Lyndeborough to keep growth ordinance in place

LYNDEBOROUGH – Considering the rate of growth in neighboring towns, the Planning Board decided to keep the town’s growth management ordinance in place for another five years on Thursday night.

Lyndeborough has had a growth management ordinance in place for some years, and it must be reviewed and renewed by the Planning Board every five years.

The ordinance restricts residential building permits to 3.2 percent of existing dwellings, now calculated at 20 new homes per year. There is a limit of two permits per person until December, when an applicant may request any permits remaining for the year. Unused permits are rolled over to the following year, but for the following year only.

So far this year, only ten permits have been issued, leaving ten to be rolled over to next year.

Changes in the building codes and a new plan for preserving open space through large lot conservation designations were also topics discussed during public hearings Thursday. Only a handful of people attended.

Open space would be addressed under a new section in the zoning ordinances, 404.10, Conservation Lands, and falls under state regulations called “Innovative Land Use Controls.”

The provision would be optional for the development of lots of at least 60 acres. The option calls for the creation of lots of at least 30 acres, with no further subdivision, and allows for one residence on the lot.

The remainder of the lot would be restricted to agricultural and forestry uses only.

The created lots must have access to a town road, and, where possible, have a common entrance. They do not require any frontage.

This type of subdivision would be expedited, with approval at the meeting following acceptance of the plan.

Member Tom Chrisenton noted the large number of such properties in town, with very large back lots that are not presently financially feasible to develop – a situation which will change as neighboring towns grow. He noted in a handout, “This type of development will help to ensure the town’s goal of maintaining the rural character, because under this option, only agriculture and forestry are the permitted uses.”

It was noted that snowmobile trails, hunting and other activities would continue to be allowed.

The proposal is a version of the town’s current Large Lot Subdivision Ordinance, which allows subdivisions to have private roads with a 10-acre lot minimum size, if the average lot size is 25 acres. With some restrictions, there can be further subdivision.

The proposal was accepted for inclusion on the town warrant.