Article 39: Amend Zoning Bylaw - Maximum Height of Structures

We're at the high school (again) for tonight's session.
Zoning/Land Use Articles brings out lots of residents - Town Moderator has just called for a second "citizens' microphone".
Article 39: Amend Zoning Bylaw - Maximum Height of Structures: The article would limit the height of new houses or additions located close to lot lines.
  • 15-ft setbacks for 40 ft. height dwelling
  • Issue raised during the residential policy committee's listening tour
  • No change in measuring height or yard setbacks
  • Properties with 15 foot yard setbacks, bldg no higher than 40 feet
Planning Board presentation. "This article is a fair and reasonable measure for dwellings near lot lines."
Planning Board unanimous supports.
Board of Selectmen supports the article.
Town Moderator opens floor for debate
Citizen: speaks in support
Town Meeting Member (TMM) speaking in opposition at NO mic
Another TMM speaking in opposition, noting too many controls being imposed
TMM with a Q: similar zoning rules for other towns?
Answer from PB: we would not be an outlier
TMM then, says he will support
TMM at YES mic - says it is a modest proposal and will support
Citizen: opposed to Articles 39 & 41. Lives in small house, but real estate taxes have never been small - too many restrictions. Wants more incentives instead
TMM at Q: why is text "strikeout" at top of chart?
A: didn't want to use double negatives
Citizens: have lived in Lexington for 30 years - throughout this time, lived in same small house, but neighborhood building has ramped up. Putting a large home on a postage sized lot - should have been addressed long ago. Urges support
TMM with Q: there is an appeal process, correct?
A: there's a whole section in the bylaw that addresses nonconformity
TMM: not sure I understand
A: no specific appeal to nonconformity
TMM Q: substandard lots and homes - any attempt to quantify these?
A: PB is trying to quantify
TMM Q: as I look at the setback and max height, seems reasonable - - is there any lot in Town where one could not build because of this article?
A: not that we know of
TMM will support because it is very reasonable.
Citizen: speaking in opposition. Urges TMMs to reject proposal
TMM at YES: I was part of the RPC process to address issues from residents. Recommended from someone from the development community.
TMM at YES: I live in a small  house on a small lot in a neighborhood with a lot of tear-downs. I look at Article 39 & 41 and think they are reasonable. I'm really not concerned; they are very small steps forward.
Seeing no one at any of the mics, Town Moderator calls for the vote - requires a 2/3 majority to pass
MOTION passes
YES=138; NO=31; ABSTAIN=3