January 25 2018

Zoning Bylaw Review Committee Approved by Town Meeting

By: Rich Hosford

A new committee will be formed to review the town’s zoning bylaws.


On Monday, Town Meeting voted nearly unanimously to create a Zoning Bylaw Review Committee.


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 suggested a review committee be formed made up of nine voting members and two non-voting members. The members will include one representative from the Board of Appeals, one representative of the business community and a balanced representation of Town Meeting precincts. The two non-voting members will be from the Building Department and the Planning Board. All terms will be for three years, or in the case of elected officials it will be three years or the end of their time on the board.


The purpose of the committee will 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.


During Town Meeting members of the ad hoc committee provided arguments why this was necessary. One reason is that the town’s current zoning bylaws have conflicting and ambiguous sections and that there is some debate on how to interpret certain areas of the bylaw. They also said a review would help with future growth and sustainability in town and to keep the bylaws current with Massachusetts zoning reform. Finally, they argued that with the Master Plan implementation about to begin this is a good opportunity to update the zoning bylaws.  

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


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