Fellow voters of Lyme
It’s that time of year again. Time to give some serious thought about the decisions we’ll be asked to make as we cast our votes for our elected officials and the warrant articles to direct them.
Currently, these grandfathered businesses in the residential district are not permitted to increase their intensity of use, by more than 50% of what existed when the town adopted zoning back in 1989. The problem is, there are no records of the intensity of use that existed over 30 years ago. This vagueness simply invites subjective disagreements which can lead to expensive lawsuits. The lack of specifics undermines the basic purpose of zoning, which is to define and protect the public interest of the town and abutting properties from a property owner’s inconsistent use of their property.
The question is, do voters of the town feel that it is inappropriate for existing or other potential businesses to grow and prosper along the route 10 corridor? Furthermore, is it fair to the abutting properties of our existing non-conforming businesses, that their properties do not have the same potential business use, available to them.
All Planned Developments still require Planning Board approval by our strict site plan review process and any business development requires the inclusion of 15% residential use. The concept of Planned Development has been in our zoning ordinance from the very beginning. Its availability has been limited to the common and commercial districts. In over 30 years, it has not attracted a single development in those districts.
Will this zoning change attract new development to the limited remaining non-developed or conserved lots abutting route 10? Perhaps not, but it will allow non-conforming business along route 10 (all with residences now) to be considered “Planned Developments” and allow them the potential to grow and prosper with Planning Board approval after site plan review.