Several zoning articles will be presented for decision by residents at May’s Annual Town Meeting.
The articles under consideration by the Bourne Planning Board will address bylaws having to do with dog kennels, food trucks, parking and adoption of federal regulations regarding the flood zone.
All four were brought to the attention of the board by Town Planner Coreen V. Moore during the planning board’s meeting onThursday, February 13.
On the topic of dog kennels, Ms. Moore said the current bylaw states that anyone who harbors four or more dogs has to get a kennel license from the town clerk’s office. The need for a kennel license applies to private homeowners as well as businesses, she said.
“That means they have to go to the ZBA (zoning board of appeals),” she said, “then they have to go to the board of health, and it’s really just residential dogs. It’s not a true kennel.”
She said the article would request a change in the bylaw, under the use schedule and the definitions, to split out residential pets versus commercial kennels. Enforcement authority for kennels, she said, would also change from the ZBA to the Department of Natural Resources.
Ms. Moore said her department is working on amending the zoning bylaw relative to food trucks, which she described as “a very seasonal business.” Vendors come and stay for a week, or a month or two, in the summer and then they are gone, she said.
She said that under the current bylaw, vendors have to get a special permit from the planning board.
However, the process for securing a permit is lengthy and includes advertising for a public hearing and holding the hearing, followed by a 20-day appeal period. She said that by the time they get through all that, their season is over.
“We see a lot of people come in,” she said, “and want to start up their business. By the time I give them the timeline, they’re like, ‘That’s going to kill me, I can’t do that.’”
The amendment to the bylaw, she said, would take the planning board out of the mix and allow food truck vendors to be licensed and approved just by the board of selectmen and the board of health. That would streamline the permitting process, she said, and allow businesses to get started into their season sooner.
She said that the vendor’s proposed location would have to be approved by staff at the planning department, to ensure that where it sets up is safe for pedestrians. Also, no trucks would be allowed to set up shop in front of a brick-and-mortar restaurant, she said.
The planning department will also propose a change to the zoning bylaw governing parking: specifically, the radius of how far away satellite parking can be located for a business. At present the town’s zoning allows businesses to factor into its parking requirements any spaces located 300 feet away. The article will propose stretching that distance to 500 feet.
A fourth article will address adoption into the town’s zoning bylaw new flood zone mapping as outlined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Ms. Moore said. She said it involves updating Bourne’s bylaw to match new panel numbers, or zones, established by FEMA.
“We really don’t have any choice,” she said. “We have to do that at Annual Town Meeting, or we’ll be out of compliance.”