GREENWOOD – A committee addressed two controversial overlay districts proposed for a land-use management ordinance last week, and completely removed one district from the document.

The Planning Board and 10 volunteers have been working to amend the proposed ordinance, which selectmen decided not to send to the annual town meeting in March. Selectmen recently decided to send the document to a special town meeting in August, although no date has been set.

The committee voted 9-2, with two members abstaining, to remove a section from the ordinance that would create a Greenwood Road overlay district. The ordinance had sought to preserve the visual qualities of the road, which runs through a forested area past several ponds, through measures that included setting back structures at least 75 feet from the road and minimizing tree clearing.

The committee had previously tied 7-7 on the same vote, but agreed to reduce the district from 250 feet to 100 feet from the centerline of the road. Loretta Mikols, former chairwoman of the selectmen, had requested that the district be removed because it did not follow the comprehensive plan.

Amendments were also made to the ridgeline and hillside overlay district, whose purpose is to “protect the scenic and ecological resources associated with lands characterized by ridge tops, high elevations, steep slopes, and visual sensitivity in a manner that allows for carefully designed, low-impact development.”

Construction of any new dwelling, principal structure, or accessory structure had formerly been subject to the rules of the district. The committee last week amended it to apply to such structures that are over 100 square feet and taller than 8 feet.

The committee also removed language that made areas of two or more acres with an average slope greater than 20 percent subject to the rules of the district.


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