January 25 2017

New Digital, Easy to Read, Zoning Maps Approved by Town Meeting

By: Rich Hosford

Anyone who has the need to check on the zoning of a parcel, locate an aquifer or get information on the Town Center Overlay District will now have an easier time finding what they are looking for.

Town Meeting on Monday gave the go ahead to the Planning Department to switch from hand-drawn zoning maps to new, digital versions.

Planning Director Kristin Kassner said the update is necessary to bring the department up to date.  

“Our last zoning map was hand-drawn, it very well done but hand drawn, in 2001,” she said. “It is out of date with state law and we need to update.”

The new maps, Kassner said, allow for much greater details. Users can zoom in and see very clearly where one zoning type ends and another begins. As an example she pointed to two small industrial zones within the General Business zoning at the Wayside shopping center.

On the new maps it’s clear but this is something that would have been very difficult to see on the older maps.

Also, because they are digital, they are easier to update, Kassner said. There have been over 200 zoning changes made to the old map since it was drawn in 2001 so the relative ease updating the new maps will be a big convenience.

Town Meeting members were in favor of the change. There was one question about security due to it being online. Kassner said the maps will be in a ‘protected PDF’ mode for visitors to the web site and only Planning Department members will have access to change them. There will also be a copy on file with the Town Clerk’s office.


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