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Letter: Preserve rural Henniker


Monday, March 12, 2018
Preserve rural Henniker

As a former resident of Henniker, a frequent visitor to spend time with my grandchildren, and a house and small woodlot owner, I love Henniker.

Although I can’t vote for what I hold dear in Henniker, I’m writing to ask Henniker voters to go to the polls on Tuesday, March 13 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and vote no on ballot questions 7 through 10, which are submitted by petition and not supported by the Henniker Planning Board.

Do you want someone who owns property near you, and sells a few eggs, to be able to pursue any level of commercial activity (including buildings) exempting them from zoning ordinances and site plan review under the pretense of agriculture?

Do you want someone who grows hay for sale in a field near your house to be able to hold unlimited musical events, rallies, commercial weddings, etc., without permits?

If ballot questions 7 through 10 sound like a trap, they are. They’re written by big city lawyers to allow businesses to pose as agriculture and avoid zoning and permitting regulations that protect the quiet and safety of our rural town.

Currently Henniker zoning includes definitions of agriculture and agritourism that align with the definitions in the state RSA’s. Legitimate farmers can work with the planning board and town agencies to develop projects within the town’s proven, well-thought-out growth plans.

I hope Henniker voters will vote no on ballot questions 7 through 10 and preserve the rural-life protections we now have.

JUDITH NORTHUP-BENNETT

New Salem, Mass.