Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Redevelopment Board, September 18, 2023

New Sign for Thai Moon Restaurant
The board approved a proposal for a new internally illuminated sign for Thai Moon, a local restaurant. The approval came with the condition that the applicant removes the existing exterior lights and associated conduit, and repairs the facade afterwards.

Warrant Articles for Fall 2023 Special Town Meeting
The board heard public comments on nine articles. Each speaker was given two minutes to address the board. The board will deliberate and vote on recommended action on each article at a later date.

Zoning Bylaw Amendment Related to Open Space in Business District
The board discussed a proposed amendment to allow landscaped open space on a balcony or a roof, regardless of its height above the level of the lowest story used for dwelling purposes. The amendment would also remove the requirement that open space is deemed usable only if at least 75% of the area has a grade of at least 8%. The board will continue to discuss this amendment at future meetings.

Zoning Bylaw Amendments Related to Lot Area, Rear Yard Setbacks, and Step Back Requirements
The board clarified that the percentage of lot area is only applicable in the B districts and not the R districts. They also agreed to further discuss whether the step back requirements should apply to the fourth or fifth floor of a building. The board will continue discussions on these topics at a future meeting.

Zoning Bylaw Amendment Related to Reduced Height Buffer Area
The board discussed a proposed amendment related to reduced height buffer area. Some members expressed concern that the proposed changes were not in scope and suggested further study and discussion in the spring. The board agreed to consider the suggestions and continue the discussion at a later date.

Zoning Bylaw Amendment for Corner Lot Requirements
The board discussed a proposed amendment stating that in business districts, the setbacks are the setbacks prescribed in the business district and not the setback from farther down the street in the residential district. This amendment was proposed to clarify the existing practice and make it easier for everyone to understand.

Zoning Bylaw Amendment Related to Residential Uses in Business Districts
The board discussed a proposed amendment that new single-family or two-family buildings should no longer be allowed in business districts. The aim of the amendment is to ensure that properties in business districts are used for business purposes and to encourage the development of higher value, more tax-generating properties. The final decision on the amendment would be made at the Town Meeting.

Zoning Bylaw Amendment Related to Street Trees
The board discussed a proposed amendment requiring street trees in business districts for redevelopment at least every 25 linear feet of lot frontage. The amendment was expanded to include cases in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals, allowing them to decide whether trees are necessary in certain areas. The board will continue discussions on this topic at a future meeting.

Scheduling of Upcoming Meetings
The board discussed the addition of a meeting to the Redevelopment Board schedule on October 10th, for the purpose of reviewing and approving the ARB Report to Town Meeting. The board officially voted to schedule the Redevelopment Board meeting on October 10th. The board also discussed the possibility of adjusting the meeting date scheduled for the 23rd of October, depending on the agenda leading up to that meeting.



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