“Live Free” with Zoning

To the Editor:

“Live free” has two meanings, in New Hampshire or anywhere else: it means having the freedom to pursue happiness, but also the freedom from needless threats to your safety, security, peace and quiet, and bank account. I hope my fellow voters in Dalton will correctly see the opportunity to create a Zoning Board as a way for us to live more freely.

The choice seems simple to me: without any kind of zoning, the outcomes are a sure thing—any person or corporation can do what they want without consulting anyone else affected. All that zoning does is to change each result from sure to “maybe.” A zoning board could still look the other way on many, most, or all proposed developments, but it just might delay, block, or (most importantly) modify some of the worst ideas that come down the pike.

I went to a barbecue that Casella Waste Systems sponsored earlier this month, and spoke at length with their chief local engineer. When I expressed surprise that Dalton was one of the 19 towns in NH without zoning (I’ve since read that 98% of the population of NH lives in towns or cities with zoning), he said “why do you think we’re here?”


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