre.

The concern is with traffic congestion and parking at this busy intersection. The lot has parking for 8 cars/trucks, 1 is designated for handicap parking, The spaces are also to include employee parking.

The concern is the nuisance the traffic will cause for the general public and also vehicle headlights shinning into neighbors homes winter hours.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that in the current village the existing buildings (historic and newer) have been built pretty close together.
Oh my, clustering. Folks, the horse is out of the barn... How could you pro-big sized lot proponents let that happen? Or maybe that is/was the free market at work?

Anonymous said...

The substandard lot for the bakery also uses pivate well water and has a septic system on its 1/5th of an acre.

Can't imagine how they got State approval.

Anonymous said...

Cut the zoning to 1/2 acre.

Just Bill said...

The question is:

Do you/all wish to have the composition of this town made up of grumpy old men and grumpy old women. Oh, lighten up you old timers. You can extract the term grumpy if you wish.
I viewed the video here. The demographics is changing dramatically. Retirees are moving in and folks with families are not. So why is this.
I have my theories and you may have yours. Anon. above is right. Change the zoning to one half acre for homes. That is a start.
If the current trends continue the only businesses that will be created in this town will be geriatric medical facilities. If this is what you wish then continue to sit on you flabby butts and do nothing.
Hopefully we will get more younger folks on the planning board, zoning board, and selectmen board to be creative.

Reality Check said...

Dear Just Bill,
The reason the young people aren't moving into Moultonboro has nothing to do with zoning or old people. It's because there are no JOBS. Time to start dealing with REALITY......the economy sucks and despite the spin coming from the White House that the economy is rebounding, here's a news flash......it ain't!

Younger people on the Planning & Zoning Boards what's that suppose to accomplish? More pie in the sky ideas? A bigger gym? More recreation programs? Workforce housing?

Why don't you get your "flabby butt" to some of the meetings at the town hall and come up with some "creative" suggestions that will bring young people to Moultonboro.

And here's another new flash.......you can thank those grumpy old men and women for paying their taxes and keeping this town afloat while the economy continues to tank. One more thing, Just Bill, if the old people want to sit on their flabby butts, more power to them, they've earned it!

Just The Facts... said...

Price of a building lot is about the same, be it an acre or a half AC. 1/2 AC: 100 X 200 ft. Well to septic dist. Req is 75 ft. Well to sideline is 75 ft, so you do not impact your neighbor. By today's standards, this means city SEWER.
Look at Colonial drive, Moultonboro, on Bean Rd behind the church.....lots going begging there...sewer, burried utilities, cisterns. $ 300,000 each. Add in a trucked in factory home at $ 129,000. How many starter family's can afford this? Good paying jobs hard to find, and heat and electric very high. The facts make it difficult to afford a home up here.

Anonymous said...

NHEC board just voted a 29% rate increase in our already-high electric rates. That is going to pinch!

Joe Cormier/jcormier@myfairpoint.net said...

The future MoBo McMansion!




Long Island Retiree said...

So why oh why do a small minority want to change things at all? Why oh why cant folks accept that this is a resort destination. That this town is for retirees. That the folks paying the bills don't want it to change? So why oh why do folks want to change anything at all? There are no jobs. There are minimal kids. Leave it alone. It ain't broke. The current model works. Accept it and move on.

Anonymous said...

Jobs. . .. I've talked with young people, 20 somethings, about opportunities at Crucon, they're not interested, would rather work in dead end service jobs, not a career. In my opinion M'boro doesn't need any central planner urban renewal, it's a nice town, doesn't need workforce housing drawing Federal attention, perhaps "resettlement" of Central Americans or Somalis. Think it can't happen here? Ask the long suffering folks in Lewiston Maine, inundated with Somalis, most of whom are on welfare and are prolific breeders following the dictates of the Koran, 11 children per woman. Yeah, I know, xenophobic and biased, try living in Northern Virginia where neighborhoods are taken over by immigrants living 20 to a three bedroom home, property values crashing in their wake. Happened to me there, it can happen here.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

"What's On Your Mind? said...

Our Selectmen need feed back from the community. If you have something on your mind take the time to email or call them.
September 25, 2014 at 10:44 PM "

Truer words were never spoken!!!!!!!!!!!

Send the Select Board, or a Selectman, or Carter or Hope, an email regarding a question or issue for the BoS.

Keep it business like. This forum is fun, but the Town website demands a different decorum.

Some email addresses, of the Board, and staff, are on the Town website and are public information.






If you can't make it to the meetings, send a note. The BoS business meeting has a prescribed written agenda (not hidden) that includes "Citizen Input" if you want to comment in person. The proceedings are recorded, and we can all see/hear your question, and the response.

If you're a little camera shy, send a note/email. There's another part of the agenda "correspondence", e.g., letters that Carter/Hope may have received and it'll be brought up at the meeting. If it's a technical question, or one that needs a little research, Carter will, probably, do a little legwork before the meeting for the BoS(working the issue ...not his legs).

If you don't want your name used, ask the question anonymously. They don't track IP addresses or phone calls or mailings.

Maybe we'll all learn something ... or at least get us singing from the same hymnal. Not saying agreeing with what is said ... just communicating ... beats self-flagellation!