New approach to passing zoning bylaw revisions

At Monday’s Planning Board meeting, members discussed warrant articles for the Annual Town Meeting. They hope to include two zoning bylaw revisions: Medical Marijuana zoning (tabled from fall) and Site Plan Review bylaws.

Site Plan Review will be the first bylaw revision to come up for vote out of work done by the 2008-2012 ZAC (Zoning Advisory Committee). 

The Special Town Meeting last fall was originally scheduled around the Planning Board’s intention to have zoning bylaws revisions ready for a vote. Later, the board informed the Board of Selectmen they wouldn’t be ready in time.

At the time, they were in process of hiring a new Town Planner. They justified that feedback from the new employee would be important to the effort.

When pressed by selectmen to bring some part of it to the meeting, Planning Board members asserted that zoning should not be done piecemeal.

(They subsequently agreed to submit the Medical Marijuana zoning drafted that summer.)

The Planning Board assured selectmen that with a new Town Planner in place, they would be ready with the bylaws before the next Annual Town Meeting. (They even stated a preference to hold a Special Town Meeting on the issue in January or February.)

Since then, Town Planner Jennifer Burney has advised the Planning Board that a piecemeal approach is better. Based on her counsel, the board shifted its approach.

On Monday, Burney confirmed with the board that she selected Site Plan Review as the section easiest to pull out from the rest.

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