Zoning Bylaw Working Group - Jan 22nd, 2020

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Approval of Meeting Minutes. Charlie suggests several edits to the Dec 4th minutes: listing the five industrial districts, changing "most" to "over 90%", changing "200,000" to "up to 200,000", and "high school" to "new high school". Christian points out a typo: "quickly that" should be "quickly than".

Minutes approved.


Potential ARB Amendments. Erin Zwirko presents a set of warrant articles that the ARB may bring forward to town meeting. They're mostly corrections and minor changes.

(a) Affordable Housing Requirements. This article would change the anti-segmentation clause from two years to three years. It's based on the permit extension act from the early 2000's. The three-year time period comes from chapter 40A, section 9.

(b) Apartment Conversion. This article would add a definition of "Apartment Conversion" to section 2. The text of the definition is based on wording that appears elsewhere in the bylaw. Ms. Zwirko believes the new definition is necessary because "apartment conversion" is one of the uses listed in the ZBL use tales.

Charlie asks if building on top of a garage would be considered an apartment conversion. Steve believes no, because the definition requires there to be no exterior alteration to the building.

(c) Administrative Corrections. The correction includes changing "Board of Selectmen" to "Select Board", changing "August 1975" to "August 28, 1975" in places where the specific date does not appear, updating a regulatory citation in the definition for Medical Marijuana Treatment center, and changing "seven foot three inches" to "seven feet" in the definition for "gross floor area". The last correction comes out of last year's change to the definition of half story.

(d) Gross Floor Area. This amendment will add a section 5.2.33(C), which states that landscaped and usable open space requirements are based on the percentage of gross floor area. Our previous bylaw only mentioned this in a table heading, and that was inadvertently left out during recodification.

Group members noted that an additional 7'3" to 7' change was necessary in section 5.3.22(A)(2). Steve suggests citing 5.3.22(A)(2) in the definitions for "Open Space, Usable" and "Open Space, Landscaped".

(E) Other districts dimensional and density regulation. This article would add a table of abbreviations to section 5.6.2. The same table of abbreviations appears in section 5.4.2 and 5.5.2.

(F) Prohibited Uses. This article would add section 5.2.2(C) with the text "any use not designated with a Y or SP in the Tables of Uses is prohibited".

Charlie asks if there have been any complaints about glare from solar panels. Jenny Raitt is not aware of any complaints; none have been made to DPCD.

The group will have an opportunity to review resident petitions on Feb 5th. RKG will also give a presentation at the Feb 5th meeting, and we should schedule an additional hour to accommodate everything.


Project Updates. The RSG was scheduled to get a presentation on residential design guidelines on Jan 29th. That has to be rescheduled because several members of that group won't be able to attend. Part of the project will involve creating a process for design review. Harriman is the consultant for the project.

The Net Zero plan is being overseen by the clean energy future committee. The clean energy future committee has also been discussing a natural gas ban, similar to what Brookline has passed. This would be a change to town bylaws, rather than to the ZBL. The attorney general is not likely to finish their review of Brookline's bylaw in time for town meeting.

The Sustainable Transportation Plan Committee will build upon transportation goals outlined in the master plan. Steve would like our Industrial district analysis to consider what our transportation infrastructure is able to support (i.e., businesses may not want to locate here if we cannot support their transportation needs).

David Watson asks what's going on with the bike share. The town is considering docked stations, but we'd have to figure out where to sight them, and the costs involved.

Christian Klein asks if the mobility plan will consider improvements to the Minuteman Bikeway. Ms. Raitt says that there are ideas being tossed around, but nothing concrete.

We're starting to work on a Fair housing action plan. This is in response to a HUD requirement for communities to address impediments to the creation of housing. We are working on an analysis with an attorney that specializes in Fair housing. There will be focus groups and outreach efforts in the spring, likely working with the new director of diversity and inclusion.

John asks what "Fair Housing" means. Ms. Zwirko says the term comes from the Fair Housing act.

David asks if the diversity coordinator will provide training on equity issues. Ms. Raitt says that she will. The select board and staff will be trained first. Mr. Watson thinks it will be useful for the town to explore equity issues.