2016-03-08 / Opinion

An explanation of Acworth Warrant Article 2

To the Editor:

Several days ago, a letter appeared in this paper asking Acworth voters to vote against a proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance concerning storage containers. The members of the Acworth Planning Board would like to clarify some inaccuracies that were presented in order to give a more complete picture of how the proposed amendment came to be on the ballot.

The Acworth Town Planning Board has been discussing this issue since 2009 when it was brought up as an issue at the town's annual all boards meeting. It has been brought up many tines since by town board members and citizens alike.

The Planning Board began working on the proposed amendment to Article III of the Zoning Ordinance nearly a year ago in order to consider all opinions, has repeatedly consulted with the town’s legal counsel and the Upper Valley Regional Planning Commission and held a public hearing on the amendment, before voting on it and sending it to the town’s selectmen for their vote.

We feel that this amendment is as fair as possible while still satisfying the citizens who have voiced their disapproval of the proliferation of storage containers around town. It is the opinion of town counsel that existing storage containers will need to meet the requirements of this ordinance.

The Planning Board originally assumed that they would be grandfathered until corrected by Counsel and advised that, in his opinion, storage containers are not covered by New Hampshire RSA 674:19. There is always, of course, the possibility of appealing to the Zoning Board for a variance in the case of hardship.

Also, it should be mentioned that Acworth is far from the first New Hampshire town to have an ordinance of this kind and it is far from the most restrictive of these ordinances. We believe that the proposed ordinance is balanced and not overly restrictive while still giving some protection to citizen’s property values and ask for your support of the amendment by voting in favor of it. Thank you for your consideration.

The Acworth Town Planning Board

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