Planning Board Proposed High Density Housing For Older Persons Amendment

Update:1-25-2021:  The planning board amended the draft language and sent this change to the ballot for 2021.  The final text can be found here as amendment (2):  2021 Final Zoning Amendments    The changes are an improvement from our present ordinance, but the improperly worded purpose statement remains.  Why was this weakness left in?  What properties will granted a variance as a result?

Problems with the Planning Board’s Proposed Zoning Amendment for 2021

  • The Planning Board’s proposal allows almost 300 units/year to be built; development at this rate is too high.  The amendment should limit the maximum number of units approved in a single year to 3% not 10% as the planning board proposed

  • The Planning Board’s proposal does not address the poorly written purpose section of the ordinance which seems written to facilitate developer's requests for waivers and variances.  Please request that the stronger language below be included or ask why the board why it will not include it.

The Purpose Statement of our presently in force Housing For Older Person’s ordinance is poorly worded. This is a vitally important section of the ordinance, since it is used by the courts and ZBA to determine challenges to our ordinance and to decide upon variance applications. The present language is not a restriction at all, but it is an encouragement. This language stands in direct opposition to the concept of an ordinance, which is the town’s tool to restrict development.

The presently in force ordinance purpose section is included below for reference:

A. PURPOSE: The regulations in this section have been established for the purpose of encouraging the construction of housing for older persons. The intent is to provide for such housing by the provision of a waiver from the otherwise applicable density requirements while complying with all applicable state and federal laws with respect to such housing, and at the same time, and ensuring compliance with local planning standards, land use policies, good building design, and the requirements for the health, safety, and general welfare of all the inhabitants of the Town.

Holliswatch proposed purpose section:

A. PURPOSE: The regulations in this section have been established for the purpose of preventing the overcrowding of land, and ensuring compliance with local planning standards, land use policies, good building design, and the requirements for the health, safety, and general welfare of all the inhabitants of the Town.

Please request that the Planning Board include an appropriate purpose statement to defend the will of town voters.

12-11-2020:

Letter documenting the exact text of the Planning Board's proposal with from and to markup: