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

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Village Overlay District Proposing to Expand Village Into Residential Zone

The Planning Board conducted a public hearing on  a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinances last Wednesday evening to create a Village Overlay District. " The purpose of this overlay district is to encourage the development of the Moultonborough Village Center in a manner consistent with its historic pattern, including the size and spacing of structures and open spaces." Here is the link to the Planning Board proposed Village Overlay District ordinance.
Let me state upfront that I support the purpose of the zoning amendment, as written ( note that it refers to the "Village Center."), but I oppose and will vote no if it makes it to the ballot as it extends far beyond the Village Center into what have always been  rural, residential and agricultural zones. It extends almost a mile and a half down Route 25 from 109 to  Garland and Lees Ponds.  This includes my own property which is a third of a mile away from the Country Store.What is being proposed is about one third larger then what the Village Vision report, endorsed by 2015 Town Meeting, established as the Village boundaries.
Village Overlay District outlined in purple. It is almost 1.5 miles in length along Rt 25.








Here in a nutshell is what this is all about:
At the public hearing, I spoke against the very large area that is being encompassed by this proposal. It consumes far too much of the residential agricultural zoned properties that are very far from what anyone would reasonably consider the Village Center. It extends into areas where property owners ( including myself) should have no expectation that commercial development could occur next door.   The zoning change adds 24  Permitted uses (uses that are allowed without the need for a special exception) and 9 Conditional uses (a conditional use permit is a tool used by municipalities to implement “innovative land use controls") to what was a residential/agricultural zone.
Among some of the proposed new permitted uses are: workforce housing, hotel, theater, cluster housing of more than 5 units, and 20 unit senior housing.
Further, lot size in the amended zone is reduced to a minimum of 10,000 SF from 40,000 SF w/off site septic system and 20,000 SF w/onsite septic system. This could mean that lots could be further subdivided into 1/4 to 1/2 the size of the current minimum residential lot size, greatly increasing density.
The overlay district represents a huge expansion from the current Village zoning (Commercial Zone C-Village) which currently includes all land within 500 feet from the center line of the road on either side of Route 25 from Blake Road to the intersection of Route 109 South.

I support a revitalized village, I just don't support it moving it into large residential areas. I purchased my property 14 years ago precisely for the 6 plus acres and the privacy it offered.

The marked up picture below represents within the green lines, the areas added to what was in the Village Vision study.

Village Vision Map . The area in brown is the current Village Commercial Zone “C” to include all land within 500 feet from the center-line of the road on either side of Route 25 from Blake Road to the intersection of Route 109 South .
The area outlined in red is the area that the Village Vision determined  to be the village boundary area.  The area in green is roughly the area added in the expanded village proposed in the overlay district, a third larger than the Village Vision boundaries. Everything outside the shaded areas along Rt 25 is currently residential/agricultural.







So, if you own property ( I count about 100 parcels) in any area outside of the current commercial zones, (the shaded area running right down the middle of the picture above), your property would be in the new zone, and if passed as currently proposed, it would allow by right, a wide variety of commercial and other uses to be built or converted anywhere within the zone.

Under the proposed ordinance amendment the following would be " permitted uses":

1. Single-family detached dwelling
2. Two-family dwelling
3. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
4. Accessory use outbuilding
5. Multi-family housing not to exceed five units per building
6. Workforce housing as defined in RSA 674:58
7. Home occupations
8. Senior housing up to 20 units
9. Bed & Breakfast
10. Art gallery
11. Professional or medical office
12. Mixed use building
13. Municipal facilities
14. Public parks or open space
15. Bakery
16. Restaurant
17. Artist live/work space
18. Antique shop
19. Day care for no more than 3 children
20. Family Day Care Home
21. Family Group Day Care Home
22. Group Child Day Care Center
23. Pre-school and School Age Program
24. Personal services

The following would be "Conditional Uses":

1. Meeting hall
2. Multi-family housing greater than five units
3. Hotel or Inn
4. Outdoor recreational facilities open to the public involving the construction of structures
5. Business and professional offices
6. Bank
7. Retail sales
8. Theater or cultural center
9. Neighborhood convenience store, excluding the sale of motor vehicle fuels and allowing a restaurant area of no more than 5 seats

The purpose of this post is to raise awareness and get people involved before it gets voted on. (Remember the Dollar General?) The ordinance, if it makes it to Town meeting, will be voted at the ballot box on  the second Tuesday in March, so there is no opportunity to debate it or amend it on the floor. That is why your input is needed right now.
This in an opportunity to be proactive. If you live in the proposed areas, you will be directly impacted. There are options available to you and I urge you to contact me at ppunturieri@yahoo.com or by phone at 455-3023. I will also be sending a letter to all affected property owners in the expanded district with this same information and the dates of the Planning Board meetings coming up in the next few weeks and months.
I'm a Selectman here in town and active in many things at Town Hall, but despite that, was not aware of what this proposal entails, until I attended the public hearing. The map of the proposed new district can be found on the Town website and I am making the assumption that if I didn't know about it, many in the affected area will likely also be in the dark about it, as well as those that live in other areas of town that may be the home to future zoning changes.
The Planning Board will hold a work session on November 30th to discuss this particular zoning ordinance amendment in response to my concerns about the impact of the expanded Village on property owners.  A continued public hearing will occur on December 14th.

As I wrote earlier, please contact me for more information or to answer any questions and please come to the work session and then the public hearing on December 14th. It is important to have your voice heard,
























Conditional Uses:
1. Meeting hall
2. Multi-family housing greater than five units
3. Hotel or Inn
4. Outdoor recreational facilities open to the public involving the construction of structures
5. Business and professional offices
6. Bank
7. Retail sales
8. Theater or cultural center
9. Neighborhood convenience store, excluding the sale of motor vehicle fuels and allowing a restaurant area of no more than 5 seats
In addition, lot size is reduced to a minimum of 10,000 SF from 40,000SF.w/off site septic system and 20,000 SF w/onsite septic system.





























































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