Falmouth’s Long Range Planning Advisory Committee issued recommendations. The Town Council’s guiding principles included “start with scientific principles” and “minimize impacts on land owners.” The committee’s report is empty, or worse, on both.
No scientific data is included. If a report is based on science, it should include the researched facts and figures, data and charts. Peggy Roberts’ thorough article said it totals 84 pages, so they had room.
The guiding principle to “minimize impacts on land owners” must have been discarded in the process, as recommendations will increase the negative impact on land owners. Faith Varney clearly explained at the hearing that LPAC’s recommendation of a 750-foot “area of concern” is misleading. The radius of 750 feet, she explained, is really 40 acres. Those 40 acres are then removed from the land owner’s control. Not minimal, and it does not “retain the fair market value of their land,” a guiding principle of the Greening of Falmouth report.
The Greening report said “respect the rights of individual property owners to manage their land for economically viable uses.” Yet, Resource Conservation Zoning started down a slippery slope. Covering nearly the entire town, it takes a minimum of 50 percent of the land away from a land owner’s viable use.
If residents want these onerous policies, the lost value must be shared by all residents. Raise taxes? But pay for land taken by RCZ. That is fair – and honors the guiding principles.