The proposed UCBD by-laws encourage mixed-use development that is high density, pedestrian-friendly and that fits with the character of the town. This type of development will help reduce reliance on property taxes, which currently provides over 95% of the town’s budget.
The proposed changes to the by-laws are intended to provide property owners in the UCBD with more options. The CURRENT zoning for the town center is a mix of residential and general business. In fact, some properties have both residential and general business zones. The proposed UCBD by-law would replace this mix with one new UCBD zone.
The details for the by-law are contained in a set of tables which define the types of “uses” that are allowed in each of the zoning districts for the town. (Scroll down to see the proposed UCBD by-law tables later on this page.)
In addition, the EDC is also proposing changes to the town’s parking by-law, which is used to determine how much parking is required for a particular use. The proposed parking by-law aims to reduce the amount of parking spaces by encouraging shared parking. Shared parking makes maximum use of space by recognizing that many parking spaces can have non-competing uses. By reducing parking spaces, we maximize space available for buildings, which results in higher tax revenue for the town.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need to change zoning in the town center?
The zoning in the town center needs to change to reflect the vision for a revitalized Town Center that was approved at the May 2019 Town Meeting. Current zoning in the town center is outdated and doesn’t reflect the desire for high-density mixed-use development.
How will property owners in the new district be affected?
Property owners will generally have more options to use their property in ways that are not currently allowed. For example, a property owner currently in a residential zone could not open an antique shop in their home. This would be allowed under the UCBD by-law.
How will the town control the types of businesses and residences that may be built in the town center?
The table of uses that is included in the proposed by-law restricts uses to specific types of businesses. For example, auto repair shops would not be allowed in the new district but restaurants, personal services (spas, hair salons, massage and acupuncture) would be allowed.
Where will people park as they visit businesses in this new district?
New parking bi-laws are being proposed to ensure there is ample parking and that parking does not congest our downtown area. You can read them here.