Zoning Recodification Working Group - Sep 8th, 2017

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Outreach plan. We would like to present consistent outreach messages to the public. We might consider running a story in the Advocate, to speak to concerns raised during the last public forum. We should also have an outreach effort for town meeting members.

Laura has been trying to get in touch with people involved in the Newton and Somerville recodification, to see what their outreach strategy has been.

DPCD will hold the first public open house on zoning recodification next Thursday, from 5--7pm. The goal is to make town officials (and members of this group) available for questions and comments. The open house dates are on the town calendar. We should get them on ACMI's calendar too.

We should be clear about the intent to remove administrative procedures from the ZBL, so that boards can amend administrative procedures without having to go to town meeting.

Where applicable, we should point to the master plan and zoning diagnostic as the reason for changes.

We discuss next steps with Judi. Judi has submitted two drafts, and there's one draft left. The third reading draft could be ready by the end of October. We should leave some time between the next public forum and the draft due date, in order to incorporate feedback given during the public forum.

The Mass municipal association is having a conference on Reed v Gilbert compliance. That may provide useful guidance for handling the signs section of our ZBL (and general bylaws).

From internal reviews, we have a good grasp of what changed in the recodification, but the public will want to know why. Judi recommends focusing on the big changes, like combining use and dimensional regulations into the section on District Regulations.

The building department would like to clarify sections having to do with retaining walls. They would also like to bring third floor height requirements in line with state law. The building department is okay with leaving these changes out, if they'd be too controversial.

The ZBL recodification is for the public good. Inspectional Services staff understands the law, but they'd like it to be more understandable to the general public.

Doug Heim suggests calling out specific changes we've made in response to public comment.

We decide to work on a section key internally, along with explanations of changes.