JAM SESSION: Centralized zoning
Jam session is an opinion forum offering commentary on issues from a group of Plymouth residents. It appears on the Forum pages of the Weekend edition of the CMO.
The journal asks the group a question each week, and participants choose whether or not to comment. This column is designed to bring the voices of knowledgeable residents into the Forum page to address issues, one at a time.
Participants cross the local political spectrum and live across the city. Some are current or past Town Meeting representatives, and all are active in the community. We hope that their diverse views will encourage discussion of the issues facing Plymouth.
This week’s question
In President Biden’s U.S. employment plan, there is a proposal that would provide grants to jurisdictions that work to eliminate single-family zoning and other land use policies the administration deems harmful. This would essentially shift zoning from local authority to more central control. What would be the impact of this proposal on Plymouth? Do you support it or do you oppose it?
Thus, the federal government now wants to eliminate âharmful exclusion zoningâ. Let this be an early warning of what could be happening and devastating our quality of life here in Plymouth. ‘Exclusion zoning’ is a fancy expression social engineers use to create an aura of disapproval of the type of zoning that protects our neighborhoods from multi-family zoning projects, high-rise apartment buildings and all the other ways. to bring people together and create the spooky city life we ââsee in so many cities. Exclusion zoning really means that local laws ensure that our open space stays open and our residential areas stay comfortable, private, and uncrowded. The minimum lot size and zoning that only allows single family homes is what makes Plymouth such a very special place to live, where we can all enjoy the wonderful natural resources that surround us within easy reach. We need to send a message to the Feds (and Charlie Baker while we’re at it) that they don’t hit Plymouth. We should not be drawn into the promise of grants to let them tell us how to zone. We will be writing our own zoning bylaws, thank you.
Bill Abbott is a general practitioner in Boston and past president of the Wildlands Trust and the Six Ponds Association. He chairs the current Charter Commission and was first chairman of the District Presidents Committee. He has been a member of the Municipal Assembly since 1974.
Since I have been advocating for sustainable affordable housing, it would be contradictory not to support the Biden plan. The municipality has the choice to accept the financing and to modify or not the single-family zoning. There is still local control with the Biden plan.
I understand that a zoning change would allow a six-unit unit next to my single-family home. It would be a radical change in the neighborhood. These are the changes we need to make for equal housing opportunity and to save valuable land and natural resources.
I also support the Town Meeting aArticle for secondary housing.
Remember, the failure of affordable housing planning has left us with 40B.
Pat Adelmann has been a resident of Plymouth since 1977 and is a mother of five Plymouth Public School graduates, a proud grandmother of 12 children, a former school committee member and a former town hall representative.
I totally reject the plan. It is a more creeping federalization of the country. Keep local land use. What do the bureaucrats in Washington, DC know about what’s going on here? I could say more, but you get the idea.
Ed Angley is a zoning and land use planning attorney. He is a former scout leader and trainer.
To those who support socialism / communism, you will love this. Reading the White House fact sheet, is there nothing the White House does not want to have a thumbs up on? Then again, there is very little where the ruling elite have no say in what we do as it is.
Years ago I attended a finance committee hearing about a building ceiling for Plymouth. A local entrepreneur spoke: âI build small houses. If it passes, it will push my business out of town. The response from one of the FinCom members was, I quote, “Well, take your business and get out of town.” It is over and now we cannot understand why there is so little âaffordable housingâ. Fact Check: Government is the Problem! They don’t want affordable housing to exist!
Don’t like single family homes? Move to this goddamn city and leave only those of us who are happy to be part of the American dream of owning a small piece of land and a house to raise our families. Imagine a government-built housing project coming near you. And no one in our town hall can say the opposite. Just think about it for a moment.
Jay Beauregard, born and raised in Plymouth, served four years in the Marine Corps and worked for 40 years at a local company. He is a libertarian who served three terms as a representative of the municipal assembly of the enclosure 6.
I would oppose it. Although I think there should be national uniformity in many “local” regulations, each town / town / village is its own place and it should be able to decide for itself how the use of land is managed. This city has a wide range of land uses – rural / agricultural, commercial, manufacturing, etc. And of course, it is only historical. No … although I am clearly progressive on most issues, and while I would appreciate “guidelines”, this is an area where local control is essential.
A resident of Plymouth for over 40 years, Jeff Berger is the founder and owner of JMB Communications / websitethatworkusa.com and Everythingsxm.com as well as the North East Ambassador for SkyMed International, www.skymed.com/jmb. He is a past chairman of the Plymouth Nuclear Questions Committee and its Cable Advisory Committee.
I am completely opposed to this lame idea. Biden and his administration won’t be happy until they destroy this country. Power-hungry tactics and total control of the American people are the goals of the Biden administration.
People must stand up and denounce these communist methods. If her idea passes, it will not only ruin the beauty of Plymouth, but it will once again add to the destruction of our nation.
Karen Buechs was a Municipal Assembly Representative and Ward 7 President. She has served on the Manomet Steering Committee, Manomet Village Common Inc., the Capital Expenditure Committee, and the Income Ideas Task Force. She has also been a member of the Charter Commission and a member of three Charter review committees. Karen has been a resident of Plymouth for 46 years.
This proposal from the Biden administration is horrific to say the least. Individual property rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, our law of the land.
Many in Plymouth have had issues with our planning council because of different zoning bylaws or the lack of clear bylaws.
The People’s Republic of Massachusetts has already attempted to take over 40B housing requirements with great resistance from local citizens and interest groups.
Big Brother is alive and well within the Biden administration. It is socialism at its most ugly.
Let the people of Plymouth, not a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington, decide how our land is used.
Rick Caproni is a Town Meeting representative from Precinct 15, a retired equipment rental executive and a self-proclaimed political activist.
I support much of what the President has done, but this is an area where we differ. Despite the fact that we have a laborious and archaic permit system in Plymouth, I still think zoning and permits should be kept at the local level. We need to fix it, not hand it over to a higher power with a cookie-cutter mentality.
Mike Landers is a representative of Town Meeting and is the founder and producer of Project Arts of Plymouth. He also owns Nightlife Music Company and is a stage musician.
Centralized zoning control would have a disproportionately negative effect on Plymouth. We are a tourist town that depends on the income of visitors coming to see the Plymouth we know. They come because of our colonial history, early period buildings and our harbor side attractions, not to see five story apartment buildings. For this reason and since Plymouth is unique with so many open spaces, we need local control over where housing density needs to be increased. Of course, we really need to do something about affordable housing and not drop the box. Plymouth has more square miles than any other city in Massachusetts, which requires some thought about locating the density closer to public transportation. The so-called Oasis in Plymouth with its 320 apartments in six four-story buildings next to Home Depot Drive is a suitable location for density due to its location next to the bus terminal and shops. Without sounding like a libertarian, I don’t want the state or the federal government to tell us what to do with our zoning. We recently had a loss of zoning control with Governor Baker’s change to majority vote for zoning changes. A well-designed infill and accessory dwelling helps, of course, albeit with proportional parking problems. It’s not easy, but Plymouth needs to start doing something about its own housing issues, not Boston and Washington.
Ed Russell is a lawyer and representative of the District 12 Municipal Assembly, and sits on a number of municipal committees.
More federal control? It would make a mess of what our local councils and zoning law have done to maintain a sense of suburban stability. The involvement of the state or the federal government will surely ruin everything as inevitably they always use the one size fits all, and the land use issues are certainly different in Plymouth compared to most other towns in Massachusetts. Terrible idea!
Roger Silva is a five-term former elected representative of Plymouth who began public service as an elected member of the Town Hall. He has served on the advisory and financial committee and on two charter commissions.