GOFFSTOWN — Some residents are concerned that the Plan Pinardville master plan will promote apartment housing in certain neighborhoods in town.
The confusion stems mainly from the drawings depicted in the draft plan, said Brian Rose, Goffstown planning director and a member of the Plan Pinardville Ad Hoc Committee.
“The drawings show a square of a building and that leads people to jump to conclusions that it’s multiple housing,” he said at the committee’s July 30 meeting. “We are providing different kinds of options for people to live in other than single-family homes. Statutorily, we are required to provide different opportunities to provide housing for lower- and middle-income people. We would be going against the fair housing laws the federal government has set up and the state has set up. You will get a spread of housing through Goffstown and not just Pinardville.”
He said options should be provided to avoid subjecting the town to possible lawsuits. Multi-use buildings could include a mixture of offices and restaurants, and residential, he said and housing development could include new homes with larger square footage, condos and single-family homes similar to what Pinardville now offers.
“This plan makes it clear we’re trying to preserve and protect the residential neighborhoods and the types of housing that are unique in Pinardville today,” said committee member Tony Marts, adding the draft plan gives the town a zoning base for the future. “This is not the end point, it’s the beginning point.”
Vice Chairman Rosemary Garretson said the committee has listened to residents’ comments, especially regarding Petain, Haig and Joffre streets, where a connecting street had been proposed in the initial draft.
“The connection to the three streets people were concerned about are gone, and proposed new streets have been changed to possible new streets,” she said.
Marts added, “This plan is not making anyone do anything or forcing any kind of agenda.”
Gaetene Benner, of Pinardville, spoke on behalf of 100 residents at the July 30 committee meeting. She said she and others are concerned about higher taxes, apartment houses having a potential impact on services, and that homeowners are not adequately represented on the ad hoc committee.
“I’m fighting for my home. I’ve lived here for 30 years and I don’t want to be taxed out of my home,” Benner said. “Does it make sense to pay $50,000 for a plan that’s supposed to be an idea? This is our master plan. It should be a plan we go by. It needs to be accurate. It cannot be an illusion. Conceptual ideas become reality.”
Residents, she said, were against the housing development at Moose Club, and it was approved. Other properties of concern include the 35 acres for sale near the ice house, and the potential development of land on which the Shaw’s supermarket is located.
Last week, the Shaw’s/Star Market headquarters announced the Goffstown supermarket on Mast Road will close by Sept. 1.
“You can fit a lot of houses in that lot,” Benner said.
Apartment houses bring more students and pay less taxes than single-family homes, and a 48-unit apartment building could mean many more students, she said.
She said opting for Housing and Urban Development money will tie the town’s hands.
“If we get into this HUD paperwork, which the plan has, we will be required to have a minimum of low-income housing. The plan makes you do that, but if we don’t go with this HUD plan, we’re not obliged to make a minimum amount of low- to middle-income housing,” Benner said.
Brian Wright, of consultant Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative, which is assisting the committee in drafting the plan, said there are no apartment complexes shown in the Pinardville plan.
“You guys already have housing standards that require certain amounts of affordability standards to be met, and this plan does not require any of these. It just talks about balancing housing.”
Residents have until Aug. 17, to submit their concerns before the plan goes to the planning board on Sept. 12. The goal is to have the plan adopted as part of Goffstown’s master plan. The plan is available online at www.goffstown.com and at town offices.