Zoning Recodification Working Group - Nov 17th, 2017

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On Monday, the selectmen will call a special town meeting for Feb. 2018. The first ARB hearing is scheduled for Jan 8th. Dates for subsequent ARB meetings are TBD.

The group approves minutes from our Nov 1st meeting.

We discuss section 1.5 in the recodified ZBL, versus the corresponding section 12.01 in the current bylaw. Juli may have oversimplified the language here. There's a missing sentence about abutter notifications for map changes, and that should be put back.

Also missing is a long sentence which states how non-resident property owners can register with the town clerk to receive notifications about map updates. DPCD checked with the Town Clerk's office, and the Clerk says no one has ever registered under this provision. We believe this provision can be taken out, since it's never been used, and since there's similar language in 40A.

We discuss precinct outreach meetings, similar to what the master plan committee did a few years ago. We'd like to have four of them, starting in Jan 2018. The 1975 recodification also did four precinct meetings. We could send postcards to each TMM, to inform them of the precinct meetings.

ZRWG members should continue to review the third draft. Please get comments to Laura on or before Nov 27th. Earlier is better. We would like to make necessary corrections, and publish the third draft on Dec 1st.

We're leaving the sign section as-is, with the exception of a few minor edits. There are currently disagreements among attorneys about what it means to be compliant with Reed v. Gilbert.

We plan to do media outreach in December and January. This will consist of newspaper articles, and ACMi interviews.

We proposed several new definitions. Each new definition should be accompanied with an explanation of why it's necessary.

We discussed how numbers appear in the ZBL. Sometimes they're written numerically ("45") and sometimes they're spelled out ("forty-five"). After some debate, the group is leaning towards a numeric representation (for readability). We'll write out units and symbols, like "feet", "inches", and "percent". In tables and illustrations, it's okay to abbreviate feet as "ft" and inches as "in".

Members of the group summarize outreach conversations they've had with town meeting members.

We had a brief discussion about Judi's illustrations. Steve is also working on illustrations. He'll finish the ones that Judi hasn't done. Steve will collaborate with Christian, Nancy, Mike, and Marshall.

Lela, Cathy, and Nathaniel reviewed the sections on the inland wetlands and floodplain districts. We'd have to make sweeping changes in this section, to get the language statutory coverage to line up with Conservation Commission regulations, and the town wetland bylaws. This section is still under review. We expect to make a few small changes, and save the rest for later. Things we might address now: the ZBL refers to 1998 maps, which are no longer current; the ZBL uses the term "100-year flood plain", which FEMA now calls the "1% flood zone"; the ZBL mentions numbered A zones, which FEMA hasn't used them for years.

David put TMM survey responses into a spreadsheet. The vast majority of TMMs were aware of the process. A number of responses were complimentary, and a few asked for more information about the process. Some people wanted more detailed documentation of changes, and others wanted a short one-page summary.