My husband and I are in Alton quite a bit and they definetly have a lot of newer development. I am not sure about the politics of the local planning board or whoever decides those things in Alton. Unfortunately, there are several fairly large developments around the lakes region-not just Alton. Look at Weir's Beach and Gilford. Just take a drive up 11B-there are at least 3 different developments in different stages and this is over only a couple of miles. One has cleared a huge amount of land-all the way back to the lake. There is also a fairly new development that was completed before the building slowdown. The uncompleted developments had all halted because of the economy and sat for well over a year with piles of dirt and machinery just sitting there. Again, this is just in a few mile area that runs from Weir's Beach to Gilford. There are several other newer deveopments being built or in the "approval" stage all over Laconia/Gilford.
My husband works on the the seacoast with quite a few people who live in Alton and I am sure property taxes have something to do with it.
I have noticed in the Weir's Beach/Laconia area that unfortunately they don't really say no to much when it comes to housing development. They might make them change things and they might drag out the approval process but they usually approve the project when it comes to housing. It seems they are more hard on existing businesses wanting to improve their business-like when the Dairy Queen wanted to modernize. This is something that really irritates me.
I also notice a lot of recent real estate transactions in the Lakes region-much more than a year ago so I imagine we could see more developments that were approved in the past few years resume their building.