September 7 2017

Town Meeting to Vote on Creation of Zoning Bylaw Review Committee

By: Rich Hosford

After some twists and turns a warrant article proposing the formation of a Zoning Bylaw Review Committee will be before Town Meeting this September after all.  


The article was put forward by the Ad Hoc Zoning Bylaw Review Study Committee that was formed by Town Meeting in September of 2016. It suggests a review committee be formed made up of nine voting members and two non-voting members. The voting membership would include Town Meeting members as well as a member from the Business Community and a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. The non-voting members would include a member of the Planning Board and someone from the Building Department.


The purpose of the committee would be to review existing zoning bylaws and suggest possible changes to bring them up to date and in line with anticipated changes coming from the state level.


The committee is expected to require funds, estimated to be around $10,000, for a recording secretary and to cover consultant fees.


Initially the article seemed like it would be forestalled for the September Town Meeting after the Board of Selectmen voted not to include it on the warrant. However, selectmen afterwards realized that it was not in their power to deny the article’s inclusion on the warrant and rescinded the decision. The board may vote not to support it at the next meeting.


Their opposition, expressed by Chairman Chris Hartling, is that the study committee did not get enough input from other involved parties before drafting the make-up of the review committee.


The study committee met last week and decided to keep the article in the September Town Meeting Warrant. They will also give a presentation on the proposal to Town Meeting and will provide information to the town’s various boards and committees in the run-up to the September session.


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