Accessory Dwellings - public hearing and minor revisions

The Planning Board held its public hearing on January 14, 2020 as advertised, on the subject of a zoning amendment relating to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). For a description of the draft bylaw version that was discussed at the hearing, see the previous News & Announcements item titled “Next Steps on Accessory Dwelling Units”.

After receiving comments, closing the hearing and discussing various suggestions received for further changes, the Board asked staff to draft a further revised version, changing the minimum rear yard setback for detached ADUs from 15 feet to 20 feet. For context, this compares with the 10 foot setback for other accessory buildings and 30 foot setback for principal buildings i.e. the main house. The Board also asked for language to be added to the bylaw to indicate how any ADUs proposed on nonconforming properties will be handled, referencing the provisions for such properties in Section 7.1.

The revised version of the bylaw amendment will be included in the Town Meeting warrant before it is finalized by the Selectmen. The Planning Board is charged by the state Zoning Act with making recommendations to Town Meeting on Zoning Bylaws. Under the Town’s Charter & Bylaws, the Selectmen and Finance Committee also give recommendations. Other boards and individuals are free to offer opinions at Town Meeting.