When Divide Means to Combine! Only in Littleton

If you have been keeping up with the issues surrounding the approval for The Grove then you want to read this.  We have been told, along with the Planning Board and the City Council, that The Grove was approved as a “use by right.”  In other words, no zoning changed was required for the project to go forward and thus no public process was required.  We were told that the applicant met all the requirements of the Subdivision Exemption (Chapter 9 of the Zoning Code).  The Subdivision Exemption has also been challenged – was it appropriately applied in this instance?  You decide.

11-9-1:  Purpose of the Subdivision Exemption Chapter states – “It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to allow the owner or purchaser of land, or agent thereof, to divide such land into not more than two (2) parcels, which meet the requirements of the governing zone district classification, without requiring a subdivision plat.  The most obvious question to ask is what large parcel was subdivided in The Grove project?  The question has been asked a number of times without any satisfactory answer – until now.

The question was finally posed to Michael Penny, our city manager.  Here’s his response.

The Grove project was a combining of parcels and did not result in a division of land into more than two lots.  Any project that requires a plat for the “re-assemblage of parcels” (see Definition of Plat in 11-1-6) would be subject to this process. 

Only recently did the council update the Subdivision Exemption Code to include the combining of parcels……………that was long after the code was violated to approve the Grove for the Subdivision Exemption.




One Response

  1. Thanks Carol. They did the exact same thing for the Littleton Crossing project across the street year and many other projects. Recall Mark Relph himself directly told me that city Staff is who has been wrongfully selling that option to developers, telling them if they file for a Subdivision Exemption they can avoid having to have a public hearing. Our own city representatives and staff are who has been selling us down the river all along, and continue to do so. I saw Bill Hopping showing up early one morning with a satchel at a nearby town homes construction project, meeting someone there on the project. Wonder if he was picking up a check… We just heard yesterday that Littleton Crossing construction will begin October 1. I am working on my report to the United States Justice Department to ask them to investigate that project for possible fraud. We also learned yesterday the general contractor who will actually be building the project is now going to be one from Fargo, North Dakota, rather than the local general contractor who put the bid together for purposes of securing the low income housing tax credits and which Summit Housing said would be doing the project. Much fraud is occurring in the LIHTC program, with developers submitting high bids (and for this project CHFA even asked them to increase their bid numbers!) but then building the project with different contractors or for substantially lower prices, pocketing the kickback credit funds into their own pockets. The change in general contractor plus the $10 sale value on the deed plus the Justice Department’s statement that city council members are frequently being paid off by developers to push their projects through plus other fraud flags lead me to believe there is a great possibility of fraud occurring. I am hoping the Justice Department will investigate them. Off to enjoy this beautiful day. I feel Fall in the air!



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