Why I’m running for Planning Board

To the Residents of Lyme:

I have filed to become an elected member of the Planning Board.

I have been working on housing issues for a long time, starting with my interest in developing cohousing here in Lyme. I have been going to housing conferences and workshops for many years. I have regularly attended Planning Board meetings for the last four years, and have been an Alternate for the last year.

These are some of the housing issues I want to address:

Housing: The Planning Board recently abandoned their own amendment that might have permitted a small amount of Senior Housing in the Lyme Common District. The concern was that a pending NH bill might make similar housing to all non-seniors. That decision is disappointing because it comes after years of Aging in Place meetings, followed by two and a half years of work on senior housing language.

Housing: It is extremely difficult for long-term residents to downsize in Lyme. I believe the ordinance makes it difficult to build smaller, modestly-priced homes so those people must think about moving away.

Housing: The Lyme Master Plan is unusual in NH. It does not have a chapter on Housing, despite the Board’s stated intention to work on it for the last two years.

Housing: NH Law requires that towns with a zoning ordinance (like Lyme) “provide reasonable and realistic opportunities for the development of workforce housing…” Our ordinance is so restrictive that building workforce housing is impractical. Lyme is at serious risk of having to defend (and likely lose) a workforce housing lawsuit.

Housing: Best practices in planning circles are to review zoning rules regularly in the face of a town’s changing needs. The Lyme Ordinance has not had any real change since it was instituted over thirty years ago.

The Town must talk about and permit reasonable housing options. I will bring my knowledge and energy to the Planning Board to address these pressing issues. I will welcome everyone’s thoughts, either via email, phone, face-to-face, or at scheduled Planning Board meetings.

Join me, and let’s work together to institute real change for housing options in Lyme. Please vote for me on the ballot in March. Thank you.

Rich Brown

Feel free to share this post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or email by clicking one of the icons below. Any opinions expressed here are solely my own, and not those of any public bodies, such as the Lyme Planning Board or the Lyme Community Development Committee, where I am/have been a member. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts – you can reach me at richb.lyme@gmail.com.

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