Latest Draft of Zoning Revisions Committee Ordinance

The Rezoning Subcommittee has kindly provided us with the latest draft of the ordinance to set up a Zoning Revisions Committee. This ordinance will be reviewed by Northampton’s Planning Board on August 28 at 7pm, Council Chambers, Puchalski Municipal Building, 212 Main Street. The public is encouraged to attend.

Draft Ordinance: Zoning Revisions Committee


The  Zoning Revisions Committee (hereinafter
referred to as the Committee) is hereby established, the purpose of which is to
assist The Planning Board to identify, develop and recommend where appropriate
zoning ordinances that serve to implement the Sustainability Plan as adopted on
May 22, 2008 (check date?). The
committee shall be organized as a sub-committee of the Planning Board and its charge
shall be threefold;

review current zoning and recommend revisions as appropriate that will serve to
implement the goals of the Northampton Sustainability plan

serve as an additional technical resource to the Planning Board in matters of
zoning revisions.

provide a wide range of opportunities for public input to the zoning revisions


shall consist of nine voting members, residents of the City who shall be
appointed by the Planning Board. The composition of the Committee shall be as

appointees shall have the technical skills and experience to address zoning,
land use and planning issues.

appointees will represent broad based community concerns(e.g. representatives
of neighborhood, civic or housing related organizations)

member will represent environmental/conservation concerns (e.g Broad Brook
Coalition, local Land Trust, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary)

appointee will represent economic development concerns (e.g. Chamber of
Commerce, real estate concerns, commercial or residential developers)

member will represent the Planning Board

voting members shall serve without compensation

Director of Planning and Development and Building Commissioner or their
designees shall be ex officio members of the Committee. They shall not be
entitled to vote on the making of recommendations.

appointments will be for a two year term.


Whenever any
vacancy shall occur on the Committee, it shall be filled by the appointing
authority (Planning Board). Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the
Committee shall represent the constituency that the original member represented
and hold office for the unexpired term of the person whom s/he succeeds.

 Organization, Officers.

The members
of the Committee shall elect one member to serve as Chairperson and one member
to serve as Vice-chair. Elections will be held annually.

Chairperson may establish subcommittees to carry out the work of the Committee.
The Committee may appoint nonvoting members who shall serve without
compensation as subcommittee members. Subcommittees may consist of committee
members as well as those who are not members of the Committee. These
subcommittees will meet as needed, with the meetings being publicly posted in
advance according to the Open Meeting Law.
(See MGL c. 39,
§ 23B)
. Chairpersons
of the subcommittees may be selected by the members of the subcommittees.

Committee can establish additional rules and requirements relating to voting
and membership. Such rules shall be incorporated into a corresponding bylaw


The Committee
shall meet on a regular basis, but in any case, at least quarterly. Special
meetings may be called by the Chairperson. It shall inform the City Clerk of
the time and place of any meeting and shall hold all meetings in accordance
with the provisions of the Open Meeting Law and any other applicable state or
federal statutes.  

A quorum
shall consist of 51% of the active voting members. A majority vote of a quorum
shall be sufficient to approve any motion.


Duties and functions.

A.      It shall be the duty of the Committee to
assist the City in the review and
revisions of current zoning ordinances that serve to further the Goals of the Northampton Sustainability
plan. The Committee shall recommend
changes, additions, deletions in said ordinances to the Planning Board; if such zoning ordinances do not exist or if new
ordinances are deemed necessary, to
advise and assist the Planning Board
in the formulation of these ordinances so as to achieve the City’s sustainability and land use

B       The
Committee will develop a priority list of ordinance sections to be reviewed and
provide a timeline to the Planning Board for proposing recommended revisions
and additions.


The Committee shall serve as a vehicle for continuous and
regular input for the residents of the community in relation to the process
of drafting zoning revisions that further the goals of the Northampton
Sustainability Plan.


In carrying out these duties, the Committee shall encourage
public participation in the process using local media, surveys, information
meetings, public hearings and web resources including e-mail listservs.

E.      The Committee shall have the power to
create ad hoc committees and task forces
for the carrying out of the purposes of the Committee. Such ad hoc committees and task forces
may be comprised of Committee or
non-Committee individuals

F.      The
Committee shall have the power to adopt its own procedures and bylaws as it
deems necessary to fulfill its responsibilities.

Sunset Clause

Committee shall be active for a period of two years at which time the Planning
Board shall make a determination to either conclude or extend the activities of
The Committee.

See also:

August 28: Planning Board to Discuss Zoning Revisions Committee, Northampton Design Forum

Video: August 11 Rezoning Subcommittee

Design Northampton Week: Preliminary Schedule

Final Sustainable Northampton Plan Now Ready to View

Planning Board Adopts Sustainable Northampton Plan