Zoning Overdevelopment: Can it be Curbed?

Leader Herald Staff

A planning initiative of sorts for Ward 3 zoning appears to be in its infancy stage following a meeting of the city council’s legislative committee last week.

Chaired by Mike Marchese, the discussion was led by Councilor Darren Costa and the city’s Planning Director Matt Lattanzi.

Much of the interplay between the parties, that is, between Costa and Lattanzi, was a heavily convoluted reiteration of zoning complexities and planning requirements, how they can be changed, how some must remain the same as well as limits of usage and recommendations to curb over development without snuffing out a hot local economy.

If there was an essence to the discussion coming from Costa, that was it.

A variety of questions were asked.

How do you define what should remain residential and what should be allowed to convert to business use?

Can you have other dwellings in a dwelling only district?

Some of the discussion centered on the inequities posed by the possible construction of 9 condos at the corner of Elm and Abbott Streets.

That corner property is a single family home now wishing to be converted into a 9 condo property.

Costa questioned the efficacy of such a development in a nearly all single family home street.

“Development needs to fit the needs of the neighborhood. We have to know what fits and what doesn’t fit, ” Costa said.

“Can we change the zoning map? Can we make modifications? Can there be limits to usage?” he asked.

Lattanzi presented the wide variety of options available to those who wish to develop and for those want to restrain development.

Costa countered by saying he wanted to limit impact, and to find hot zones.

Marchese in brief remarks referred to the Elm Street condo proposal as preposterous.

All those present agreed that this first brainstorming session be followed by at least one more before defining where to head with zoning changes.

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