New Planning and Zoning Regulations Proposed: Stone Walls and Accessory Dwellings

Sherman, Conn. (Citizen News) – Sherman’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) is holding a Public Hearing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, in the Mallory Town Hall.

On the agenda are proposed amendments and additions to the Town’s Zoning Regulations regarding Accessory Apartments, Accessory Dwellings, Residential Fencing, and Stone Walls & Historic Features.

One newly proposed regulation concerns the preservation of Historic Stone Walls so they remain intact. This came about mainly to continue the preservation of historic features such as stone walls which delineates the “meets and bounds” of properties.

Another main discussion point at this Public Hearing will be a newly proposed Accessory Dwellings regulation that will allow for a detached Accessory Dwelling. This would benefit some seniors so they can stay with their families. This would also provide economic relief for some current homeowners because they would have an extra income revenue source.

Planning and Zoning Chair, Ms. Jeannene Burruano, stated “the Housing Commission was asked to attend the hearing to address specifically their recommendations to the BoS as they relate to the Accessory Dwelling regulation as a forum for public information.”

She commended the Housing Commission (HC) for their recommendations they made to the Board of Selectmen (BoS), which is a separate document “from what The Planning and Zoning Commission has been creating and refining.” She added “the Public Hearing is a continuation of that refinement process for Planning and Zoning.”

Housing Commission Chairman, Art Von Plachecki, along with the HC members, will be formally presenting their P&Z recommendations at this Public Hearing. On January 22, Housing Commission Chairman Von Plachecki and Commissioner Bruce Hoag provided a New Senior Housing Report at the monthly BoS meeting. In this proposal, recommendations to P&Z were included regarding Accessory Apartments and Accessory Dwellings regulations in reference to the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD).

Ms. Burruano encourages residents to attend this Public Hearing because “the P&Z Commission welcomes public input as it makes for better regulations. That is what we hope will be accomplished by this and all public hearings.”

She elaborated “public hearings provide an opportunity for commissioners to detail proposed regulation changes and to listen to the public voice their opinions and ideas allowing for further refinement of a proposed change. It is an integral part of the partnered relationship between an elected commission and the community they represent. We hope to hear from all residents who wish to contribute their thoughts and ideas to this process. Any change to the P&Z Regulations guides the way the Town develops and therefore impacts residents not only now but into the future.”

From a resident and former First Selectman perspective, Mr. Von Plachecki thinks that “anyone who has an interest or opinion on Accessory Apartments or Accessory Dwellings” should attend this Public Hearing and that “every resident of Sherman is impacted by any change in the P&Z Regulations.”

Resources

Plan of Conservation and Development

Zoning Regulations

New Housing Commission Report: Copies are available at the Mallory Town Hall.

Written by Alicia Sakal, Citizen News Journalist.

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