Protect Property Values

Posted:  Monday, February 17, 2014 - 4:00pm
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Much has been written on the issues surrounding Fox Hill, on almost every conceivable argument, pro and con, to the possibility of rezoning a property for a Mclean rehabilitation hospital. But a topic that is perhaps most important of all has received scant attention—the impact on our property values. 

We are all very eager for a more robust local economy and more jobs, but let’s not lose sight of how critical it is to protect the value of our single largest asset: our homes. Many of us count on our home values as collateral for college loans, as financial security, as a way to fund retirement. We simply assume that our houses will retain their value should we wish or need to sell them. 

We fear that allowing a drug rehabilitation facility to open in the heart of our residential area threatens the stability of Camden’s property values, not necessarily the one McLeans has proposed, but the others that will inevitably follow. Let’s be honest: potential buyers do not look favorably on drug addicts as neighbors. Nor do they wish to invest their life savings in a home, or neighborhood, that is open to hospitals, clinics, or rehab centers. We are frankly worried about Pandora’s Box. If Camden allows this one exception, it won’t be an exception for long.

If you doubt the very serious downside of altering our zoning to allow rehab clinics, I encourage you to visit:responsiblezoning.weebly.com/national where 37 links take you to unsettling news accounts from communities across the country struggling with the chaos in their previously tranquil neighborhoods, towns, and cities. It will scare you. And if you are tempted by the, “Well that won’t happen here in lovely Camden” mentality, note that 26 local realtors have warned us of this danger in their December 12th letter to the Pen Bay Pilot. There they state, “People purchase homes in Camden because they appreciate the character and quality of our community. One of the primary purposes of the zoning ordinance is to “protect existing neighborhoods.”

Charlie & Julie Cawley
Camden