Hearing set on proposed changes to town zoning
NEW IPSWICH - The Planning Board will hold a public hearing next Monday to discuss proposed amendments to the town’s zoning. The hearing will cover the proposed changes seven through 12; a hearing was held on the first six proposals Dec. 18. Here is an overview of the proposed amendments to be discussed Jan. 5: n Amendment 7 would repeal the current Wetlands Conservation District and replace it with two new districts: Article X, Section D, Wetlands Conservation District, and Article X, Section E, Shoreline Conservation District, both overlays. The two new districts are intended to protect water quality and wildlife habitat by restricting uses within them. An overlay district includes all of the provisions of the underlying zone and is applied townwide as required. The Wetlands Conservation District is defined as any wetland area combined with a buffer around it, ranging from 50-200 feet depending on the size of the wet area. The Shorelines Conservation District is defined as all lands within a certain distance of streams and ponds, from 50-200 feet depending on the size of the pond or stream. Shoreline frontage requirements range from 150-300 feet depending on the size of the pond or stream. n Amendment 8 proposes a new Article XIII, Section O, dealing with accessory dwelling units, the so called “in-law apartments,” to allow for more flexibility in household living arrangements. Accessory dwelling units are on the same lot as the primary residence. Type A units are housing for guests or employees, but not tenants, and require a 10-acre lot. They may not be rented. Type B units are limited to no more than 30 percent of the residence’s heated space, may be attached or detached, and may not be rented. n Amendment 9 deals with phased development, proposing a new Article XIII, Section P, and is intended as a means to control the growth rate of the town. Applicants for a new subdivision would have a choice of phasing the development or conducting an impact study to determine the effects on the town’s infrastructure. If the Planning Board determines the development would place a sudden demand on services that cannot be provided with a reasonable expenditure of public funds, the development must be spread over a period of time to allow the town to meet the new demands. n Amendment 10 would amend Article X-C, Steep Slope District, Section 3, by increasing the required amount of land that is less than 15 percent slope on a lot from one acre to a minimum of one acre plus an additional 20,000 square feet per additional dwelling unit; specifying that this land must be non-wetland soils; and requiring that the shape of this area to be capable of containing a square 100 feet by 100 feet. The purpose of this requirement is to eliminate odd-shaped lots, created to meet the soils requirements. n Amendment 11 amends the zoning ordinance Article XVIII - Definitions, by clarifying the definition of two-family dwellings to show it does not include accessory apartments, and adding definitions for condominiums - dwelling units attached, soil carrying capacity, soil based carrying capacity of a lot, water body and wetlands. n Amendment 12 amends Article XIII, General Provisions, Section K - Septic Disposal, by changing the first sentence to read “No sewage effluent leaching field shall be located within 75 feet of the edge of any wetland, or within 75 feet of the normal bank of any lake, pond, river, stream or brook not subject to the provisions of the State Shoreline Protection Act.” The purpose is to make this section consistent with Article XII-A, Table of Dimensional Controls as amended in 1999. If a second hearing is required on any of the above amendments, it will be held at the town office Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. Copies of the proposed changes are available at the Town Office.