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Letter: Modifying Policy to Allow Accessory Dwelling Units is a Bad Decision

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To Members of the West Hartford Town Council and Town Manager Matt Hart,

I’m writing to you as a concerned resident of West Hartford related to the Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) discussion currently be for the Town Council. The town currently has a policy that allows for family members or home healthcare workers to utilize this policy. The current discussion to modify and expand or current policy is a bad policy decision.

The majority party proposal does not include adequate analysis to how this would adversely affect our town services, (fire, police, courts, sanitation, traffic, parking and school). The current proposal does not identify a need we have in town to expand the current policy nor does it address the negative impact on our neighborhoods. What is the benefit to West Hartford?

The “ADU” expansion is a bad experiment and should not be adopted. Research has shown by expanding this policy:

  1. No additional revenue benefit to the town
  2. Appraised values on homes do not increase by adding “ADU” (thus the town does not benefit from a tax increase)
  3. Creates landlord-tenant issues, strains on services

If the goal is to help make our town affordable to all current and future residents, the Council should look at how we create real grand list growth, reign in spending and make structural changes to how we manage our spending (lower tax burden).

Sincerely yours,

Mark Merritt
West Hartford

(Mark Merritt is chair of the West Hartford Republican Town Committee)

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