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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

When Will the Misinformation about Regional Planning Commissions and Master Plans Stop?

Granite State Future (GSF) has been written about numerous times previously on this blog. A Granite State Future was a 3-year (2012-2014) community-based program starting with a public dialogue about what we want for the future of our communities, our regions, and our state. The output of the project are nine regional plans, one for each of the nine regional planning commissions. Ours is the Lakes Regional Planning Commission. The Lakes Region Plan can be found here.
Earlier today I saw an email promoting  a bogus Granite State Future website, warning readers of the dangers of regional planning and master plans. The email  said in part:
1 - "Granite State Future", the regional plan for NH, was to be a 3-year program. Even if the efforts by NH's 9 regional planning commissions have subsided, the ideas they were promoting live on in your towns' master plans. Only YOU have the power to stop them at the town level at your town/school meetings, planning, and zoning sessions.
Stop what exactly? Progress? Planning for the future? 

GSF was indeed a 3-year program. The plans were developed and written in three years. It is critical to understand (and not omit), that under RSA 36:47 (I), each of the nine regional planning commissions is required to prepare a comprehensive master plan for the development of the region within its jurisdiction. These regional development plans must be renewed and readopted every 5 years.

Right here in Moultonboro, we are in the process of our Master Plan update and three chapters ( Vision, Land Use and Transportation) will be ready for public hearings later this year. The language used in the email above, suggest that Master Plans in general ought to be rejected and stopped. "Only YOU have the power to stop them ." I ask again, stop what exactly? The work of the public that provided input and participated in our Master Plan process over the past three years?  "YOU" have always been a part of the process. Moultonboro residents already have control over their planning process, their master plan and their zoning. It is disturbing that some people and groups just won’t bury this dead horse and keep trying to scare people with information that  is utterly and completely bogus. 
We need to keep NH moving forward, not backward. I urge you to reject those people, candidates  and groups that seek to do the opposite. 


Anonymous said...

This sounds like the out of town conspiracy dude who tried to hijack a meeting that we called, who when asked wouldn't provide his name. Bob the builder, or was it Trixy?

Anonymous said...

Regional planning commissions were created in 1967 so that towns could plan together for things that overlapped like bodies of water, roads, bridges and perhaps share schools, fire stations, and police stations.

The requirement to create master plans exists but the fact remains that regional planners are not elected ---they are appointed.

And they now they have morphed into an agency that wants to promote federal programs as if the ideas within came from the community when they did not.

They have in fact employed actors through a PR firm to try to make people think the ideas came from them.

In the final report for who gave input on the GSF program, only 600 people from New Hampshire actually participated. Of those 600 people it is likely that 200 were agents for a PR firm known as New Hampshire Listens, a creation of the Carsey Institute. So the ideas are only coming from a few biased foundations, NGOs, and non-governmental agencies.

99.9% of all residents of New Hampshire not only do not know what a regional planning commission is or does, but they are unaware of these programs and projects that are being suggested to be included in the master plans.

And for the lucky few who did catch wind of these little meetings that went on, agents like New Hampshire Listens employed actors to bring the participants to a "consensus", the oldest trick in the book.

The problem with these costly improvemwnts is they are an approach that favors urbanization. That means if you get funds from the EPA, the DOT, or HUD, you will have to initially go along with Huds zoning and planning rules and then later pay the taxes on whatever boondoggle it creates.

This includes mixed use housing, trains and buses that no one wants to ride, traffic circles and pedestrian bridges that are really not needed, and bike paths that go unused.

It means things like reducing lot sizes, roof and driveway runoff taxes, and possibly vehicle miles traveled (VMT) taxes.

The regional planning commissions have become nothing more than mouthpieces for the federal government. Anyone who has the sense enough to read the blog at the GraniteStateFutures.org/news website will get more insight into what it's about as the info couldn't possibly be all posted in one comment section.

At some of these listening sessions, they have discussed poverty, education, health, water ownership, transportation, housing, and medical care. Do you want to put every aspect of your life in the hands of a few unelected bureaucrats who are serving a federal agenda?

Author Stanley Kurtz has written numerous books and articles about this.

Please Google search Stanley Kurtz, AFFH, Sustainable Freedom Lab, and American Policy Center.