Chelmsford Route 40 Zoning Hearing Moved to Larger Venue
CHELMSFORD -- In response to requests from abutters for a larger venue, the Planning Board will move a Wednesday public hearing on proposed Route 40 zoning changes to the Chelmsford Center for the Arts.
Because the 7 p.m. public hearing -- which also covers a number of other proposed Town Meeting articles with zoning changes -- was advertised to be held at the town offices at 50 Billerica Road, legally the board must open the meeting there. It will then recess and reconvene about 7:15 p.m. a short distance away at the CCA, located at 1A North Road.
North Chelmsford residents crowded an Aug. 8 Planning Board meeting and adjacent overflow room to express concerns with the proposed zoning changes that could open the portion of Route 40 between Route 3 and the Westford line to commercial and multifamily development.
The proposal calls for changing both the underlying zoning and creating a Route 40 Groton Road Mixed Use Redevelopment Overlay District that would direct the permitting process, based on Community Enhancement and Investment Overlay District guidelines.
Under the proposal, zoning of 38 acres on the north side of Groton Road would change from industrial to commercial. On the south side, which is all zoned residential, about 7 1/2 acres directly abutting the road would be changed to commercial, and another 7 1/2 acres behind that would be changed to multifamily.
The public hearing will also cover other zoning-related proposed articles for fall Town Meeting, including:
* revisions related to the display of flags on commercial properties;
* revisions related to the minimum lot size and associated requirements for keeping small animals and chickens;
* a new zoning bylaw providing options and regulations for the preservation and reuse of historical structures;
* revisions to the definition of a multifamily dwelling.