Zoning Decisions To Be By Harrisburg Bureaucrats?

That’s what the state House is getting ready to decide, possibly this week … and action is needed.

Under the guise of “affordable housing,” this legislation would force communities to accept a developer’s building scheme conforming to Harrisburg-mandated density. These bills override any local land use authority, dictating that multi-family housing can be built “by right” anywhere that is currently zoned commercial or zoned for single-family homes.

These so-called “reforms” are currently options available to municipalities, and many communities do use them. Ironically, the author of the legislation was previously a member of Allentown City Council and did not take advantage of promoting his ideas while serving there. A new council is now doing so … making the changes at the local level where community decisions should be made.

As one township supervisor recently wrote, “What our legislators seem to miss is that while ‘affordable’ or ‘attainable’ housing are laudable goals, the cost of land determines the type of housing that is built on virgin or redeveloped properties.”

All one needs to do is read local newspapers to see that all types of housing are being approved and built across the state. Options are good, and these housing options are available now without one-size-fits-all mandates from Harrisburg or Washington bureaucrats.

Please contact your state representative today to oppose HB 1976 and HB 2045 to require duplex, triplex, quadplex and other multi-family housing nearly anywhere.

You can listen to Rep. Josh Siegel, the author of the House bills, here

“… in the instance of housing, municipalities have had decades to do the right thing. They have refused to, and they are directly contributing to the housing crisis that we have now, and we are in danger of becoming the next California or Connecticut where we are so cost-prohibitive that residents cannot find a home to live in and they flee the state for other opportunities.”

And he provides his view of the people of Pennsylvania here

“… People who live in walkable, mixed-use, dense communities are by and large, healthier, happier, more productive. They earn more money and frankly, they live more fulfilling lives.”

Watch the entire hearing here

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