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Planning Board Virtual Debate: How Can The Permit And Planning Process Be Improved?

Apr 08, 2015 01:22PM ● By Bill Gilman

Planning Board Candidates George Ferdinand and Keith Anderson.

The Tewksbury Municipal Election is Saturday, April 11. The only contested race on the ballot is for one five-year term on the Planning Board between George Ferdinand and Keith Anderson.
Neither candidate has held elected position in Tewksbury previously.
To help inform voters, Your Tewksbury Today asked the candidates a series of questions related to planning and development in Tewksbury. We are publishing their answers in a series of four articles this week.
This is the third in that series of four.

Question 3 -- What changes, if any, would you like to see to Tewksbury zoning bylaws or the process developers have to follow to do business in Tewksbury?

KEITH ANDERSON: "Streamline." The process seems to be drawn out over a longer period of time for not just large projects but for the folks just doing smaller items on theit own property  which increases cost and delays as to completing projects.
This "streamlining" would be on local, state, federal levels as needed along with permitting.
Zoning is a major item at town meeting and draws those that may be effected. In the long term all of Tewksbury will be effected going forward.
I would like to see a broader, more informed public hearing on zoning so that all are aware of the impact of such zoning,  such as what finance does with the budget. Get folks involved before just coming to town meeting for debate.
Although bylaws are debated and interpreted by proponents and town on different levels going forward, there will always be room for improvement to said laws, as the town works with new and existing business and residents.
Through pubic hearings, changes can be made with all involved and have over many years.
GEORGE FERDINAND:  I have shared the following position in the Town Crier on March 18, 2015 on page 2.
I believe I am the only candidate that wants this!
My idea calling for an Independent review of the town's zoning bylaws and planning regulations consists of a:
(5) member panel.
(3) appointed by Richard Montuori
(1) appointed by Steven Sadwick and Robert Armstrong and
(1) appointed by the upcoming elected Selectmen
The only candidates excluded from the panel are members of the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals and the planning board zoning bylaws subcommittee.
The Selectmen will decide on the number of meeting(s) and the duration of this panel.
The recommendations from the panel will be reviewed and adopted or rejected at a scheduled Town Meeting.
If this is not adopted I would be in favor of an independent audit by a firm chosen by town officials. By the way, it has been 13 years since the last review.

Related Stories:

Planning Board Candidate George Ferdinand: Economic Growth Needed But 'I Won't Be A Rubber Stamp'

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