The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 7, 2010

Articles 25 - 27: Zoning Bylaw revisions for Wetland/Flood Hazard District, Site Plan Review

Town Meeting Warrant Articles 25 - 27 all deal with proposed revisions to Carlisle’s Zoning Bylaws and each requires a two-thirds majority vote for adoption. Articles 25 and 26 relate to updating the Wetland/Flood Hazard District. Failure to accept these changes could result in Carlisle’s suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Article 27 revises and moves portions of the Site Plan Review Bylaw to new Rules and Regulations. The Rules and Regulations may be updated as needed by the Board of Selectmen (BOS) without further Town Meeting vote, providing greater flexibility to the board.

If passed, Article 25 will amend Section 5.2, Wetland/Flood Hazard District, of the Zoning Bylaws with new provisions that keep the Town in compliance with the NFIP. It includes the definition and specification of FEMA Regulations (Federal Emergency Management Authority), identification of prohibited encroachments in certain FEMA zones, standards for development in flood-prone areas, and notification of watercourse alterations. Encroachments are prohibited in the regulatory floodway which would result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge along watercourses that have a regulatory floodway designated on the Middlesex County FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Maps)

Article 26, Location of Districts Zoning Bylaw amendment, revises Section 2.2, Location of Districts, to define the boundaries of the Wetland/Flood Hazard District as an overlay district consistent with flood hazard areas defined on the Middlesex County Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and the Middlesex County Flood Insurance Study (FIS), both dated June 4, 2010. The FIRM and the FIS are incorporated by reference and are made part of the Zoning District Map of the Town of Carlisle.

Planning Administrator George Mansfield summarized Article 27, saying “The proposal is to revise Section 7.6 of the Zoning Bylaws (Site Plan Review) by clarifying, but not changing, its applicability by moving detailed application requirements from the Bylaws to the Rules and Regulations as promulgated by the Board of Selectmen.”

The Site Plan Review process is invoked prior to the construction of a new building or alteration of an existing building, where the principal use of the structure is non-residential. Establishment of a principal non-residential use in an existing building or intensifying a non-residential use is subject to the same review. The Ferns’ addition, Center Park, Banta-Davis Field, Historical Society’s Heald House and Assurance Technology renovations were all subject to site plan review.

When Selectmen discussed the changes with the Planning Board on April 12, BOS Chair Tim Hult said that the revision would give the Selectmen greater discretion to waive requirements moved to the Rules and Regulations, if appropriate for a particular project. He noted that the range of projects subject to site plan review warrants flexibility. ∆

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