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Zoning Commission Alternate, Nick Hale: October 27, 2023

To the Editor:

I am a 21-year-old UConn Student running for Zoning Commission alternate. I was motivated to run by the discourse I saw in our town regarding building new housing. I witnessed constant scare tactics about how the planned projects on Main Street were destructive to our town's character. Though I strongly disagree with these arguments, I understand why some residents feel this way. I don't know what it's like to have a neigborhood you've lived in for decades radically change. My parents' part of West Road is practically indentical to how it was when we first moved here in 2005.

The only perspective I can offer is my own, that of a young person who grew up in Marlborough. Our town is totally, utterly unaffordable. There is no reasonable priced housing that I could rent to remain close to family and friends. Though apartments are in the planning stage, will those options be affordable for youge professionals, recent graduates, young families? No appartments, no townhouses, no condos, and no ADU's in the price range of someone just entering the real world. And whenever any of the above is proposed to be built here, the pitchforks come out. The ensuing discussio is dominated by fear, anger and obstruction.

What we need is a cheerleader for new housing on the Zoning Commission. Someone who promotes its benefits, instead of fear-mongering. Years of opposition to housing has made this beautiful town unaffordable and unable to attract new residents and families, but it is never too late to change course. It is never too late to vote for a new approach.

Respectfully submitted,

Nick Hale - Marlborough

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