Zoners to review proposed mixed-use overlay zone for third time tonight — Tuesday, Jan. 2

A “Mixed-Use Overlay Zone” proposed by the Planning and Zoning Commission will get a third public hearing Tuesday, Jan. 2.

The hearing will be held in the small conference room of the Town Hall annex on Prospect Street, at 7:30 p.m.

The Commission-initiated proposal would create a package of incentives for developers in the B1, B2, and B3 business zones — located along the northern sections of Route 35 and Route 7 — to hopefully draw builders away from the state’s 8-30g affordable housing regulation.

At the commission’s last hearing on the proposal, members voted against including a provision that would push developers to include housing affordable to those making 60% of the state median income.

Doing so would water-down the package of incentives, several commission members pointed out, increasing the likelihood that a developer would simply ignore the overlay zone, and develop under an 8-30g application.

That law allows developers to build without regard for local zoning restrictions on height, density, or lot coverage, something which members of the commission suggested could alter the town’s sleepy hamlet character forever.