Friday, September 18, 2020

Planning Board Update

By Steve “Stef” Stefanides

After a protracted discussion on a conditional use permit to allow a nautical boat garage, and the subsequent discussion for the provision for a passive dock along the seawall on that property, the Planning Board finally approved the petitioner’s request. This was the second such request in the last two years for a similar layout for a new home.

The board quickly dispatched the request for a temporary use permit for the fire department to place a module trailer on the Utility Department’s campus on Elkcam Circle until the council could deal with the replacement of the Station 51 quarters, which were damaged by fire in July of this year.

They deferred any action regarding alley parking until their January 6, 2017 meeting in an effort to deal with a review of the work done by their consultants regarding the Land Development Code (LDC) revisions.

The board took their first official look at stage one of the review of the LDC and the recommendations being made by the consultant for cleaning up some of the language, and other related issues within the existing code.

The city has contracted with Calvin, Giordano & Associates for a phased approach to updating the important document, to include cleaning up the language within the LDC and the eventual debate over a number of “policy” issues within the code and the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. This is in an effort to insure both are in line with each other.

Richard Cannone from the firm led the board through a review of the 33 issues that were identified as needing to be cleaned up within the document. Those issue ranged from discussions regarding MICA deed restrictions to the access to boat docking facilities.

Dr. Trotter, a member of the board, was focused like a laser beam on the issue of density and the need to insure any changes being proposed did not include an increase in the density on the island.

Tammy Scott of Growth Management explained that the purpose of the exercise would be to determine which of the items presented to the board would be recommended to council to be included in the second part of the work to be done. Those recommendations would be forwarded to the city council, who would either agree or disagree with the Planning Board’s recommendations.

It was apparent during their almost five hour meeting that a number of the issues before them will require in-depth discussions before reaching recommendations that can be forwarded to council.

The board will continue their discussions regarding the issues that the consultant had highlighted when they meet again on January 6, 2017 after the holidays. Should this board not conclude their work in January, it may fall to a newly constituted board to continue their work, as a number of their terms will expire by the end of next month, awaiting either reappointment or replacement to that board.

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