TOWNSEND — A citizen’s petition bearing 106 signatures that seeks to seeking to change the Open Space Preservation Zone bylaw has been deferred to the Planning Board by selectmen.
Although the petition was submitted prior to last November’s annual town meeting there had not been enough time for planners to conduct the required public hearing.
Last week selectmen took no action other than to pass the petition onto planners so the board can hold the hearing prior to spring’s Special Town Meeting, typically held in late April or early May.
The petition would make two amendments to town zoning code.
One would change minimum requirements to designate any parcel of land within an OSPD as one that would accommodate at least three dwelling units. A special permit issued by the Planning Board would be necessary.
The second amendment would require at least 30 percent of the total land area within an OSPD be devoted to open space. The open space could be a separate parcel in a project with four housing lots or fewer, or an area formally designated by a developer under the conservation restriction process outlined in Massachusetts General Law Chapter 184.
The open space would not include land set aside for roads and parking. No more than 50 percent of the area could contain wetlands.
If the conservation restriction approach is used, property ownership, taxation and maintenance issues are greatly simplified since the open space would belong to the lot owner.
The proposed amendment can be reviewed at the offices of the Planning Board, Land Use Coordinator and Town Clerk during regular business hours.
Parties who wish to speak either in favor or in opposition may do so in writing prior to the Monday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. Planning Board public hearing.
They may attend the hearing in person or be represented by an attorney.