Town zoning changes eyed

Written by mike melanson
 | Wednesday, 05 December 2012 16:03

The time has come for Duxbury to revisit the town’s protective bylaw and restate it as a whole, according to a draft report prepared by the Zoning Bylaw Review Committee. 

The 10-member committee was appointed by selectmen in June 2011 to consider if the bylaw should be clarified.
The protective bylaw has been amended by Town Meeting 23 times since 2003, which has created ambiguity, duplication and inconsistency, according to the 26-page report, which was issued on Sept. 17 and is posted on the town Web site.
The Zoning Bylaw Review Committee is recommending that the town should form a working group and hire a zoning consultant to re-codify the bylaw to give it a unified, coherent structure.
The ZBRC is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Weyerhaeuser Room at the senior center, 10 Mayflower St., to discuss public comment on the committee’s report, finalize the report, and discuss a Town Meeting warrant article for a consultant.
Zoning Bylaw Review Committee Chairman Robert Fitzpatrick, who is one of the committee’s seven citizen-at-large members, said the ZBRC held a public hearing on the report on Oct. 3.
The ZBRC also includes representatives from the Planning Board, Board of Appeals, Design Review Board and selectmen.
The report has been considered during meetings of the selectmen, Planning Board, Design Review Board and Board of Appeals since the ZBRC public hearing, Fitzpatrick said.
“Most of the work of the committee is complete at this point. The purpose of Wednesday’s meeting is to complete the business of the committee,” he said.
In its draft report, the ZBRC also recommends creating a guide or outline to help guide property owners and applicants through the permitting process, and offering formal training for new members of the town’s land use boards.
The report also recommends clarifying the bylaw governing extension or alteration of nonconforming uses, and reviewing the bylaw governing the reconstruction of existing piers as new piers in the Waterfront Scenic Overlay District.
Fitzpatrick said the ZBRC is not recommending any changes to the zoning bylaw and was charged to consider if the bylaw should be restated.
“All the report does is say in essence that the Duxbury zoning bylaw has been patched together over time through various amendments, and would benefit through the re-codification of the bylaw,” he said.