Hudson official says no new zoning overhauls planned following Town Meeting vote

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Hudson official says no new zoning overhauls planned following Town Meeting vote
Director of Planning and Community Development Kristina Johnson describes changes to the zoning bylaw. (Photos/Laura Hayes)

HUDSON – There are no immediate plans to bring forward any additional proposed amendments to Hudson’s zoning bylaws following Town Meeting’s rejection of a zoning overhaul last month, Director of Planning and Community Development Kristina Johnson recently told the Community Advocate.

“There’s nothing being discussed,” she said in an interview on Nov. 23. “We’re taking a break.”

Town meeting debates amendment

The town had put forward a comprehensive zoning amendment, seeking to carry out Hudson’s first zoning overhaul since 1957. 

Johnson said in late September that the amendment would update Hudson’s bylaw in accordance with changes over the last 60 years of economic development. 

Mentions of breweries and cannabis dispensaries would be added, as would elements addressing solar installations and drive-thrus. 

The bylaw would have also modernized Hudson’s zoning map itself, Johnson said, by adopting a Geographic Information System method of measurement.

Voters rejected the Town Meeting article associated with this amendment on Nov. 15, however, with individuals voicing a variety of concerns.

Resident Brian O’Neill specifically asked several questions about home occupations and storage containers, which would be more heavily regulated under the new zoning bylaw. He also advocated for specific language regarding trailers. 

“I find it unbelievable that the town would consider regulating how I use my home to make my living,” he said. 

At the time, Johnson responded that home occupations were regulated in the current bylaw.

“This is just providing a little bit more clarity,” she said. “Again, this is not trying to take away anybody’s property rights….It’s defining what a home occupation is, which is a commercial activity that is incidental to the use of the residential property.” 

Town moves forward

Some discussion at Town Meeting had suggested that the town could “rework” elements of the amendment for a future Town Meeting.

Johnson, however, reiterated in her recent comments that the town was not planning on any additional zoning overhaul proposals in the near future. 

Instead, she said, the town is moving forward with its current zoning bylaw.

“We don’t have the comprehensive update that we wanted to put forward,” she said. “We don’t have a zoning map.”

“We don’t have a drive-thru by law,” she continued. “We don’t have a solar bylaw. We’re just back to working with the existing bylaws in full effect.”

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