DRB continues deliberations

MANCHESTER VILLAGE - After a deliberative session on Friday, Aug. 23, the Manchester Village Design Review Board took one step regarding zoning bylaws for an application under consideration on the former Village Country Inn and adjacent properties.

The session was to determine under which criteria the application would be placed - either under the bylaws of business zoning, or the bylaws of the historic core district. The parcel falls under both zoning areas, including the preservation district.

The applicants and their lawyer, Joseph O'Dea, submitted an addendum to their original application stating that they believed they should be placed under the zoning for the historic core, section 4.3 of the bylaws, and not the business zoning, section 7.1.

The board decided that they could not use the criteria for the historic core district to supersede what is written in the business zoning. However, the bylaw does give the DRB authority to modify the requirements in section 7.1, if deemed appropriate.

On Monday, Aug. 19, Brown asked for clarification from the applicants as to why they could not operate under both the business bylaws and the historic core zoning.

"The [business district] has a 75 foot front yard setback," explained engineer Ellis Speath. "If we were to request to build a building 75 feet back from the street line, we would be denied because of the historic core requirements. The historic core requires us to be close to the street with all our buildings, and not have a bunch of unused space in front."

The applicants also explained that the historic core requirements are the most restrictive, and if they were to meet those then they would meet all of the business zoning requirements. However, if they were to strive to meet the requirements of the business zoning they would not meet all of the historic core requirements needed.

The next open meeting for the hearing is to be on Thursday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Courthouse; the meeting will "proceed to further Development Review Board consideration, under all applicable Zoning Bylaw provisions."

An update on that meeting will be posted to the Journal's website as quickly as possible.


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