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MRPC study fails to take quality of life into account

The only benefit I can see from the latest MRPC study is that it provided employment for the authors in this tough employment market. To postulate that Harvard could increase its tax base by building a maximum of 4,028 new homes is as useful as postulating how many planners might fit on the head of a pin. I know this might be a squishy number, but how many new homes could be built before Harvard lost its character and became something else? The first question might be, how many dwellings could be added to the town allowing it to maintain its character, using some definition of character. This question dovetails with my previous comment on the proposed commercial development study without a consensus as to the viability of proposed businesses, given the local shopping habits or if residents want to draw significant amounts of outside traffic. It is simple to develop spreadsheet models; it is difficult to articulate and agree upon their underlying assumptions.

The study spreadsheet could be used in a cost benefit analysis to show a sliding scale measuring population growth against tax revenues. The key questions are, how will the quality of life in Harvard change with population growth and what are the limits the town will set?

Daniel Kagan
Old Littlet
on Road

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