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Zoning Bylaw Information for Cohasset
Zoning Bylaw Information for Cohasset
Zoning Bylaw Information for Cohasset

Published on: 04/01/2024

Description

3W5A0129 - Cohasset, Ma

April 1, 2024 By Tom Callahan, Chair Member of the Planning Board

All zoning bylaws proposed to go before Town Meeting must go through a statutory review and recommendation process with Planning Board. As chair of both the Planning Board and proponent Zoning Bylaw Committee, I want to make it known that the public hearing process before the Planning Board will begin on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, at 6:30 PM at Wilcutt Commons. The meeting will be both live and by Zoom.

In the next step of the top to bottom reform of the zoning bylaw that has gone before two previous town meetings, the Zoning Bylaw Committee is presenting a number of changes. First, there will be two articles to complete reorganization of the structure of the bylaw by both consolidation of the number of zoning articles from 22 to 12 and by consolidation of commercials zoning districts in the Harbor, on 3A, and with respect to village zoning. One feature of the Harbor consolidation is that expansion of mixed use/condo development in the commercial areas of the Harbor will not be permitted.

Next will be the article for Cohasset’s implementation of the MBTA Communities legislation.

What is being proposed is an overlay district, overlaying the commercial district on 3A in proximity to the Cohasset station. Fourteen assessed parcels are proposed for inclusion in this district, all south of the station on both sides of 3A. The amount of acreage being proposed is slightly over the minimum required because of the fact that a necessary connecting parcel that is unbuildable wetlands must be included. The MBTA Communities law requires Cohasset to create a district where multifamily housing is allowed as of right. By the state formula, density of this district is far more than we currently have in Cohasset and requires us to zone a minimum of 43 acres yielding the possibility of 638 units, 15 units per acre. We emphasize that the law does not require anything to be actually built, we just have to zone for the possibility.

The next proposal will make some housekeeping and small substantive changes to our parking bylaw, Article 7. The most significant substantive change will be to increase the required number of spaces attributable to residential units in the village.

We will also be proposing some changes to Article 5, our dimensional regulations. First, we will propose creation of a border zone where the Village and Harbor commercial properties abut Residential districts to increase setback and lower building height to create a step-back effect away from the Residential property line. A similar concept has long existed between 3A commercial properties and abutting residential properties. Second, we will propose changing the way we measure house sizes by switching from a two-dimensional footprint measurement to a three-dimensional floor area ratio approach. This will bring proportionality of house size to lot size to ensure neighborhood fit and cohesion. The FAR numbers chosen embody the average house sizes found in each of the Residential districts through data gathered in 2021. The intent is to embrace our development patterns to date and remove the threat for far larger out of scale house sizes that current zoning allows. The final change will be to edit the Large Home Review bylaw, to accommodate the FAR language. Large Home Review is proposed to continue under the new FAR system.

News Source : https://cohassetanchor.com/zoning-bylaw-information-for-cohasset/

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