November 18, 2019

Warren considers extending moratorium for six months

WARREN — The town’s selectmen and subdivision committee are expected to recommend an extension on a subdivision moratorium Wednesday because the updated ordinance is still under construction.

Town Manager Grant Watmough said Monday that the current six-month moratorium on subdivisions expires July 11 and that the new ordinance being developed by the committee will not be finished by then.

It appears that state law requires such a moratorium to be for a minimum of six months, Watmough said. However, if the ordinance is completed before the end of that six months, it can take effect because it supersedes the moratorium, he said.

The big changes expected in the ordinance are an increase in minimum lot size and a requirement spelling out how much open space must be maintained, he said.

The current ordinance requires a minimum lot size of 40,000 square feet, or nearly an acre, Watmough said. The minimum lot size being considered is 60,000 square feet, or about 1 1/2 acres.

The density factor would result in a developer reserving as much space for open space as the minimum lot size. Watmough said that would mean there could be one dwelling for every 3 acres.

If selectmen Wednesday recommend that the moratorium be extended six months, a public hearing would be set for July 7, which would be followed by a board vote, Watmough said.

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