2020 Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendments

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE AND POSTINGS

In accordance with the provisions of Mass. General Laws Chapter 40A, Section 5, the Planning Board of the TOWN OF WESTFORD will hold public hearings on Zoning Bylaw amendments as described below to certain sections of the Zoning Bylaw. The Planning Board public hearings will open on Monday, September 21, 2020, at a meeting starting at 7:30 p.m. via webinar. These amendments will be considered at the Westford Special Town Meeting beginning on Saturday, October 17, 2020.

The complete text of each of the proposed bylaw amendments will be available beginning on September 11, 2020, at the Town Clerk’s Office and the Permitting Department in Town Hall, 55 Main Street, during normal business hours (8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday to Friday). The proposed bylaw amendments will also be available for download on the Town of Westford website at https://www.westfordma.gov/294/Planning-Board. The Planning Board files for the proposed amendments are PB 2025 ZNG, PB 2026 ZNG, PB 2027 ZNG, PB 2028 ZNG, PB 2029 ZNG, PB 2030 ZNG, PB 2031 ZNG, and PB 2032 ZNG.

PB 2025 ZNG, Gender-Neutral Amendments to the Town’s Zoning Bylaw to Reflect Amendments to the Town Charter Pending Before the General Court, and Non-Substantive Changes
​To see if the Town will vote to amend the Town’s Zoning Bylaw to reflect pending amendments to the Town Charter that will change the name of the Board of Selectmen to the “Select Board,” by striking out, in every instance in which they appear in reference to that body, the words “Board of Selectmen” or “Selectmen” and inserting in place thereof the words “Select Board”; and by striking out, in every instance in which they appear in reference to Board members individually, the word “Selectman” and “Selectmen” and inserting in place thereof the words “Select Board Member” or “Select Board Members”; and further to authorize the Town Clerk to make non-substantive, ministerial revisions to ensure that gender and numerical issues in related text is revised to properly reflect such change in title, and to make other non-substantive, ministerial revisions to ensure consistency as to formatting of the bylaw’s text.

​ A complete copy of the revised Zoning Bylaw with said ministerial revisions implemented and expressed through redlining is on file with the Town Clerk.

PB 2026 ZNG, Amend Zoning Bylaw, to update Section 10.2: General Definitions: Lot Frontage.
​To see if the Town will vote to amend Appendix C of the Zoning Bylaw – Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations – to clarify that the minimum Lot Frontage requirement must be satisfied with Lot Frontage that is continuous. This amendment is sponsored by the Planning Board.

PB 2027 ZNG, Amend Zoning Bylaw, to update Section 9.3.6: Lapse. (Relative to Special Permits)
​To see if the Town will vote to amend Sections 9.2.2.1 and 9.3.6 of the Zoning Bylaw to be consistent with M.G.L. Chapter 40A, Section 9, to allow a municipality to extend the time a Special Permit shall lapse from two years to three years. This amendment is sponsored by the Planning Board.

PB 2028 ZNG, Amend Zoning Bylaw, to update Section 3.3.4: Standards. (Relative to Accessory Dwelling Units)
​To see if the Town will vote to amend Section 3.3.4 – Standards – to provide greater consistency throughout the Zoning Bylaw by replacing the undefined terms “gross living space” and “gross floor space” found in Subsections 1 and 3a, with “gross floor area”, a term that is defined in General Definitions Section 10.2. This amendment is sponsored by the Planning Board.

PB 2029 ZNG, Amend Zoning Bylaw, to amend Appendix A; Table of Principle Use Regulations and Appendix B: Table of Accessory Use Regulations relating to Massage Establishments.
​To see if the Town will vote to amend Appendix A and Appendix B of the Zoning Bylaw to allow Massage Establishments in certain zoning districts either by right or by Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. This amendment is sponsored by the Planning Board.

PB 2030 ZNG, Amend Zoning Bylaw, to delete Section 6.3: Growth Management (and related subsections) which expired on May 11, 2009, to delete the General Definition “Growth rate limit” in Section 10.2, and to delete related Appendix E: Growth Management Provisions, and to revise the Table of Contents accordingly.
​To see if the Town will vote to delete Section 6.3: Growth Management, the defined term “Growth rate limit” in Section 10.2: General Definitions, and related Appendix E. Section 6.3 of the Zoning Bylaw expired in 2009 and is no longer in effect. This amendment is sponsored by the Planning Board.

PB 2031 ZNG, Amend Zoning Bylaw, to amend Section 8: Special Districts, Section 10.2: General Definitions, Appendix A: Table of Principle Use Regulations, and Appendix B: Table of Accessory Use Regulations to define and regulate Short-Term Rentals.
​To see if the Town will vote to amend Section 10.2, Appendix A, and Appendix B to define and regulate Short-Term Rentals and related changes, and to see if the Town will vote to create a Summer Village Short-Term Rental Overlay District where Short-Term Rentals will be allowed by right, and related changes. This amendment is sponsored by the Planning Board. PB 2032 ZNG, Amend Zoning Bylaw, to amend Section 10.2: General Definitions, Appendix A: Table of Principle Use Regulations, and Appendix B: Table of Accessory Uses Regulations to define and regulate Restaurant Drive-Through Facilities. To see if the Town will vote to amend Section 10.2, Appendix A, and Appendix B to allow Restaurant Drive-Through Facilities in certain zoning districts by Special Permit from the Planning Board, and related changes. This amendment is sponsored by the Planning Board.

​Any person interested or wishing to be heard on the zoning proposals should submit written correspondence to the Planning Board, or join the meeting at the time and date designated above via remote access (phone or internet). Email correspondence should be sent to Permitting Program Assistant, Erin Toothaker, etoothaker@westfordma.gov.

In accordance with the Governor’s Order Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G. L. c. 30A, § 20, relating to the 2020 COVID19 outbreak, all meetings of the Westford Planning Board will be conducted via remote participation to the greatest extent possible to avoid group congregation until further notice. We will strive to provide access to such meetings via a link to call in, or other similar option. In the event we are unable to accommodate the same, despite best efforts, we will post recorded sessions of the meeting as soon as possible following the same. No in-person attendance of members of the public will be permitted, but every effort will be made to ensure that the public can adequately access the proceedings.

Instructions to participate in the meeting will be available on the above referenced Planning Board agenda.

​Any questions about meeting participation should be directed to Town Planner, Rebecca Cheney at rcheney@westfordma.gov or (978) 692-5524.


​Darrin Wizst, Chair Westford Planning Board

Draft Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendments - Amendments in Red; and
Draft Appendices - Amendments in Red.