Camden Planning Board to consider significant zoning changes to rural, coastal districts

Mon, 08/02/2021 - 1:45pm

    CAMDEN — On Thursday, Aug. 5, the Camden Planning Board will hold a public hearing at 5 p.m. via Zoom on proposed amendments to open space zoning in three zoning districts, Rural 1, Rural 2 and Coastal Residential. 

    The last time the open space zoning was amended was in 2007.

    “The purpose of the amendments is to revise the standards for some rural subdivisons by applying updated planning strategies developed to provide for more flexible, and more affordable, Open Space Development,” said the agenda, as produced by the town’s planning and codes office. “These changes are intended to provide for new opportunities to create additional housing in Town; they do not provide for any increase in the overall total of dwelling units permitted under the current Ordinance.”

    One of those opportunities is the development of the 77-acre town-owned Sagamore Farm into housing. That project is referenced in the planning board materials. Read: Two development proposals for Camden’s Sagamore Farm: Co-housing and affordable housing.

    Proposed ordinance changes include making open space zoning optional, as opposed to mandatory, “in the RU-1, RU-2 and the CR and makes it clear that condominiums and cooperatives are allowed and required to follow this Open Space section,” the document (see attached) said.

    1. Within the Rural-1 District:
      1. the total number of dwelling units shall not exceed one unit per 7 acres one unit per 60,000 SF.
      2. “Explanation: Maintains the requirements of the underlying RU-1 regulations,” the proposed changes document said. “This is necessary to make projects feasible to create open space. There is no need for any difference from the underlying zone.”

    The document said: “Other proposed changes are to make it clear that additional common ownership structures are allowed, which are common to condominium, cooperative or even clustered homeowner association projects, but not currently explicitly stated.”