Protect your view
In the beginning, the developer’s paid planner, Dan Bacon, proposed that the town allow increased building heights while requiring view corridors (November 2017). Since then, the Planning Board voted no three times — saying no to bundling the issues of height increase and view corridor.
Our current limit of 30 feet height allows 2 1/2 stories. The proposed 35 feet height also allows only 2 1/2 stories. There is no development hardship as the exact same square footage is allowed.
The hardship will be on the residents who will lose their views. Planning Board Chair Bill Hamblen stated, “The town should be allowed to vote on town wide height increase or we’ll be back here doing this six months from now.”
If this zoning warrant passes, you will likely be asked to vote on a town-wide height increase to 35 feet within the next year. And that will affect all of us. The only people who will benefit from an increase in height are those who demolish buildings — likely near the water. A five-foot height increase will hinder views of everyone else.
The bundled warrant question combines zoning district changes with height increases. There is only one view corridor possible. The rationale of the developer that building heights be increased to offset one 20-foot view corridor makes no sense. He wants the entire east side height increased to 35 feet as compensation for the one 20-foot view corridor on the Lobster Dock property.
On Feb. 25, the developer’s attorney sent a letter to the Select Board. This letter falsely stated that the Planning Board “agreed to impose view corridors, but only if property owners in the district were compensated with a five-foot increase in building height.” The Planning Board voted no three times on this very issue.
The attorney also included a threat, “If the article questions are not consolidated, it is possible that the citizens’ petition currently circulating for a separate referendum question ... could proceed.”
Why would our town officials allow a developer to demand special favors? Intimidation tactics at play?
Protect your view. Vote no on this warrant question on May 3.
John M.T. Seitzer