Update on Jan 27 Article hearings: EDC Working Session tonight; New materials posted

As I’ve previously posted, the Planning Board will hold public hearings for four proposed Town Meeting Articles on Monday night. For those interested, here are a few updates.

The hearings are scheduled to begin after 7:00 pm in the Town House Hearing Room. Each hearing can be held later but not sooner than the time listed below:

  • 7:05 pm – Amend Section §174-10 Site plan approval
  • 7:10 pm – Amend Sections §174-9 Special permit requirements, §174-18 Exemptions, §174-19 Extensions or alterations
  • 7:15 pm – Update Section §174-12.1 Outdoor illumination
  • 7:20 pm – Amend zoning bylaw to establish a downtown overlay district, within the current downtown Business Village district

EDC’s Downtown Business Village Zoning Overlay

No new version of the Economic Development Committee’s proposed zoning overlay bylaw has been posted. But it’s likely that the version discussed on Monday night will be revised from the version I shared from the January 6th discussion with the Planning Board. The EDC had invited Planning to work with them on making changes. Since then, EDC held two more meetings that included a discussion on the Article and a “Working Session”.

Tonight, the EDC is scheduled to meet again at 6:30 pm in the Public Safety Building. The agenda includes, “Working Session: Proposed Village Mixed Use District Zoning Article”.

For the other three Articles, new materials have been posted on Planning’s website:

  • Planning’s Site Plan Approval:
  • ZBA’s edits to Special Permit Requirements, Exemptions, Extensions or alterations:
    • Final draft (as of January 21st) – from the Zoning Board of Appeals’ January 15th discussion, I believe only one small gramatical edit was made from the version that I previously shared. (For consistency, they changed one insertion of “structure” to “structural”.)
    • The ZBA’s discussion also confirmed that the Article was prompted by a permit request that drew attention to conflicts in the zoning language around non-conforming structures. Chair Craig Nicholson and staff sought to clarify what owners can/can’t do and make language more consistent with state zoning laws.
    • The discussion also clarified why the Article would remove a sentence stating that no special permits would be granted for non-conforming signs under that subsection. ZBA Assistant Katie Barry explained that she and Planning staff determined the language was no longer relevant since “those sections of the law have nothing to do with zoning anymore”.
  • Planning’s Outdoor Lighting:

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