A set up new rules for how commercial and large residential projects can built in Watertown has been revealed, the Planning Board will soon review them at a public meeting.
The design guidelines – recommendations for how projects will be built – and design standards – legally binding rules – have been months in the making.
In August, when residents pushed for a moratorium on new developments after a number of unpopular projects were built on Pleasant Street and others proposed for Arsenal Street, The Town Council decided instead to to hire a consultant to create the new design guidelines and design standards.
This week three documents were released on the the Town’s website, said Assistant Town Manager Steve Magoon: (Click on the titles to view the document)
- DRAFT Design Standards – The recommended Design Standards Document is a companion to the Design Guidelines Book and identifies recommendations to update the Zoning Ordinance. The document has recommended amendment language by Zoning Article. For reference, here is a link to the adopted Zoning Ordinance.
- DRAFT Design Guidelines Book – The draft guidelines offer nine categories to consider as part of design, which are also summarized in the Design Poster below. The document also suggested zoning amendments as described in the draft Design Standards, above.
- DRAFT Design Guidelines Pocket Guide (Poster) – This graphic template forms the basis for the guidelines and provides a poster sized pocket guide to the guidelines. The draft Design Guidelines and Standards provide more detailed descriptions, above.
Tuesday, the Town Council voted to send the guidelines and standards to the Planning Board to discuss and approve. They will also come back to the Town Council before being officially adopted.
The items were so fresh off the press that the Town Council had not yet had a chance to read over the standards. Town Council Vice President Steve Corbett asked Magoon why they were not brought to the council first.
“Typically we would go through them more deliberatively but we want to do it in a more expedited manner,” Magoon said.
Councilor Tony Palomba asked for the Planning Board to dedicate an entire meeting to discuss the standards and guidelines, even if it delays the approval by a month.
“This will be the first public unveiling of the design standards and guidelines,” Palomba said.