Development pressure in Belmont is growing again, as more people seek a great location with a town’s suburban character like our beloved town. What can be done from a planning perspective? Maintaining our town of homes, I believe that Belmont residents’ opinions are critical when concerning decisions which affect their particular neighborhood. Our Zoning and Planning Boards are the key town committees that do and should rely upon citizen input. I agree with these committees that those affected by proposed development should be given timely and sufficient information to discuss and share common issues with these boards prior to final decisions being made.
Notwithstanding this intent, we must allow for the fact that Belmont has changing lifestyles and demands by its residents. There must be coordination between and among all Boards/Committees regarding important decisions to ensure that any conflict is resolved.
With regard to development, whatever is ultimately decided, its effect on the school system, on traffic, on public safety and balancing cost/ benefit ratios to Belmont and on the taxpayer and tenants (whose rent payments reflect real estate taxes paid by landlords) is all important. I remain very concerned for the owners’ real property rights vs. eminent domain exercised by government.