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Technical ordinance amendments pass; Planning Board to review farm concerns

The Town Council on Oct. 5, 2016 adopted a series of technical amendments to the zoning, conservation and subdivision ordinances. The vote also created a new stormwater ordinance from separate stormwater regulations found throughout the code of ordinances.

Councilors voted 5-2 to approve the amendments. Dissenting votes came primarily over disagreement on a sentence proposed to be added to the definition of an accessory building.

The sentence prohibits accessory buildings with plumbing from being used for overnight accommodations. The amendment was intended to clearly state that structures such as garages may not be rented to vacationers, but members of the Cape Farm Alliance said they believed the wording could also prevent farms from diversifying, and from housing seasonal workers. They asked the amendment be rejected, or reworded to exempt farm properties.

Councilor Caitlin Jordan moved to approve the package of amendments - without the sentence - and to send it back to the council's ordinance subcommittee for further review.

The majority of councilors, however, voted to adopt the package with the language, and to have the Planning Board review an email from Jay Cox, owner of Old Town Christmas Place on Sawyer Road, regarding use of accessory buildings on farm properties.

Councilors Jordan and Jamie Garvin voted against.