Planning Board seeks a Zoning Consultant and a Recorder

By Meredith McCulloch

At the Finance Committee meeting on January 14, 2016, the Planning Board requested additional FY17 funds for a zoning consultant and for additional support staff

Amy Lloyd, chair of the Planning Board, explained the need for an additional $5,500 for a paid recorder for Planning Board meetings.  She said that the minutes are very technical and due to potential legal challenges must be detailed and accurate. The increased number of required hearings along with more proposed developments coming before the board has increased that burden and takes staff time away from regular duties. Currently a single administrative assistant is responsible for recording the meetings as well as all general office support for the board. The Planning Board staff consists of the Director, an Assistant Planner, and one Administrative Assistant.

The Planning Board also requested $120,000 for a consultant for rezoning the business districts along The Great Road up to and including parts of Carlisle Road   and North Road.  The consultant would deliver recommendations for zoning changes that according to the board would provide “a wide-ranging set of new zoning articles that bring Bedford’s business zoning laws into the 21st’ century by encouraging the kind of growth and development that furthers the town’s vision, as expressed in the 2014 Comprehensive Plan.” Finance Committee member Tom Busa was supportive, explaining that the Finance Committee has already set aside funds for a consultant, since support for the project at Special Town Meeting was clear.

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