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New Zoning Ordinance and Map Approved by Chelsea Planning Commission

By Lisa Carolin

Following a nearly four-hour meeting and a number of comments from local residents, the Chelsea Planning Commission unanimously approved motions to recommend the Chelsea City Council adopt both the new City of Chelsea Zoning Ordinance and the new Zoning Map.

Included were several modifications were suggested at the meeting as well as suggested changes provided in the McKenna Associates memorandum. (Those items can be found on the city’s website under the Planning and Zoning section.)

During a public hearing, local residents spoke mostly about two concerns – the permission of ADUs (accessory dwelling units) and members of Chelsea Dark Skies addressed their concerns about regulating lighting in the city.

Planning Commissioners discussed the topic of ADUs at length to better understand what sorts of ADUs there are and in what type of zoning districts they are permitted. Several speakers expressed support for ADUs as a solution to more affordable housing options in Chelsea.

In other action, the planning commission approved (Vincent Ely against, Kyle Brayton abstained) the preliminary site plan for a proposed 2,200 square foot retail building, an 8,290 square foot retail building that includes a Starbucks drive-thru restaurant, and a 3,070 square foot building that includes a Burger King Drive-thru restaurant located at 1620 South Main St.

The motion is contingent on the relocation of ADA (American Disabilities Act) parking spaces, the relocation of the waste receptacle enclosure, some landscaping challenges, and the developer pursuing a variance from the Zoning Board of Authority to reduce a loading zone requirement.

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