The City Council voted 5-0 at their most recent meeting to extend the City’s Interim Zoning Bylaw for a period of six months. The Bylaw places a temporary prohibition in certain parts of the City on new subdivisions, planned unit developments, and principal buildings not previously while a series of studies and amendments to the City’s permanent Land Development Regulations are completed. Under the bylaw, applicants within the applicable areas may seek approval from the Council to proceed if certain criteria are met. All projects in applicable areas also remain subject to the current Land Development Regulations.
The Council made the decision to extend the Interim bylaw following a public hearing and presentation from Jessica Louisos, chair of the Planning Commission, on the status of the amendments underway.
The Interim Zoning Bylaw was first adopted in November 2018. Under State Law, a municipality may adopt an Interim Bylaw for an initial period of up to two years, and one additional year thereafter. The Council chose to extend the bylaw for a shorter period of just six months, and thereafter, if necessary, consider up to two subsequent extensions of three months each.
In its initial adoption, the Interim Zoning bylaw identified four tasks to complete:
- An analysis of undeveloped open spaces, forest blocks and working landscape and updated prioritized for conservation of these lands, completed January 2020
- Completion of extensive updates to the City’s Planned Unit Development and Master Plan standards, underway
- An analysis of the program for the Transfer of Development Rights and recommendations, completed July 2019
- A cost-benefit analysis of hypothetical development, completed in March 2020
Ms. Louisos in her presentation said that the Planning Commission’s work on these projects is ongoing and that a complete draft is anticipated early in the new year for public review.
Visit the project website for more information on the Planned Unit Development Project.