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Charlestown to take up proposed zone rules

Union Leader Correspondent

December 02. 2013 8:52PM

CHARLESTOWN — The Planning Board will meet tonight with residents of the north end of Main Street to discuss possible changes to the zoning ordinance to protect the area's historic character.

"They would have to take the form of three separate amendments to the zoning ordinance," said David M. Edkins, planning and zoning administrator.

The first would create a new district, the second would extend the abutting business district to cover a couple of properties and the third would pertain to the sign ordinance, Edkins said Monday.

The discussion will take place at a regularly scheduled meeting and is not a public hearing on proposed zoning amendments, Edkins said. It is simply an opportunity for Planning Board members to get the opinions of the residents who would be affected. The proposed changes would rezone 14 properties, Edkins said.

"Give them an opportunity to weigh in because they are the ones to be most directly affected by them," he said.

Edkins said planners want to preserve the historic nature of this area of town. That part of Main Street is zoned mixed-use, which basically allows for any use, according to Edkins.

If they decide to move forward with the proposed amendments, public hearings would be held and the zoning changes would go to a vote at March Town Meeting.

The Planning Board started taking a closer look at the town's zoning regulations last month after the approval of a new Jiffy Mart convenience store on the north end of Main Street on the site of a historic house triggered a townwide discussion about Main Street and how it should be zoned.

In this case the historic house is to be removed from its downtown location and moved to another location in town, so that historic building will be preserved, but not along the town's Main Street.

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