WILTON — The Planning Board held a workshop on Thursday, April 22, to discuss amendments to the town’s zoning ordinance pertaining to marinas, docks, piers and signs. The board also reviewed proposed revisions to the adult use and medical marijuana ordinance.

Amendments to the zoning ordinance include an addition to table A4, Outdoor Resource Base Uses, to include marinas. This will place conditions on an outdoor commercial enterprise which would be defined as:

“A business establishment having frontage on navigable water and, as its principal use, providing for hire offshore moorings or docking facilities for boats, and which may also provide accessory services such as boat and related sales, boat repair and construction, indoor and outdoor storage of boats and marine equipment, bait and tackle shops and marine fuel service facilities,” according to the ordinance’s proposed definition.

The zoning regulations would restrict the development of marinas within 200 feet from a swimming area or boat landing. The ordinance would refer to the state’s Title 12, Conservation Statute to define a swimming area as “an area delineated by line buoys in accordance with the aids to navigation system established pursuant to section 1894.”

If passed, the amendment would be retroactive to March 18 for any proposed marina that does not yet have an application submitted to and acted upon by the Planning Board. This would affect James Butler’s application for a proposed marina near the town’s public boat launch at Stinchcomb Lane. The board was in agreement with Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin that Butler’s application is incomplete.

Wilton’s proposed zoning ordinance changes would restrict the development of docks within 200 feet of a public boat launch as seen above, or a designated swimming area. This would directly impact a recent marina business proposal to be constructed near the town’s boat launch near the private Stinchcomb Lane. Andrea Swiedom/Franklin Journal

“For one thing, parking, they are in the LR&R ( limited residential and recreational) Zone and that requires you to have parking for the use on your property. The other parts that were truly incomplete is this right title interest for passage and State Bureau of Submerged Lands,” Lavin said.


The proposed marina application initially requested footpath access on town land, but an alternative route was also proposed by Main-Land Engineer Tom Dubois on March 18. Board members discussed this alternative route mentioning that other residents also have deeded access to this path.

Lavin explained during the March 18 meeting that a marina would require a submerged land lease permit which is required for structures erected in public bodies of water.

“Ideally, you would have that before coming to the town, because if you do not get that then there’s no point in the town going through this,” Lavin had said.

The board is also proposing the addition of a category to table A4 that would include piers, docks, wharfs, bridges and other structures and uses extending over or below the normal high-water line. This would give the code enforcement officer inspection rights to these structures and uses when they are temporary and inspection rights to the planning board when they are permanent structures.

The zoning ordinance amendments include additional conditions placed on signage by limiting the posting of temporary signs to 12 weeks. There are also conditions placed on changeable signs by limiting their display change rate to no faster than two seconds.

In regards to the marijuana ordinance, the board received clarification from Attorney Sally J. Daggett of Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry law firm that proprietorship of a retail marijuana store will be limited to a single person, according to state regulations. Whereas, there can be multiple owners for marijuana businesses related to manufacturing and testing.

Daggett suggested that the board separate the licensing fee schedule from the marijuana ordinance and to reassess fees to ensure they cover the town’s licensing program.

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on May 20 to receive community feedback on proposed ordinance changes.

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