Sunapee planners will hold hearing on zoning amendments

The Sunapee planning board will hold a public hearing on seven proposed zoning amendments on Thursday, December 16 at 7:15 pm at the Sunapee Town Office building on Edgemont Road. If approved by voters in March, the changes would rezone residential areas within the town’s village districts; add a new mixed use district in the Avery Road area; and address issues related to signs, erosion control plans, and use of pervious surfaces in shoreline areas.

The amendments are available for viewing on the town website and at the Town Hall.

Town Planner Michael Marquise said the board has worked on the amendments since September, and they follow recommendations contained in the town 2010 Master Plan. (The Master Plan is available on-line.)

After the board hears public comment and approves the final wording, the proposed zoning changes will go on to the Town Meeting ballot for voting in March. (At the town’s deliberative session in February, voters can discuss but cannot change these planning board articles. They are moved to the ballot as presented.)

Village District would be split into two new districts

Amendment #1 seeks to split the town’s Village District, as it relates to use, into two new districts: Village-Residential and Village-Commercial, Marquise said. “This recognizes that some areas [in the Village District] are more residential than commercial.”

Sunapee’s Village District provides the highest density of use–a mix of commercial, public, institutional, and both single-family and multi-family land uses.  Sunapee has two defined Village Districts: Sunapee Village (including Sunapee Harbor and Lower Village area) and Georges Mills Village (lands within a 600 feet radius of Route 11 and Springfield Road intersection).

The proposed Village-Commercial District would allow for residential, commercial, public and institutional uses commonly associated with village centers, while the Village-Residential District would drop some of the high density uses and “provide for single-family and two-family residential and low-impact commercial uses.”

The Sunapee Village district would not significantly change in size although some of its outer dimensions would be altered, Marquise said.

Marquise said the combined area in the village districts in Georges Mills, Village-Residential and Village-Commercial, “would be  larger [than the current Georges Mills Village District].” The new Village-Residential District would wrap around the new Village-Commercial District, now known as the Village District, and begin at the intersection of Springfield Road and Oak Ridge Road, go south and west to the intersection of Route 11 and northerly end of Jobs Creek Road.

New mixed use proposed for Avery Road area

Amendment #2 proposes a new Mixed Use II District in Avery Road area, “for light commercial uses and increased residential densities while maintaining the general residential character of the area,”  according to the description.

The town now has a Mixed-Use (I) District, “which provides opportunities for commercial, light industrial, and tourism related businesses.”  The Wendell Village area and  the area surrounding the intersections of Route 103, Brook Road and Cross Road are in the Mixed Use (I) District.

If voters approve both amendments one and two, the town’s zoning districts would be: Village-Commercial, Village-Residential, Mixed Use I, Mixed Use II, Residential, Rural-Residential, and Rural Lands.

Erosion control, signs and pervious surfaces

Amendment #3, if approved, would “require an erosion control plan be prepared by a licensed engineer where new construction exceeding 1000 square feet occurs on slopes greater than 15%.”

Marquise said the 2010 Master Plan recommended amendments #4 and #5. Amendment #4 proposes a change to the town’s sign regulations limiting signs in the Village-Commercial and Village-Residential Districts to 24 square feet per side with the total signage not exceeding 48 square feet on a lot.

Amendment #5 seeks to assure that “signs may be illuminated only by continuous indirect white light sources” that they will not be a hazard or “nuisance due to glare.” It would also disallow “neon or internally lit” signs.

Amendment #6 proposes to allow the Planning Board “to approve a subdivision/lot line adjustment for non-conforming lots provided that the new lot size and dimensions do not have a greater non-conformity than existing.”

Amendment #7  seeks to “allow the use of pervious materials for ground coverage that will not count in the overall lot coverage calculations in the Shoreline Overlay District provided that the total lot coverage of pervious and impervious materials does not exceed the allowable coverage in the non-overlayed portions of each district.” This follows the state’s lead about the use of pervious surfaces, Marquise said.

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