The proposal to create zoning regulations for wind energy facilities like wind turbines was tweaked by the committee. One change to the proposed zoning was that wind turbines would not be permitted in residential areas, and small, large and fixed wind energy could only be built in the industrial park, open space and recreational districts and water resource districts.
FALL RIVER – The City Council Committee on Ordinances and Legislation unanimously struck a controversial proposed change in the city’s zoning regulations last night.
The committee reviewed seven proposed zone changes made by Mayor Will Flanagan’s administration to send to the entire City Council for a vote.
Calling the modification that would change long-standing zoning of the Maplewood section from a residential R-8 to a local business district B-L “contentious at best, for lack of a better word,” City Councilor Michael Miozza said he’s received a number of calls from residents opposing the alteration.
“I think as an elected official the people voted for me to be their voice and vote as if they would sitting in this chair,” Miozza said.
Miozza then made a motion to delete zoning change from the overall proposals.
The proposal would affect a tiny portion of the city’s zoning map in the South End, in an area bounded by Stafford Road to the east, William S. Canning Boulevard to west and Edmund Street to the north.
Developer Michael Bizko asked for the zone change to develop a piece of property that abuts many neighboring properties.
The Planning Board approved the change in May, but neighbors protesting changes to the zoning to a business district, said they were not notified the proposal was on the table and didn’t discover the proposed modification until recently.
City Councilor Daniel Rego blasted Flanagan’s administration for not giving residents enough time to meet with the developer and find out what commercial project was proposed.
“It wasn’t shoved down people’s throats, but let me tell you it was close to it,” Rego said. “And it’s unfortunate that we’ve come to this point where we have to reject business to satisfy our residents, and sometimes that doesn’t have to be the case.”
Almost a dozen people in opposition to the change addressed the committee, like Maplewood resident Duarte Arruda, who said opening the neighborhood to commercial development puts it in “a serious, serious situation.”
“Some people do things for the money, and some people do things to try to keep the neighborhood safe and quiet,” Arruda said.
Thomas St. Pierre, president of Family Homes Construction and owns property on Canning Boulevard, said he opposed the B-L proposal, saying it gives an unfair advantage to anyone acquiring property in the area and no one identifies the impact of a development in the immediate area.
Bizko also addressed the committee said he met with every neighbor and tried to address their concerns and said the area along William Canning Boulevard was no longer a residential neighborhood.
“Neighborhoods change, conditions change. It’s a safety issue,” Bizko said.
Addressing concerns expressed earlier that a gas station could be developed on the property, Bizko submitted a letter to the committee promising there would not be that kind of development.
Several Maplewood residents expressed support for Bizko.
Regarding another hot-button issue, the committee also voted on Flanagan’s proposed medical district proposal, approving an amended plan that dramatically scaled down the modification.
A much leaner Medical District removes the original proposal to include the vicinity of St. Anne’s Hospital and Charlton Memorial Hospital and removing two blocks from the PrimaCARE vicinity. An amendment added a small portion to the PrimaCARE area Medical District.
The proposal to create zoning regulations for wind energy facilities like wind turbines was tweaked by the committee.
One change to the proposed zoning was that wind turbines would not be permitted in residential areas, and small, large and fixed wind energy could only be built in the industrial park, open space and recreational districts and water resource districts.
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