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Letter: Zoning Changes for Hanover

To the Editor:

At an October 2012 townwide meeting with the Hanover Planning Board, we were told that in New Hampshire, a town’s master plan has no clout in itself to allow the Planning Board to accept or reject proposed projects. The only criteria the Planning and Zoning boards have are defined by zoning regulations in place at the time of the proposal. This awakened in us a wish to make sure zoning regulations did support the “character of the neighborhood” objectives written in the Hanover master plan. With this in mind, we ask the voters to approve two zoning amendments that are the result of a number of neighborhood discussions with Planning Board members. The Planning Board voted to support both.

Article 4 (Amendment No. 3) increases the minimum side and rear yard setbacks for accessory buildings from 7 to 10 feet. This small change provides greater protection for adjacent properties and easier access for safety vehicles. This is the minimum setback for our most densely populated and settled neighborhoods now.

Article 5 (Amendment No. 4) reflects the existing size requirements in the general and single residential zoned neighborhoods. The modification in the building footprint to 25 percent — and lot coverage to 50 percent — reflects what is true now of 90 percent of existing town homes. The remaining 10 percent of properties now standing are grandfathered under the law and would be unaffected. The change in lot coverage meets the need to protect green space in the town residential neighborhoods to ensure adequate light, open space, and a healthy ecology.

As a matter of interest, in our neighborhood we have had three replacement homes built in the past few years. All are larger than the original buildings; all are attractive, pleasant additions to the neighborhood; and all are easily within the parameters of the proposed amendments.

We ask Hanover voters to support these modest changes in order to maintain the character of all of our in town neighborhoods.

William and Susan Boyle

Bryant and Marilyn Denk

Keri Craft

Hanover