Zoning Recodification Working Group - Jul 14th, 2017

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Today's meeting focused on reviewing last night's zoning overhaul presentation.

We got the impression that people think the proposed recodification is easier to navigate and use. Our main challenge will lie in convincing town meeting that there are no substantial policy changes hidden in the recodification. A good summary document would help to this end.

There was a general desire to have hyperlinks to external citations. For example Section 2A of chapter 808 of the acts of 1975.

With respect to definitions, we should be very clear about our attempt to separate definition from policy. Some definitions (e.g., height of building) may benefit by referencing sections where the relevant policy appears.

Definitions might include common language terms. For instance, one group tried to find a definition for "shed". Shed is really covered under "auxillary structure".

With respect to signs, we have to be cognizant of Reed vs. Gilbert. We also have to figure out how enforcement would work, if sign regulations were moved into the general bylaws.

Graphics and diagrams are still an open issue to be addressed. We don't want to re-use the existing diagrams, but we also don't have a good vehicle for producing new ones. Diagrams aren't part of RKG's scope of work for this project.

Next steps:

  • We need an improved summary document. People were very clearly interested in this.
  • We should have a "how to navigate" document.
  • We should have a ZBL FAQ. This isn't in scope for RKG, but could be a job for town staff.
  • We need an out-of-scope list: policy changes that we're intentionally not addressing in this recodification.
  • Transcribe notes from the public meeting, and post them to the town website.
  • We need to figure out what to do for graphs and diagrams.
  • We need a list of case-law related changes.
  • There are a bunch of issues surrounding signs. Signs are currently regulated in three places: the ZBL and two places in the general bylaws. In the general bylaws, signs are regulated by "Signs", and also by "Historic districts".
  • Several of us picked sections to proofread and analyze. I chose sections 1 and 4 (of the recodified ZBL). Proofing comments should be submitted by August 4th.