Development in Raymond Gets Very Emotional
 By Cheryl Killam 9-11-18

NIMBY is not  something the Planning Board adheres to. “Not In My Back Yard” crops up with almost every type of commercial/industrial development that comes in front of the Raymond Planning Board (1).   People want development in Raymond to help lower the taxes, but there are no new large tax reduction businesses lined up to build or move here.   So that means they address small business development plans.  

People really need to take the time to find out what their street or neighborhood    is zoned as. Just because you built your house on your land or bought it and have lived where you are for 20,  30 or even 40 years while the property next door has been undeveloped woods or fields all that time, does not mean it will stay that way.

Those abutting undeveloped acres that you have enjoyed living beside may be zoned commercial or industrial and could be developed with large buildings and have noisy trucks coming and going all day and or night.

Most people do not understand that all landowners have the right to do with their land what they want to within the Zoning Ordinances (2). If the neighboring land is zoned for something you don’t want to live beside, you have a couple choices:  you could move or you could offer to buy it or try to get it rezoned.

 The Planning Board  must follow predefined laws and  only has the authority to approve or disapprove of  development plans according to the NH RSA 674 and can only approve commercial/industrial development projects on land that is zoned  for that particular use within the town. 

The Conservation Commission (3)  must follow NH RSA 36-A and can only recommend that a development avoid a wetland. If the developer wants to fill wetlands, he must get the approval of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services by submitting a wetland permit. 

The planning board cannot approve something based on personal preferences; it must pass all the pre-established checklist requirements.  They cannot disapprove of something because they do not like it or the neighbors do not like it.  If the board did that, the landowner and/or the developer would take them to court, only to be told by a judge to approve it because there are no viable reasons to prevent it since it met all the criteria requirements. That is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars.

If a disgruntled neighbor takes the planning board to court to stop something, they are more often than not wasting their money trying to stop something that most likely met all the requirements. 

Instead of saying “we don’t need any more gas stations,” how about working with the community development department and helping to figure out what we do want or need in our town by identifying all parcels of land that could be developed.  Then make sure that what goes in is not something unpleasant that you do not want next to your house or in your town.

If residents in town do not want any more gas stations or a truck stop or a pole dancing business, then someone should create a citizens petition stating such and get the required 25 signatures to get it on the March ballot.  If it passes, then it can be added into the zoning ordinances.   

So the next time you think or say, ‘not in my back yard,’ remember the abutting land is not your land to decide what to do with it, it’s the owner’s, and they have the right to use their land the way they want to within the zoning ordinances. 

  1. New Hampshire RSA 674 Planning Board information can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/LXIV/674/674-mrg.htm

  2. Raymond Town Zoning Map can be found at https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/e2e37e_873e1b88bf7d45d2a152fa10e0ef790e.pdf

  3. New Hampshire RSA 36-A Conservation Commission information can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/NHTOC/NHTOC-III-36-A.htm

In the interest of full disclosure, Raymond Planning Board Chairman Jim Kent is Cheryl Killam's husband.































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