The rules changes, published on the town website, would affect the height, square footage and setback requirements for new homes, renovations and additions, in the Village Infill Planning Area.
A public hearing on the revisions is planned during the Town Board meeting Tuesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.
The town decided to tighten the rules last year after concerns arose that some residential construction projects were out of character with surrounding neighborhoods.
“The Town’s historic core cannot remain static, but its existing character is worth preserving,” says the text of the revisions. “It is acceptable for new houses to be larger than old ones, but not so much larger as to threaten the neighborhood character.”
The revisions unveiled this week incorporate and build upon interim rules that the town board adopted in October 2006, according to town planner Lauren Blackburn, who has been overseeing the revision process.
The interim rules are scheduled to expire this October, or sooner if the town adopts the new rules, Ms. Blackburn said.
Among other things, the latest revisions set slightly different requirements for each of six new “overlay districts” within the Village Infill area. One criticism about the interim rules was that blanket restrictions were inappropriate for the diverse collection of new and old neighborhoods within the infill zone.
WHAT THE RULES DO
Town officials began working on planning ordinance revisions in 2006, after some residents complained about construction that was dramatically increasing home sizes, pushing construction too close to lot lines or adding height beyond what exists in their neighborhoods.
So the town adopted the interim rules last fall. They say:
- Additions of more than 250 square feet must meet design and size restrictions.
- Front setbacks cannot be greater or less than other structures within 500 feet on either side, and must be within 10 feet of the closest house.
- Heights are restricted to 37 feet or 2½ stories, whichever is less.
The revisions offered this week keep much of the intent of the interim rules, though some restrictions have been updated. Maximum heights are lower, and vary by neighborhood, for example.
The biggest change is the addition of new overlay districts designed to recognize the varied character of neighborhoods within the Village Infill Planning Area.
“This is all in response to the concern in October that an ordinance for the entire Village Infill was not being sensitive to different neighborhoods within and their distinct character,” Ms. Blackburn said in an e-mail.
A map published along with the rules (above), and a key supplied in the text of the rules divides the old part of town into zones where height and square footage restrictions will vary. So instead of a blanket height limit of 37 feet or 2½ stories, for example, the proposed rules now set a range of height limits, from 32 feet to 35 feet, depending on the neighborhood.
The text of the revisions is on the town Website, and it continues to undergo minor revisions this week in advance of Tuesday’s hearing, according to Ms. Blackburn. The most up to date version of the rules is available on the town site.
Residents will be invited to give their views on the revisions on Tuesday.
Tuesday, April 10, 7 p.m., during the town board meeting, at town hall.
More information, including the text of the revisions and overlay map, is available on the town website.
Dec. 4, 2006, Davidson News & Notes, “Revised Village Infill building rules published.”
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