I agree with Cumberland Town Councilor Michael Perfetti, contract zoning is “poor public policy.” Zoning is the only legal protection citizens have to protect the quality of life purchased by investment in their property. Families in residential zones should feel secure that businesses will not move in next door, destroying the peace and tranquility of their home. Contract zoning, a form of spot zoning, strips us all of that security in favor of the use of property that does not conform to the requirements of zoning law.
Contract zoning is a loophole being used more frequently in Cumberland to override homeowner security in favor of development not allowed under current zoning laws. Commercial development is not undesirable in Cumberland, nor is it incompatible with our Comprehensive Plan. There are significant areas of town that are properly zoned to allow commercial development that will enhance our tax base without jeopardizing the quality of life in our residential neighborhoods. The credit union currently proposed for development on Main Street is a case in point. A credit union in town is not a bad idea.
Placing the credit union in a residential zone is a bad idea. Maine Street is a residential zone. If approved here, what other residential neighborhoods will become targets for commercial development? This referendum is not just about the location of a credit union, it is about defeating contract zoning as a prime method of administrating public policy in Cumberland. Please vote no on June 9.