The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript refused to print Save Our Town’s Viewpoint article. So we posted it here for them.
by Larry Cleveland
As if the continued deception from the federal government is not enough (if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan), now we have to deal with it in Rindge. It’s called the “Crossroads Overlay District”. Yes, deception at its worst. This “new” proposed district would have a whole new set of rules that would be implemented at the intersection of Rts. 119/202. Want to know more? I called the planning board and was told to either go on line or go to the town hall to learn more, as it is too lengthy to put on the ballot. So, that being said, how will you know exactly what you will be voting on? Well, I am going to do my best to fill you in.
My group, Save Our Town, attended every meeting pertaining to the Plan NH Charette since last October. This is the plan that the “Crossroads Overlay District” was spawned from. The discussion was about zoning changes brought about by two HUD planning grants the town accepted. The zoning changes would be to reduce the current 2 acre minimum for a building lot in the West Rindge Village District, and the Gateway Central District, to 1 acre. That discussion changed around mid November by including East Rindge, and Rindge Center.
Now, fast forward to late November, early December. Enter the “Crossroads Overlay District”. Never was this term mentioned throughout the whole process. Now, suddenly, with 2 or 3 meetings left before the board’s vote to put this on the ballot, they announce this. Our group was shocked. They are now proposing that the minimum building lot be ½ acre in the “new” proposed “Crossroads Overlay District”. Yes, ½ acre!
Now for the deception part. When you enter the polls this coming March 11th, you will see article 2 there cloaked in all its deception. It will ask you if you are in favor of the adoption of the “Crossroads Overlay District”. It says that “it will allow a specific set of uses, with specific frontage, yard, and area requirements for those uses”. What is doesn’t tell you, is that “specific area requirement” will be ½ acre. I’m sure if they put that on the ballot, it wouldn’t have the slightest chance of passing. Everyone knows that ½ acre zoning would be detrimental in keeping Rindge rural.
Now for the really deceptive part. Some might read this and say, how can they do that? Well, it seems since it is technically a “new” district that is being proposed, they are not required to tell you that the acreage requirements are being changed. Technically there is no change since this would be a “new” district, with “new” zoning requirements. In my opinion, if the planning board was to be truthful, they knew this plan would never pass as written. So they found a way to put it on the ballot without you really knowing what you would be voting on. Make no mistake, this WILL change the zoning requirement at Fogg’s intersection to ½ acre lots if this is passed! One must ask, if this plan is so good for the town of Rindge, and it is “what the people want”, why use deception to sell it? Shouldn’t it sell itself?
One last thing. Some town officials will tell you that this is what the residents of Rindge want. After seeing an article in the Ledger today stating that 500 surveys were sent out in 2001, I thought about a few things. That is less than 1% of the town’s population. How many were favorable in support of this plan? How many people were aware back then that this plan would change the lot size requirement in all 3 village districts from 2 acres to 1 acre, and from 2 acres to ½ acre at Fogg’s intersection? In all the meetings that our group attended from this past October to now, the only ones in favor were either involved in town government, or were paid people from Plan NH.
Yes, deception is alive and well in Rindge, for now.