Solar By-Law Amendment Discussed

What appeared to be a clarification of the Table of Principal Uses (similar to a Table of Contents) in the Solar By-Law opened a lengthy and spirited discussion on possible additional amendments to the by-law. Members of the Marion Planning Board and two from the Marion Energy Management Committee commented on the proposed amendment at the Tuesday morning meeting.

The Planning Board proposed an article to be placed on the warrant for spring town meeting to amend Section 4.2 of the zoning by-law to clarify the Table of Principal Uses to make it easier for residents and other interested parties to find what they are looking for within the many pages of the Solar By-Law. The Special Planning Board meeting was held because the warrant is expected to be closed for further amendments by the end of the week.

Member Ted North presented a revised version of the Table of Principal Uses with a chart outlining which type of solar system was permitted within the various zoning districts in town.

The board discussed the public notice published in The Wanderer for the April 7, 2014 Planning Board meeting which, some members felt, was not as clear as it could have been in explaining what was to be discussed. After much discussion, the board agreed to republish the meeting notice with the additional information.

Town Administrator Paul Dawson weighed in on the discussion and said “there is no law that says that verbatim text be published.” Secretary Terri Santo spoke up and said that all the notices state that the public is invited to come into the Town House and view all documents and ask questions about upcoming meetings.

After much discussion, the board voted to present two Tables of Principal Uses to the public at town meeting including the one published in the meeting notice and the one presented by Ted North. It was unclear if the two amendments would be combined in one warrant article.

A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for April 7 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

Next up the board voted to accept, with minor changes, the new zoning map of the Town of Marion. John Rockwell presented his final draft and the board made a few minor changes.

The map includes seventeen districts including: Residence A; Residence B; Residence C; Residence D; Residence E; General Business; Marine Business; Limited Industrial; Limited Business; Flood Hazard District; Water Supply Protection District; Aquifer Protection District; Open Space Development District; Surface Water District; Wireless Communications Facilities Overlay District; Sippican River Overlay District; and a Municipal Solar Overlay District.

The acceptance of the map will be voted upon at town meeting in May and if approved, forwarded to the Attorney General’s office as required.

The pdf file of the map will soon be available to the public on the town web site and on the Planning Board section of the site.

“Thank you John, for all your work and effort on the town’s behalf,” said Chairman Pat McArdle. The board thanked Mr. Rockwell for his hours of service on the project.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry


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