Planning Board works on changes in zoning for accessory apartments

Approves subdivision amendment
By Daniel Dunkle | Nov 22, 2019
Photo by: Daniel Dunkle Mark Ingraham speaks to the planning board Nov. 21 in Camden.

Camden — The Camden Planning Board worked on proposed zoning amendments Thursday night, Nov. 21. with help from Planning and Development Director Jeremy Martin.

One of the proposed zoning amendments would make some changes to the rules regarding accessory apartments. The existing ordinance does not allow for residents to move into a small accessory apartment themselves and rent out their larger home, but the change would allow that, Martin explained.

The new amendment would add language saying: "The owner of the property shall reside in either the single-family dwelling or the accessory apartment."

In this way, he said the the change would be less restrictive.

The ordinance deals with apartments put in over garages or in barns on properties or smaller dwellings created as detached buildings. It also would allow for "tiny houses." In the past, these smaller apartments on properties, often added to provide living space for an elderly relative, were sometimes called "mother-in-law" apartments.

It was noted at the meeting that there has been discussion in the community about the need for more affordable housing.

In some cases, people who have been living in larger houses find that they would like to maintain less space as they get older and after their children have moved out, so this would allow them to create that space on their property and rent out the original home.

It would also add Rural 1, Rural 2 and Coastal Residential zones to the zones in the town where accessory apartments are allowed.

The ordinance does not pave the way for Airbnbs or short-term rentals. Houses in Camden cannot be rented out for less than seven days at a time, and there are other rules regarding these short-term rentals, though in some cases rooms can be rented out for shorter times.

Martin said he has also had conversations with the Select Board about these proposed zoning revisions.

The board also discussed proposed changes to the Site Plan Review ordinance that would more clearly define and allow for minor revisions to plans and field adjustments that sometimes need to be made to projects and can be done with approval of the code officer and other officials, in some cases without having to go to the planning board.

In other business, the planning board voted 4-0 to approve a subdivision amendment for Bruce Hilsmeyer at 101 Good Wind Lane for the Pleasant Ridge Subdivision. Hilsmeyer requested that he be able to merge two properties on the site to reduce taxes.

The planning board found that this was a minor change, that would actually reduce the impact of the subdivision, and approved it.

Land surveyor Mark Ingraham represented Hilsmeyer at the meeting and presented his request.

Members of the Camden Planning Board meet Nov. 21. From left are Richard Bernhard, Rosie Curtis, Jeff Senders, and Mark Siegenthaler. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Camden Planning and Development Director Jeremy Martin, left, and Planning Department Assistant Jeanne Hollingsworth work at the planning board meeting Nov. 21 in Camden. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.