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subdivision regulations wish list?  RSS feed

 
Rebecca Hyde
Posts: 9
Location: Woodstock, CT
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Not sure which forum this question would be best for, but: 

Our town, Woodstock, CT, has an agricultural commission, and the discussion of late is what the Ag concerns on subdivision regulations should be.  Most of the Ag Commission members are from a traditional farming background, but I'm wondering what the homesteading community, or the permies community, would say at a Planning and Zoning Committee meeting on subdivisions.  Right now the town has acreage requirements (minimum 2.5 acres for a housing lot), various setbacks, various protections for wetlands and such, and an attempt at cluster housing developments which states that if a large plot is divided, half of it has to be put into open space, and the houses put on the rest.  And the open space half can't just be swamp, but has to include some of the buildable acreage in proportion to how the buildable/unbuildable land breaks out.  Mostly the farmers hate anything that limits how much their land is worth since they use it for collateral for loans.  Because of their insistence, the town has never had zoning which designates areas as purely agricultural.  Most of the open land in town is taxed at a very low rate under the state's open space rules.

Perhaps people here have run into subdivision regulations that have caused problems for their homesteading pursuits?  We're not at the point here where there are any regulations on numbers of chickens or rules about neat front yards or anything of that nature.

Thanks for any input.
 
Marissa Creston
Posts: 48
Location: Flathead, Montana
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Side with the farmers. Hang the Planning and Zoning Board. Sound too harsh? It isn't. Our Board likes to require developers to put in ridiculous infrastructure (e.g. the $70K fire hydrant in the middle of nowhere, which, of course, has never been used). And this is true not just for suburban subdivisions with many, many sub-acre lots but also for rural subdivisions with a few five, ten, or twenty acre lots. You may not care about the cost to the farmers much less the cost to the developers who turn farmland into subdivisions. But understand that these regulations have destroyed the character of our valley. Ridiculous infrastructure inevitably leads to ridiculous associations with ridiculous costs and ridiculous rules. And the only people who buy properties with ridiculous associations with ridiculous costs and ridiculous rules are well ... ridiculous people. You know, the kind that call the cops because your ducks are outside in the rain getting wet! Now don't get me wrong. I am very live and let live. But I expect others to grant me the same courtesy. Unfortunately, ridiculous people just can't let alone. They would ban both the ducks and the rain, if they could. I should know. They sued me. Well, they sued all of their neighbors, myself included. For ridiculous reasons. Suffice it to say, they lost. And I'll leave it at that. But it isn't the same here. And it never will be.
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