Zoning Recodification Working Group - Oct 4th, 2017

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The group discussed the Guide to the Zoning Bylaw Recodification (we previously referred to this document as the ``key). Suggestions included:

  • It would be helpful to have a table header on each page
  • The document should have page numbers
  • There should be a short section to explain what the different change categories mean.
  • We should remove empty columns on the right side of the document.

Will Judi be able to address errata before the next public forum? Probably not; we'll have to make those changes ourselves. Some errata involve intent; these items have to be discussed with Judi.

We discussed whether to include the errata column in the final version of the document. We decide that we should call out known issues. We'll probably rename the column to "open issues" or "outstanding issues".

Rick Vallerelli suggests adding something to the ZBL, which tells people to contact inspectional services with questions. This might go in the introduction, or in the portion of Section 3 which describes zoning officials.

The Conservation Commission sent an email to DPCD regarding the treatment of floodplain districts, but they haven't sent a formal document. The conservation commission supports the elimination of section 11.04 and 11.05, because those items are already covered by the conservation commission, and the ConCom regulations are more restrictive. We'll leave sections 11.04 and 11.05 in for now, but the guide will note our intent to remove them.

According to Marshall, 40A states that were the state building code conflicts with a local zoning bylaw, the state building code takes precedence. Are there other regulatory instruments that would take precedence over our ZBL? Rick believes that state home rule laws and town bylaws take precedence over the ZBL.

We dicuss incorporating state regulations by reference, or incorporating them verbatim. There are advantages to incorporating state regulations by reference. When the state regulation changes, you'll automatically be up to date.

Months ago, we talked about desirable administrative changes. For example, adding a "gatekeeper" step to the permitting process, to ensure that applicants knew which boards they'd have to contact (ZBA, Conservation commission, Historic Districts commission). We'll work on these administrative improvements during the second phase of recodification.

The guide needs to say something about signs.

We discuss timelines. We believe that we'll be able to publicize the guide on Oct 11th; that's one week before the next public forum.

We discuss RKG's memorandum document. This memo summarizes the results of RKG's interviews. Laura had added remarks, re: what items have been addressed, and which ones are still TBA. This could be a nice document to present to the public -- it lists the issues we were trying to address, and notes what has and hasn't been done. The language and presentation need more work. In particular, when we say an item wasn't addressed, we should explain why we chose not to address it.

Next topic: Outreach. Several members of the group are meeting with the advocate tomorrow.

Judi will attend our next public forum. Eric Halvorsen will not be able to attend.

Documents we should have available as handouts

  • The existing ZBL
  • The second reading draft
  • The guide
  • The table of definitions (and changes)
  • Judi's memo (with interview results)