SOUTHBRIDGE – Southbridge residents will have the opportunity to attend a public information session on a proposed update to zoning laws Tuesday, August 21 at 4:30 p.m. at Town Hall in council chambers.

For almost a year now, several Town officials and staff have worked with consultants to rewrite the Southbridge Zoning Bylaw. The Town is pleased to report that a proposed new Zoning Bylaw is almost ready for review and approval by the Southbridge Planning Board and Town Council. The proposed Zoning Bylaw includes several improvements and new features that will make it easier to understand and help to improve our neighborhoods and commercial areas. For example:

  • It simplifies the process for restoring and reusing old abandoned buildings, which will benefit the surrounding neighborhoods;
  • It has new definitions for terms used in the bylaw, which will make it easier to understand what people can do with their property;
  • It updates the project review and permitting procedures and makes decisions more predictable;
  • It promotes open space protection in new residential developments.

We are also recommending some changes to the Zoning Map, mainly to reduce the number of parcels that fall within two districts – a condition that makes it hard for property owners to know what set of zoning rules they have to follow.

We plan to bring the proposed Zoning Bylaw forward this fall. Before we do, we want to give residents and property owners the opportunity to learn more about the new bylaw and zoning map changes. Toward that end, we will hold a public information meeting at Town Hall on Tuesday, August 21, 4:30-6 pm.  The Third Draft of the proposed Zoning Bylaw and map can be found on the Town of Southbridge website at:

www.ci.southbridge.ma.us/economic-development-and-planning/pages/zoning-bylaw-update-project

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