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Vote NO on Articles 3 through 10: New regulations that strip away homeowners’ rights

Like blackflies in spring, every season brings hand wringing about dark houses in the winter and concerns that Camden will suddenly become a seasonal town. Yet despite MBNA’s departure, 9/11, 2008 or the “housing shortage”, here we still are catching up at Hannaford’s, Zoot’s, or the dump. Still exchanging personal property of dubious value during yard sale season. Life for Camdenites is good and the sky isn’t falling.

Claiming a “housing emergency”, the state government mandated that we do away with single family zoning in 2022. So, two years ago we dutifully voted to approve changing our zoning, without most of us understanding or knowing what the short and long-term consequences will be. 

 

That is history now, but on June 11th we have an opportunity to regain some control, as we are being asked by our town government to vote to approve a whole new set of rules specific to Camden residents that would restrict our property rights under the guise of “affordable housing.”  

 

There have been no safety studies, economic impact studies or housing studies to suggest that what is being proposed will increase affordable housing or provide any other benefits. And as far as we know, there have been no analyses to understand what their impact will be on our town’s character, our property values, and our way of life. 

 

The proposed changes introduce a complex web of new regulation, make it more difficult for the next generation to keep the houses we bequeath them, and unnecessarily introduce new property ownership rules and restrictions that we haven’t been subject to before.

We enjoy a quality of life here that most can only dream about. Why would we vote it away? Like it or not, the quaintness of our town was partly the product of former – but rapidly changing – zoning laws. The changes pushed on us from Augusta have not yet begun to have an impact, but at least we are still able to protect what we have now at the town-level.

There are 22 warrant articles, which will require 13 separate code changes proposed for the June 11 vote. How many voters have read, much less understand the proposed zoning changes? 

 

Camden Cares urges every townsperson to vote NO to Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 which impact homeowners’ rights. 

We also strongly encourage residents to carefully review all the other articles before just voting “yes” as our ballot Articles still confusingly contain text beneath each saying that the “Select Board Voted” in favor of them (which is completely superfluous language). 

This is another June election not to sit out on. Vote in person at the Town Hall before June 11th, vote in-person on June 11th between 8am and 8pm at the Camden Opera House, or request and absentee ballot from the town and mail it in at least a week before June 11th to ensure your vote will count.

 

Respectfully,

The Board of Directors of Camden Cares

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