Zoning Recodification Working Group - Jun 29th, 2017

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Judi Barrett and Eric Halverson presented changes in the ZBL second reading draft.

Do we need the term "dormitory"? Yes, there are dormitories in town.

Commercial vehicles. There's a difference between the state definition of "commercial vehicle" and the definition in our ZBL. Communities tend to define commercial vehicle according to weight. After some discussion, we decide to leave the definition as-is.

Rehabilitation residence/group home. We could have a single definition for the various types of special needs residences (i.e., a group of unrelated adults with special needs, who are living together). We need to be mindful of Dover exceptions. It would be nice to remove archaic terms, and use state definitions where possible.

Combining districts. Changes to residential districts are definitely out of scope for the recodification. It would be nice to think about combining some of the business districts, but that will probably have to wait until later (i.e., not in the recodification).

Municipal Buildings. The ZBL is very ambiguous about what municipal buildings are allowed where. For example, the DPW yard is in zone R1, but DPW yard is not an allowed use for R1. Should there be some sort of exception for municipal uses? This happens to be a germane example, since the DPW yard has to move at some point. How will the town go about figuring out where to put it? This is probably too big a policy change to make right now.

We discussed a tentative agenda for the July 13th public meeting. The Zoning 101 section may need to be longer. Better to schedule 30 minutes for this section, rather than fifteen.

We brainstorm questions for table exercises. A few examples:

  • What would you like to see more of in the town?
  • What have you used the ZBL for, and what was the experience like? Would the recodified version have made it easier?

We need to agree on a strategy for handling policy questions. Policy questions could open the discussion to a lot of complaints, and we're not addressing policy in this phase of the recodification.

Most of the people who come to zoning meetings tend to know something about zoning. They'll be looking for information about what's changed.

We could do scenario exercises. Give the tables a task, ask them to work through it, and come up with an answer. More or less like beta-testing the new ZBL.

Signs. We'd like to get signs out of the ZBL and into the general bylaw. We definitely need to make people aware of this change. Bob Mitchell is working on a revised sign bylaw that integrates what's currently in the ZBL.