Conway Select Board Grapples with Zoning and Permit Challenges

At a recent Conway Select Board meeting, a property owner’s application for a two-family dwelling permit sparked a discussion on zoning requirements and the town’s adherence to bylaws. The property owner faced confusion over the sufficiency of their plot plan and property boundaries, raising questions about the feasibility of constructing a two-family dwelling on the lot. Additionally, the board underwent a reorganization of the zoning board, with nominations for a new permanent chair and vice chair.

The meeting opened with a property owner seeking clarification on the process for obtaining a permit for a two-family dwelling. The board addressed the concern by explaining that the building inspector, as the frontline zoning officer, is responsible for issuing permits for single-family residences without board approval. However, the situation becomes more complex when it involves a two-family dwelling, as this requires adherence to specific zoning bylaws.

The board engaged in a debate about whether the property in question conformed to these bylaws. The consensus was that it did not, and the property owner was advised to consider withdrawing their current application. This advice was given as a protective measure to prevent the applicant from receiving a formal denial, which could potentially have further-reaching negative implications. Despite this setback, the property owner was willing to pursue the necessary steps to comply with the bylaws and expressed an intention to schedule another meeting with the board to clarify the path forward.

The conversation among board members and the property owner reflected broader concerns about development within the town, the importance of clear communication regarding zoning regulations, and the implications of adhering strictly to the town’s bylaws.

Apart from the zoning issue, the board also tackled internal matters, specifically the reorganization of the zoning board. The process involved nominating candidates for the positions of permanent chair and vice chair. Additionally, the board addressed scheduling issues, acknowledging potential conflicts that could arise due to external factors such as weather and other commitments.

During the meeting, there was also an apology issued for a recording error, which served as a reminder of the importance of accurately documenting public meetings. The brief mention of reviewing meeting minutes, while procedural, was an essential aspect of the board’s responsibilities and contributed to the careful record-keeping that is important for public administration.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Town Administrator:
Véronique Blanchard
City Council Officials:
Christopher Waldo, Erica Goleman, Philip Kantor

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