Dear Billy T and Somerville Speakup Line,
The BOA had formed their strong opinions to support this tax before public input. Because the city refused, at the request of the public, to notify homeowners, many who are absentee, of these initiatives – all of which are damaging financially to property owners.
Had the city actually done the proper thing and notified property owners, that would be ‘thorough’ and input could be described then as ‘expansive’. It fact, it was neither. The downzoning is the most financially catastrophic for those affected – its a ‘taking’ of value without notification and is morally wrong.
If people were notified, the city would not be able to push their agenda through without outrage from these property owners in RB zones with 2 family or single family homes. At minimum, the city should be reducing assessments and taxes on the properties affected.
I’d like to see this challenged legally and hope homeowners who are impacted will organize as it seems this could not be legal, especially absent notification.
Its also not true that ALL owner occupants will not be paying a fee. There is a 2 year requirement I believe. Its also not true that a 3rd unit is going to be allowed.
The constraints are so burdensome that its not feasible. Larger units can be divided but there is no allowance for adding additional living square footage which is what is BADLY needed to help with the ‘housing crisis’ that the city acts like is nonexistant with this bad counterproductive downzoning.