By Sarah Trzepacz, Content Strategist, REALTOR.org
REALTORS® gathered this morning at a town hall meeting to discuss a myriad of issues related to property rights, land use and environmental concerns. The meeting presented a wonderful opportunity for REALTORS® to share stories and experiences about the issues affecting their local communities and their businesses. Members from all over the country-from Kauai to Boston, Spokane to Fort Myers-participated in the event and shared concerns of both national and local importance.
Some of the hot-button issues that surfaced during the exchange included: checker-board preservation zoning, military base realignments and closures, spiking home owner insurance premiums and deductibles, on-site waste water treatment (septic systems) and the environmental ramifications of pine beetle infestation in the west.
Several members expressed concerns about “Hometown Democracy” initiatives in their communities, which seek to mandate referenda on all comprehensive plan amendments in their community. While community support and involvement in strategic growth projects can be a huge asset to REALTORS®, participants felt that these initiatives might slow economic growth in their communities. In response to these concerns, several attendees stressed the need for REALTORS® to become active in their local government; said one member: “This is how REALTORS® can make a difference, by being active and involved.”
For more on today’s land use town hall meeting and on NAR’s Land Use Initiative, see today’s press release.