Issues Reviewed at Plymouth Town Plan Hearing

By Kathy Lynds

On Monday, April 18, a hearing was held by the Selectboard to review the proposed Town Plan, which is required to be updated every five years. About 17 people attended including the 3 selectmen. The regional plan controls how large our village areas can be. That is going to be rewritten and hopefully Plymouth people can have input in that process.

The owner of what was Bear Creek Ski Area would like to build a village on the bottom 3rd of the mountain. At present the village boundaries don’t include that area.

There was a lot of discussion about the proposed 5 acre zoning along Class 2 and 3 highways. Route 100 is expected to be designated as a scenic byway, which would indicate very limited development along that corridor. Also most of the land that hasn’t been developed there isn’t suitable for development anyway.

There is no commercial zoning in the village areas. The 5 acre zoning would be 750 feet from the centerline of the road, on both sides. Five acre zoning doesn’t mean that you can actually build on the land. There are many factors involved, including the slope of land and its viability for a septic system.

Plymouth soils have been mapped and that map is a good tool for the zoning board to use. Once the new Town Plan is adopted the zoning board needs to act quickly to bring the zoning regulations into compliance with it. One problem with the zoning map in current use is that it has no zoning district for state owned land, which comprises more than 1/3 of our town. The new zoning map would put that land into a conservation district, allowing some control should any of that land be sold or traded.

There was also some question about how the shoreland overlay applies. A 1000 ft buffer is proposed around all lakes and ponds except Grass Pond where it would be 300 ft. There was also some discussion about cell towers (the regulations appear to both encourage and discourage them). Wind towers were also mentioned.

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