Leyden Special Town Meeting to consider road discontinuance, zoning changes

  • East Hill Road at the intersection with Hunt Hill Road, on the left, in Leyden. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

For the Recorder
Published: 3/17/2023 1:25:22 PM

LEYDEN — Residents will consider discontinuing portions of two roads, adopting a Stretch Code and enacting bylaws governing solar arrays during a Special Town Meeting on Monday, March 20.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 16 West Leyden Road.

Selectboard member Katherine DiMatteo said one of the reasons behind having this meeting is so articles aren’t tacked onto the Annual Town Meeting, allowing time for “important and complicated topics that have implications in town.” She highlighted the solar bylaw as being particularly important.

Road discontinuance

Four out of the nine articles pertain to discontinuing portions of Hunt Hill and East Hill roads, and accepting the layout of a private way for a section of each road.

Hunt Hill Road’s discontinuance would begin 943 feet from its intersection with East Hill Road, and would continue west for a distance of 3,582 feet to its intersection with Brattleboro Road. This portion would be turned into a private way, the warrant states.

East Hill Road would be discontinued starting from 200 feet south of where it meets Simon Keets Road and continuing south for 1,470 feet.

Stretch Code, zoning changes

The town also plans to vote on enacting a “Stretch Code” to regulate “the design and construction of buildings for the effective use of energy,” the warrant states. If approved, the code would go into effect July 1, 2023.

Stretch Code adoption is mandatory for designation as a Green Community, according to the Massachusetts state website. Details about Stretch Codes are available at bit.ly/3FyN12V.

Additionally, DiMatteo noted the Planning Board is bringing forward a series of zoning revisions, which is “the reason why we are having a Special Town Meeting in the first place.” Article 9 details a variety of changes to definitions included in the bylaws, and outlines permitted uses for building-mounted and residential ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installations, as well as uses allowed by special permit and prohibited uses.

“There is a pressing need to promote solar energy development in light of the current global climate crisis,” the warrant explains. “Appropriate solar energy development is also a potential opportunity for economic development, diversifying the town from its dependence on the residential tax base.”

Other articles

The three remaining articles include a vote on transferring $2,650 from free cash to support the Conservation Commission’s Japanese knotweed removal efforts; transferring $100,000 from free cash to the Fire Department/EMS Development Account; and transferring $50,000 from the Fire Department Stabilization Account to the Fire Department/EMS Development Account.

The full warrant can be viewed at bit.ly/3lndJ7L.


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