trouble in river city

I was just reading some  meeting minutes from Hampton NH, their Conservation Commission. There were some good reads. One about a guy that was digging up his yard to build a new garage and a place to park all his trucks. He is one of those guys that runs his business from his home I guess. He bought the house without any clue as to how little his  lot really was, the guy was surrounded by wetlands.

The tale was replete with the “I asked the building inspector” “he told me to talk to the highway dept” sort of stuff.

I also stumbled across another hearing and Jones and Beach were mentioned. One of those quoted was piqued that the plans J&B were presenting were “different”

“There were more wetlands delineated on the last map we saw” or something like that.

We are not alone in our confusion.

In my minds eye I see a Planning Board or Conservation meeting and everyone is in a kerfuffle. This occurred some time ago in Exeter it was about a homeowner and his lawn debris. The fellow was dumping this material in the wetlands at the back of his yard. A development probably that was at one time before a board and all sorts of protections were discussed for the sensitive areas getting a waiver. I think they decided that each home should have granite posts  or signs to stop this practice of dumping.

Who checks that anyway?

Maybe the meeting went very long and everyone went home tired.

All that work, all that talk.

There is a push on now to reduce the buffer zones around wetlands on lands off Epping Rd. There is also the adder of a Economic Director new to his position trying hard to make his mark. It seems that if this is put off on him it might give those with a fading conservation stripe some cover by signing on to the change.

F the wetlands and they will come. Promises of deals in the offing.

Lower taxes, that’s funny.

Some will tell me “they are keeping their cards close” till the Planning Board meeting this week.

Another would send me a long email with the history and pros and cons of such action , but close his arguments with lingering pessimism.

Here is a niblet from todays mail

“Our Boards do not have a good history of consistency in their rulings. It seems like it depends more like whims of the night or public opposition from abutters, not scientific or legal reasoning.
For example, stating a wetland that is on “poorly drained soil” is less important than a “very poorly drained soil” has no scientific basis. In fact, a “very poorly drained soil” can have a lessor importance to environmental function specifically because it cannot recharge the water table, as an example.
In fact, basing wetlands on soils is kind of stupid. Their are many wetlands that exist in sand and gravel soils due to high water tables or adjacent to river systems. Our regs don’t even address that.”

I am not really interested in the details.  I just always want to be doing the right thing as a Community regarding our local environment of which we are the stewards.

Changing the regulations will not do anything to enrich this Community and its natural beauty and  it will not lower your tax bill .

I had a major DES guy once tell me “I am just tired , tired of fighting the same battle”

Another local major player tells me “Maybe we have preserved enough”

Oh the doubts creep in , exposure, public ridicule, the scorn of peers.It’s fun to be a player, in the loop, those shiny shovels , the hard hat, a ribbon to cut. Much more difficult to be an outlier, someone concerned about the true future. Let’s see if a few harboring doubts can find their sea legs at this weeks Planning Board meeting.

Best,

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

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