Easing Development Approval By Changing Zoning

Revised zoning laws in the town of Amesbury, Massachusetts, look to finally get some development on long-ignored land by making it easier for developers to gain approval from planners.

"We want to encourage economic growth in this area because it's underutilized," said town planner Nipun Jain. "It's been zoned as an office park, but for more than 20 years, it's not seen any development."

"Consistent with the master plan, the zoning calls for development compatible with the scale and size of the surrounding residential neighborhood, Jain said."

"Through a three-year-old law, Chapter 40R, the state encourages the creation of smart-growth zones, where streamlined permitting is intended to attract dense residential or mixed-use developments near transit stations and in town centers, commercial districts, or other areas considered suitable under the law. In Amesbury, instead of having to seek a special permit, developers who build under Chapter 40R would only need site plan approval from the Planning Board."

Full Story: Zoning change gives builders more choices

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