Proposed zoning changes intended to have broad implications for stimulating growth in town are expected to appear on the Special Town Meeting warrant Nov. 12.
KINGSTON – Proposed zoning changes intended to have broad implications for stimulating growth in town are expected to appear on the Special Town Meeting warrant Nov. 12.
The Zoning Subdivision Committee has been working with attorney Joel Bard of KP Law and Robert Mitchell Consulting to update the town’s zoning bylaws and subdivision regulations after $90,000 was approved for this purpose at Town Meeting 2017.
Two bylaw changes are proposed by Zoning Subdivision Committee members and Building Inspector and Zoning Enforcement Officer Jason Silva.
“Both the substantive changes that we are proposing, the mixed use and special permit language, are not specific to any parcel,” Silva said. “It’s taking a big broad look at what’s out there.”
Silva said the first substantive change, to the mixed-use bylaw for the town center and commercial zoning area, would allow a commercial use on the first floor and residences on the second and or third floor. It’s designed to stimulate growth in the R20 zoned served by the town sewer.
He said this would allow a developer to take the old Tura’s Pharmacy building, for example, and potentially add units to provide tax revenue and a live-work arrangement with a special permit from the Planning Board.
The other bylaw change would affect special permit requirements for the issuance of a dimensional waiver of a special permit by the granting authority, whether it’s the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals, but may still require a variance.
“All it does is create opportunity,” Silva said.
Zoning Subdivision Committee member John Haas has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and said the change gives the granting authorities some latitude and some flexibility to grant relief through waivers.
While separately proposing two substantive changes, the committee focused on reorganizing and restructuring the zoning bylaws in a more modern format through a redesign. Definitions are alphabetized. There’s a new use table and a separate section on overlay districts.
Bard said they reviewed whether all the bylaws were consistent with case law and propose updates accordingly. Most of the bylaws inconsistent with case law were agriculture-related, with childcare centers another example.
Planning Board Chairman Tom Bouchard said it’s good that the bylaws are cleaned up and legible, and that the committee’s work isn’t done yet.
The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes Monday, Oct. 28, with the goal of seeking approval of the changes in November.
Follow Kathryn Gallerani on Twitter @kgallreporter.