Westford Planning Board Recommends Two Zoning Bylaw Amendments
Board will continue debate about restaurant drive-thrus
On Monday evening the Westford Planning Board voted to recommend two of the three Zoning Bylaw amendment warrant articles it previously continued from the February 19 meeting.
The first warrant article, Article 21-Sidewalk Funding, grants the Planning Board the authority to waive the required sidewalk construction associated with land development projects in lieu of the developer making a financial contribution to the town.
Westford has historically done this for over 20 years on projects where constructing sidewalks wouldn’t make practical sense. The contributions are deposited into a fund for the purpose of building sidewalks in higher priority areas or fixing sidewalks in dire need of repair.
When the Board does waive construction in exchange for a contribution to the sidewalk fund, the amount of the contribution shall be at least equal to the construction cost of installing sidewalks for that specific project. The amount will be determined and agreed upon by the Planning Board.
The second warrant article, Article 22-Update Floodplain Overlay District, provides updates to the floodplain bylaws based on a recommendation made in letter form by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
All future development in floodplains shall now comply with portions of the Massachusetts State Building Code for floodplain construction, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Wetlands Protection Regulations and Inland Wetlands Restrictions, and Minimum Requirements for Subsurface Disposal of Sanitary Sewage.
Discussion continued on Article 23-Drive-thru Restaurants.
If allowed, restaurant drive-thrus would be granted by the Planning Board under the Special Permit process. Drive-thrus would have specific hours of operation from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The Board continued to debate the appropriate distance between drive-thrus with a proposed range between 500 and 1,00 feet.
The Planning Board voted to continue the amendment on drive-thrus to the March 18 meeting.
A temporary moratorium on medical marijuana treatment centers was previously approved at the February 19hearing.