Dec. 17 – After working on the development of a tree and vegetation preservation ordinance for almost eight years, the Vegetation Committee received unanimous approval from the Planning Board on the proposed ordinance amendment. The vegetation ordinance will now be forwarded to the Town Council for final approval. The ordinance states that clear-cutting is prohibited without a vegetative management plan. The plan requires that properties have a 10% minimum tree canopy or vegetative coverage. The minimum 10% shall be met by preserving existing vegetation or, if not possible, by planting new vegetation that is listed in the ordinance.
A property owner will be required to meet the vegetation requirements when applying for any land disturbance permit; making any changes to the footprint of a structure; and increasing lot coverage. The ordinance also states that if a property owner “proposes to remove existing trees or vegetation on a developed lot not in conjunction with a land development activity that requires a building permit shall be required to maintain a minimum of 10% vegetation cover on the property.” The ordinance states that professionally drawn plans are not required.
The Board also approved an amendment to further clarify the Home Occupation zoning ordinance. The term “outside” a dwelling was in question when it was discovered that a resident was keeping business-related equipment on someone else’s unimproved lot. The ordinance states that the equipment cannot be stored “outside” his dwelling. The Planning Board agreed that there needed to be clarification and approved language that would prohibit equipment from being stored/parked on unimproved lots.
FYI: Mike Hejduk reported that he did have plans for Starbucks; the tenant and property owner are working on the division of the property and the scope of work.