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Speak Up About Swampscott Zoning

If you have any recommendations about zoning changes that you feel can help to better the community, you can bring them to the Zoning By-Law Review Subcommittee to be studied.

The Zoning By-Law Review Subcommittee held its first public meeting on Feb. 13.  Established by the Swampscott Planning Board, the zoning subcommittee will be looking at the town's Zoning By-Law.  

The subcommittee is made up of Planning Board members (current and former), lawyers, and a real estate agent.  Through their review efforts, they will identify elements of the by-law that can be updated or added to in order to better reflect the changing needs and desire of the community.

The subcommittee is looking for input from residents and business owners in Swampscott.  During the February meeting, the subcommittee decided to look into the following elements: awnings in the B-1 business district, zoning tools for density (such as cluster zoning), contractor signs during construction, and dimensional requirements for drive-throughs.

As the Zoning By-Law Review Subcommittee develops revised or new elements for the Zoning By-Law, they will submit them to the Planning Board.  The Planning Board will then review the proposals in order to determine whether they will endorse them for an upcoming Town Meeting.  The final decision on any changes to the bylaw will come to a vote by Town Meeting members.

If you have any recommendations about zoning changes that you feel can help to better the community, you can bring them to the zoning subcommittee to be studied.  All meetings of the subcommittee are open and posted on the town website and in Town Hall.  

If you cannot attend a meeting, you can mail a letter with your zoning concept to the Planning Department, Town Hall, 22 Monument Ave, Swampscott, MA 01907.

This article was submitted by Town Planner Pete Kane

Liz March 02, 2013 at 02:51 PM
if we pay a town planner who is qualified, why do we need unqualified people making decisions or at least making recommendations. We pay people in town government to be the experts and to be accountable for thier actions. People move into town and want to belong so they volunteer. This is not always a good thing. People should volunteer when they are able to bring knowledge, and positive change with no hidden agendas. Case and point the school committee.....How many of threm are truly qualified????????? Even the current superintendant is questionable......
S G March 02, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Oh Liz, Democracy depends on participation. I value people who care, and try to be part of the solution.
Derek March 02, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Yes SG but Liz has a point! Sometime people volunteer for civil service, which is good thing generally, because they have time or they are looking something to fill a void in their lives or they are really passionate about a cause or their own agenda. Because someone wants to volunteer doesn't always mean someone should. I'm sure there are many committees in this town filled with well meaning people that are completely unqualified to making the kind of decisions that affect the citizens of this town. The pitfall comes because it's uncomfortable to criticize folks who are volunteering, even in the face of them making really bad decisions, when criticism is warranted. It's a double edge sword but I agree with Liz's point.
Ryan Hale September 28, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Hi Pete, thanks for opening up this forum. After living in Swampscott for years, I moved across town to Paradise Rd a few months ago and just recently received notice that the Board is considering a massive (12,000 sf) expansion of the Family Doctors, LLC Clinic next door to me. This will be a significantly damaging project to the town and the neighborhood. Are other homeowners in my neighborhood, Clarke School parents, and fellow Town residents staying quiet on this, or have you been kept in the dark like me? The street in front of my house is already cluttered with litter and parked cars. Walking between my house and the train station & school is already an anxiety-inducing experience - it will only get worse with a new three story building, cars, parking, more runoff on the sidewalk, etc. I urge my fellow neighbors to email the people listed on http://www.town.swampscott.ma.us/public_documents/swampscottma_bcomm/zba with your statements in opposition to Petition 13-30. Better yet, attend the hearing on October 9 (unfortunately I will be on the road for work). Keep Paradise Road safe - no Family Doctors expansion!

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