In response to the recently proposed warrant articles, the BOS commissioned the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) to assess the impact to compliance with State Workforce Housing requirements should Warrant Articles #40 and/or #41 pass (remember, they either get rid of the IIHO - #40, or limit IIHO density bonuses to 35% - #41).
The general conclusion? Amherst already had Section 4.14 Workforce Housing Ordinance, which adequately addresses the state's workforce housing requirements. We were already meeting the state requirements before the IIHO was added.
There appear to be two main claims in opposition to removing the IIHO (#40):
Removing the IIHO would limit the Planning Board's ability to meet and enforce Workforce (affordable) Housing requirements mandated by the State in NH RSA 674:58-61.
Without the IIHO, the Workforce Housing Ordinance will not function and the Planning Boards' hands will be tied in affordable housing development.
NRPC's assessment concluded:
"... Amherst’s Workforce Housing ordinance, taken alone, appears to be adequate to meet the requirements of New Hampshire’s Workforce Housing statute since it allows residential densities and dimensional requirements to be implemented at levels necessary to achieve economic viability and is permitted in a majority of the land area of the town zoned to allow residential uses. The town, however, also permits other housing alternatives that can provide for workforce housing. These include allowances for both attached and detached accessory dwelling units of up to 1,100 square feet in area, permitting mobile homes in all residential districts and mixed-use developments in the town’s Limited Commercial, Commercial and General Office zones. Given the conclusion that Amherst’s Workforce Housing ordinance can function independently of the IIHO and is sufficient to meet the requirements of New Hampshire’s Workforce Housing statute, further evaluation of the impacts of other provisions of Amherst's zoning ordinance on housing affordability is not required to establish consistency with NH RSA 674:58-61."
You can read the complete assessment at:
In summary, the claims in opposition to warrant article #40 are not supported by NRPC assessment. It is logical to question why the IIHO was implemented if we already had sufficient ordinances to meet state requirements.