Demand for office space is low, so several properties in the Limited Office District on Monroe Turnpike lay dormant. Could an overlay district allowing retail, residential and mixed uses lure needed tenants there?
Would the establishment of a Village District in upper Stepney preserve an area with churches and an historic green?
These and other issues were discussed during a public hearing on the updating of town zoning regulations and codes on Thursday night. Close to 40 residents and officials attended the event, hosted by consultants with BFJ Planning and the Planning & Zoning Commission at Masuk High School.
Frank Fish, principal with BFJ Planning, told the audience that the hope is not to make the town's regulations radically new or radically different, but to correct any problems, make improvements and to make it more "user friendly."
BFJ was hired by the P&Z in July and Thursday was the first public hearing.
"We hope to have something to you by November, hopefully before Thanksgiving, and get your input again," Fish said, adding his firm and the commission will work to finalize the codes in December.
Everyone broke up into three groups for round table discussions on:
- Code Organization
- Supplemental Regulations
After the hearing, P&Z Chairman Patrick O'Hara encouraged people to read drafts of code updates on the Internet in October and November in preparation for a public review in December and another hearing in January or February.
"We are looking for public input in this process," he said. "We are hoping to finish this process by February of 2013."