Bennington: Hearing to address zoning changes

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 12/5/2016 6:28:09 PM

The Planning Board is holding a public hearing regarding two amendments on its zoning ordinance on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall.

The board will ask for the public’s feedback on an amendment change in an article that currently allows accessory dwelling units by special exception and replaces it with a new article that allows the units as a right in all zones where single-family residences are allowed.

Planning Board Chair David McKenzie said the change to the ordinance came as a result of a law passed by the state legislature, which states all accessory dwelling units must be allowed in all districts. The change does not apply to detached accessory dwelling units.

“It expands the rights of homeowners rather than restricts them,” McKenzie said.

The change to the ordinance is slated to go into effect June 1, 2017, although it would be implemented immediately if it’s passed at Town Meeting.

Another amendment pertaining to signs will be discussed as well. The amendment was made to comply with a recent federal decision, which requires that sign regulations are neutral as to sign content.

Mckenzie said the changes ensures a town is not able to restrict sign content. He said he doesn’t think the change will effect much in town, although there was some language in preexisting zoning laws that were not content neutral.

If passed at Town Meeting, the changes would go into effect immediately.

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