Zoning ordinance changes headed to March ballot in Moultonborough
A public hearing on a sixth zoning amendment, regarding the town's shoreland protection section, was continued to Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. following the first public hearing on Jan. 9.
The amendments come after the Planning Board review of the town's zoning ordinance that began in 2011.
Any changes, revisions and fixes to the ordinance requires the creation of a warrant article and a public vote.
According to Town Planner Bruce Woodruff, the planning board worked for six months on the zoning updates.
All the amendments were read into the public record during the sparsely attended public meeting.
The first was Article 2, which cleans up outdated language and corrects errors throughout. A full list and explanation of the changes is available on the town's web site, moultonborough.gov.
Article 3 modernizes the information used to calculate new lot minimum sizes by removing the outdated soil types and replacing with a list of local soil groups and lot size minimums for septic loading based on New Hampshire state codes.
Planning Board Chair Tom Howard said surveyors, engineers and soil scientists who had to deal with the outdated table prodded the board along to this update.
Article 6 clarifies commercial uses and deletes outmoded uses. It also changes some commercial uses to the "not allowed" category in the residential/agricultural, commercial A and village C districts, such as salt storage, junkyards, snow dumps, waste lagoons and petroleum bulk plants.
Article 7, adds a new section clarifying the rights and definitions of non-conforming lots. It clarifies that no non-conforming use may be expanded except for single family structures.
An amendment to the town's current shoreland protection ordinance requires the code officer to notify landowners of his visit in writing; it clears up the language regarding the tree caliper section, and deletes a sentence allowing an engineer to justify larger than 30 percent impervious surface areas.
During the public input portion of the meeting, one man voiced his opposition to this proposal saying that it is an attack on private property owners. Hollis Austin, who videotapes the meetings, asked about the origin of this amendment and why it was proposed.
Howard said he brought it forward after the board was approached by a local contractor looking for consistency in rules around the lake. The board adopted the state's Shoreland Protection Act in 2008, which was then adjusted in 2010, and now the board wants to "tighten" up the rules as they were prior to adoption of the 2010 version.
This amendment requires a second hearing and the board voted to continue the session to Jan. 23.