Zoning Recodification Working Group - Jan 5th, 2017
RKG will conduct interviews on Jan 18th and 19th. They'll interview members of this group, along with a number of other folks who have experience interacting with zoning law. We discussed about people who might be interested in participating in the interview process. The list included a few developers, contractors, significant property owners, the ZBA, ARB, historic commission, land attorneys (who represent clients at the ZBA), the conservation commission, and people who worked on the 1975 recodification. We're still trying to flush the list out. The planning department will contact these individuals, to see who's interested in participating. We should also try to interview a number of town meeting members.
On Saturday morning, Jan 28th, RKG will have an all-boards meeting. The goal is to meet with all town boards that have interest/involvement in zoning.
We got an update on some of the work the residential study group has been doing. There are three topics, from three residential study subgroups: (1) zoning changes regarding driveway slope, (2) a good neighbor agreement for large residential construction projects, and (3) a survey.
Driveway slope may become a warrant article for this year's town meeting. It's focused on limiting downward slope from the street to the garage. The good neighbor agreement tries to collect all of the bylaws relevant to construction projects. This would be presented to the property owners, to ensure that they're aware of bylaws affecting work hours, noise, dust control, and so forth. It would also require a property owner to notify abutters within 300 feet, and hold a meeting to hear abutter concerns. The good neighbor agreement includes several items that aren't part of current town bylaws; it will also require bylaw amendments. One of the goals is to ensure that abutters are aware of large construction or demolition work taking place nearby, and to provide a channel for addressing grievances (e.g., work that starts too early, or creates too much noise).
The good neighbor agreement applies to residential work, but not commercial work. It wouldn't apply to (say) a large project in a commercial zone that abuts a residential zone. Perhaps the ARB could provide public review in that case.
The survey will be sent to abutters of large residential projects that were done during the last few years. Survey monkey will be the primary mechanism for gathering data; the group anticipates a few surveys being filled out on paper.
The ARB will propose a small number of zoning articles this year, with changes to mixed use development. These changes come from feedback gathered during the year since the changes went into effect. The mixed use regulations have been too restrictive in terms of floor area ratio and the number of units allowed on a lot. The ARB will discuss these at their next meeting.