A Rezone Will Cost Us All

Posted:  Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 8:30am
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Fox Hill Real Estate’s request for a special exception to our laws will cost every single Camden taxpayer.

For starters, a rezone could strip over $100,000 every year from our property-tax base—that’s a lot of textbooks and road salt. We will pay more for traffic abatement, road repair, police and rescue calls. Make no mistake, a hospital on a narrow, winding road used by walkers, runners and cyclists will require public safety oversight and enforcement. And when more drug rehab clinics apply for the same treatment (they will), that will require a larger police and rescue force and increase in expensive medical interventions. 

If FHRE gets its way, law suits will be filed against the town, just as they have been in Portland and communities across the country. Who will pay the $400/hour legal fees? The Camden taxpayers. And that’s only the beginning. When other rehab facilities ask for their special exceptions, and our Planning Board says no, those investors will also sue, and win, because state and federal law clearly prohibits discriminating against someone who is not rich. Maine’s Department of Health’s regulations prohibits discrimination against individuals based upon their “source of payment.” Once we open the door, we can’t close it again. 

Finally, looking further ahead, all of our property values will decrease when we are no longer a choice destination for families seeking the tranquility and intimacy of small-town life in a lovely coastal community. After the publicity, these families will simply settle elsewhere. A protracted struggle will greatly harm our reputation as Maine’s most beautiful destination, sending tourist money and would-be home buyers elsewhere. And the saddest cost of all will be the deterioration of the community we all love—a priceless loss. 

If you doubt any of these claims, google rehab clinics opening in neighborhoods. You will be shocked by what you find. 

Citizens of Camden for Responsible Zoning