I appreciate your well thought out comments and questions. No, unfortunately I no longer have a copy of the Comprehensive Plan and I’m sure Walt Ramsey(Town Planner) could provide it for you. I agree with all of what you wrote and think that reducing the minimum dwelling size standard could all be presented as congruent with the 2004 Housing Plan as well as the CDBG of 2013. Of course, the reduction in dwelling size is only one part of the larger picture that the entirety of our zoning regulations look to address(hence my suggestion that the Planning board do more effective community outreach on the subject).
Unfortunately, the ZBA is the controlling body in the review of proposals such as the MCS and the Planning Board has no statutory review authority. I agree that the ZBA, in my estimation, didn’t use their deliberative authority to review all the aspects of the MCS proposal as thoroughly as I would have hoped and the end results is what we have in front of us now. And, I think this is all fixable. I may be wrong, but my guess is that the court will nullify the ZBA’s decision and there will be another chance to have the MCS project be reviewed with greater sensitivity to the valid issues that you and others have raised. I believe the enlightened approach would be for the ZBA and developer to see the handwriting on the wall and take a more pro-active approach, but hey, that’s just me talking. I truly hope at some point the dwelling size issue does receive a fair and impartial hearing as I believe it does have merits. One thing that I think the Planning Board can do in the future is to look more closely at all those places where the ZBA has used variances and ask some tough questions about how the zoning regs could be better crafted so variances truly become a rarity in our community.
And Mark1, I'm not an avid birdwatcher, and I yet I think I can recognize a snark(comment) when i see one. I'd ask you to look at your own postings and see if it's possible to communicate what your frustrations and judgmenst are without dissing the people who are involved in the process, volunteering their time, putting themselves in the hot seat, and doing the best job they can.