Public Benefit of Floor Area Requirements

The slim majority on the Rockland City Council believes there is no public benefit to having a variety of residential minimum square foot sizes, floor area or space requirements in the different zoning districts for dwelling units. The public benefit of having a variety of dwelling floor area requirements in the different zones is to protect private property values; especially higher property values. It is from the property values the council derives the assessed values on dwellings for the purpose of raising property taxes or revenues for Regional School Union 13, and to pay for the expansion of city services such as for a Sustainability Coordinator, a city planner, and for expensive consulting or contracted grant writing services. In essence, the higher the property values the more taxes the city can raise for RSU 13 and for itself, and the more the RSU and the city can expand its services.

In my previous 29 years of working for different municipalities I never encountered any elected or appointed municipal official who believed that there is no public benefit to having a variety of minimum dwelling square footage, or residential floor area requirements in different zoning districts.

In summary, RSU 13 school officials and employees, the Rockland city council and city staff want ever more services, programs and personnel, and it is the private property owners, especially those with high property values, who are the ones who pay for most of these wants. For the reasons described herein, it is the city council’s responsibility to protect private property values and the public benefits that they provide to Rockland. It is Municipal Government in Maine 101.

Rodney Lynch

Rockland

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