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EVENT NAME: Public Q&A – Expanded “Planned Development” Zoning amendment
 
Organizer: Rusty Keith 

 

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.

 

There will be a petitioned warrant article to amend Lyme’s zoning ordinance to expand the potential of “Planned Development” outside the confines of the common and commercial districts. This change would eliminate the Select Board’s need to monitor the growth of our non-conforming businesses along route 10.
Public question and answer sessions have been scheduled for Saturday February 22 at 11:00 am and Tuesday the 25th at 7:00 pm in the meeting room of the library.

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.

 

Hope to see folks on the 22nd at 11:00am and/or the 25th at 7:00pm.  In the meantime, or if you are unable to attend, please feel free to email me (off the listserv).  I’m happy to try to answer any questions and/or compile concerns to be shared at the public sessions.

 

Thank You, and let’s all get out there and vote this year!!

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