Letter: Keep definition of agritourism in Henniker

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Keep definition of agritourism in Henniker

A proposed amendment to the Henniker zoning ordinance would change the definition of agritourism and thereby open rural areas of the town to vastly increased commercial development. I urge all voters to vote no on this amendment.

The current definition of agritourism requires that events and activities on farms that are not strictly agricultural be accessory uses to the primary farm operations. These accessory uses must be smaller than and subordinate to the main farm activities. The proposed amendment eliminates the word “accessory” from the definition. This would allow the agritourism activities to be nearly unlimited. All parts of town would become commercial districts. The character of the town would be greatly disrupted.

Adopting this change would directly contradict the Henniker master plan. First adopted in the early 1980s following the work by master plan committee members Joe Clement, Bob Gregg, Eve Goss, Herve Aucoin, Alice Norton and Barbara C. French, with assistance from Kathy Patenaude, Spencer Bennett and Judy Bennett, the plan seeks to encourage agriculture and appropriate commercial activities while maintaining the rural character of the town.

The current definition of agritourism properly supports agriculture in Henniker and should be maintained.