To the editor:
On Jan. 19 the NH State "Office of Planning and Development," another of Sununu's new bureaucracies, will hold a session to "educate" state reps about upcoming housing legislation. The OPD is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded lobbying group which, like the Housing Appeals Board, should be illegal. They are pushing for passage of bills that give more of your tax dollars to favored developers to flood your little towns with ugly, unwanted stack'n'pack housing.
The Housing Appeals Board -- which by the way for you libertarians who love to run crying to the state for your "rights" -- has heard few, if any, appeals from ordinary homeowners about the free use of their property. Instead this 3-person group of appointees has sided 95 percent of the time with developers against voters of towns in which those developers appealed planning and zoning decisions that were not favorable to them. Put plainly, those town meeting votes were nullified.
Governor Sununu pays much lip service to local control but in truth, continues to defy it by pushing state takeover of local zoning and planning decisions. Every time one of his Bolshevik-style bills gets defeated he creates another bureaucracy to effect an end run around the legislature.
Zoning and planning decisions belong to the towns and not some unelected, unaccountable state agency made up of industry hacks. Every town office should be challenging the HAB and taxpayer funded lobbying in court. Every voter should complain to their legislators and governor.
- Jane Aitken