Planning Board Member - Town of Dartmouth
(April 2019 – April 2022)
My Policy & Planning Priorities:
1) Dartmouth must control its own destiny, zoning-wise. That means we must immediately increase affordable housing to be (and remain) ABOVE the MA-required 10% minimum, lest we be forced to ignore our own well-considered zoning rules.
2) New developments & sub-divisions of open space and woodlands are unaffordable & financially irresponsible for the Town. (They burden the Town with increased costs far more than they bring in from tax revenues, even over time). By contrast, renovation, restoration, and improvement of existing homes & businesses is financially & aesthetically sound policy, improving both Town finances and all homeowners’ property values. New zoning rules and policies must encourage the latter and discourage the former.
3) Our zoning rules need fundamental change in order to STOP new development in low-lying areas or near the coast, due to sea level rise. Open space, woods, and marsh land is – by far - the best protection against storms and flooding. Because Dartmouth is the 3rd largest town in Massachusetts (by area), there are many parts of town that may still have room for sensible development, even after rigorously addressing the three points above.
4) But Dartmouth has doubled its population roughly every 20 years in recent decades. It is time to consider – carefully – whether increasing our overall housing stock is a good or necessary idea. Our population may already be at or near the “right size.”
This page will be updated periodically with timely content and ideas. (Last revised 5/29/2019)