Candidates (2-Year Seat) Address Development of Route 5 South/River Road
Part 4. One of the issues that the 2018 Selectboard must face is the adoption of the Town Plan and the 'fate' of Map 11. The final hearing and Selectboard vote on it might happen by the end of March. As a voter, do you want further development of Route 5 South/River Road stopped, encouraged, studied or something else? The responses of the candidates for the 2-Year seat are below.
4. Question: What are your views regarding the possible establishment of a new mixed use zoning district in the Route 5 South and River Road areas?
Any proposal that would put commercial development on Rt 5 South (western side) and River Rd would NOT get my vote. I also think that "mixed use" may mean different things to different people. Are we talking a multi-story building with retail space on the ground floor and living space above? Stand alone retail space combined with stand-alone housing? Any River Road discussion of mixed use zoning should not be considered where it does not already exist. For Route 5, I do not endorse changing the current zoning on the western side of Route 5.
I don’t like the idea. The Upper Valley has quite a bit of empty commercial and retail space and decreasing amounts of open, undeveloped land.
I’m in favor of investigating options for a sustainable future. Mixed use is one such option. Norwich is rich in land and I support the impulse to protect it. We also rely on our neighboring towns for employment and some services which is why I agree with seeking win-win solutions. Pursuant to proper infrastructure availability (e.g. sewage), I support smart growth development practices (when good for the economy, community and the environment.).