September 29 2016

Ad Hoc Committee Approved to Examine Town Bylaws

By: Rich Hosford

It appears Burlington’s Zoning Bylaws may get a thorough examination and possibly an update. 


During Wednesday night’s Town Meeting, members voted to approve the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee that will be tasked with studying and reporting to Town Meeting the procedures and estimated costs to review the Zoning Bylaws. 


According to the warrant, the purpose of the Ad Hoc Committee will be to determine the preferred structure and composition of a Zoning Bylaw Review Committee, anticipate process/procedures/methods needed to complete a thorough review of the Zoning Bylaw, to estimate the costs of consultants and to estimate the duration of the Zoning Bylaw Committee. 


Town Moderator Sally Willard, who will create the committee, said she wants a representative from each district on it. 


The Zoning Bylaw Review Committee, if one is approved by Town Meeting, will be tasked with updating references to State Statute/Massachusetts General Laws, identifying inconsistencies and conflicts in the text, identifying specific section that may need to be rewritten for clarity and understanding and working with town departments and committees in order to determine any new zoning requests or any problems in the bylaws. 


During Town Meeting there was some discussion about holding off on creating this committee until the Master Plan process is complete due to the strain on Planning Department staff. In the end, however, the motion was passed by a majority. 

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