Public hearing on subdivision and site plan regulations Wednesday

  • Town of Mason Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/28/2021 2:57:09 PM

This Wednesday, residents have the opportunity to offer input on proposed changes to Mason’s site plan review process and subdivision regulations.

Select Board member and Planning Board ex-officio Charlie Moser said Monday that the majority of the planned changes are “not substantial” and mainly administrative.

Both sets of regulations are under the authority of the Planning Board, and can be changed by the board after a public hearing process, without need for a town-wide vote, as some zoning amendments require.

If approved by the Planning Board, the subdivision regulations would create several new rules surrounding the design of cul-de-sac developments.

Currently, the subdivision regulations express a preference for a “hammer-head” – neighborhoods that end in a “T” shape – as opposed to a cul-de-sac, or looped ending. The new standards would flip that preference, and have cul-de-sacs as the standard design, as well as implement multiple new rules clarifying those standards.

For cul-de-sacs, the regulations outline the width of the road, shoulder and that the street leading to the cul-de-sac must be surfaced.

The updates outline similar standards for a “hammer-head” development.

The board has proposed eliminating several sections of the site plan review regulations.

The board has eliminated several requirements around land with “high intensity soils.” The town will still require high intensity soils maps for all site plans, unless the applicant requests a waiver. However, previously, the board required a recommendation from the Hillsborough County Conservation District to waive that requirement, and that the maps had to be prepared by a scientist certified by the Hillsborough County Conservation District. Those requirements will be struck under the revised rules.

Similarly, the board is also proposing to eliminate the requirement that the Hillsborough County Conservation District must recommend the waiver of erosion and sediment control plans, instead leaving it to the Planning Board’s discretion.

The board has also proposed minor changes into how fees for site plan reviews and subdivisions are paid.

Moser said most of the changes were proposed based on the current practices of the board and were due to the current regulations being outdated and needing review.

“These really are administrative things for the most part,” Moser said.

The Mason Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the regulation changes on Wednesday at 7 p.m., via Zoom to review proposed changes to both the subdivision and Site Plan Review regulations. A link to view the meeting is available on masonnh.us. The proposed amendments will be considered by the board for adoption. Copies of the regulations are available for review at the Select Board’s office.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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