Planning Board Says Sign Bylaw Amendment Not Ready for Town Meeting
With Town Meeting rapidly drawing closer, Board unable to resolve last few changes to proposed bylaw
The Westford Planning Board voted unanimously at Monday evening’s meeting to recommend temporary dismissal of Article 20, which amends the town’s Zoning Bylaws concerning sign regulations, from the Town Meeting agenda.
With the annual Town Meeting looming a mere five days from its meeting, the Board reached the difficult decision after two months of public hearings.
Director of Land Use Management Chris Kluchman again provided Board members a revised draft of the proposed amendment that differentiated between the existing and proposed sign bylaws.
Some of the more challenging issues that have left the Board at a standstill involve portable signs and the reduction in size of wall signs. Incorporating those changes without drawing the ire of the business community has left Board members the unenviable task of striking a delicate balance.
As the Board took up the matter again, discussion quickly turned to whether the amendment should be put forth at Town Meeting.
Vice Chairman Mike Green didn’t feel that was the path to proceed down.
“In my view, continue the public hearing past Town Meeting and keep going”, Green said.
Matt Lewin and Kate Hollister suggested pulling out sections of the proposed amendment the Board hadn’t come to a consensus on yet, such as portable signs, and put forth the majority of the amendment at Town Meeting.
Lewin suggested this course of action benefits the town in the case of there being no existing section on sites with multiple buildings, such as Cornerstone Square. The town then reaps the rewards of a more thorough bylaw while the Board continues to fine tune the more difficult sections.
Dennis Galvin agreed with Green by saying he doesn’t want to pass the bylaw “piece meal” and that the Board isn’t “ready to do anything now.”
The public hearing on the sign regulations will likely continue at the April 1 Planning Board meeting. For more information about the sign bylaws, visit the town's website.