By Brad Reed, Townsman Staff
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Let’s say you’re upset because a developer has proposed building an enormous house next door that would block sunlight in your backyard.
As long as the proposed building conforms to the town’s zoning bylaws, you couldn’t do anything to stop it from being built.
But that could change this year if Town Meeting votes to allow the town’s neighborhoods to designate themselves as Neighborhood Conservation Districts, or NCDs.
“We feel it’s necessary to give a neighborhood … some control over how their neighborhood changes and develops,” said Historical Committee member Joel Slocum, a Denton Road resident who helped write the proposed bylaw change “This is not zoning. It comes from the bottom up and not the top down.”
David Wright, an adviser to the Historical Commission who supports the article to let Wellesley residents establish NCDS, said he thought the proposed measure struck a nice balance between stopping any new construction in neighborhoods and simply letting developers run wild.
“It’s more flexible because it doesn’t try to define a neighborhood in terms of preserving it under a glass jar,” said Wright, who emphasized that NCDs were not “some mushy hippie commune thing.” “It’s somewhere between that kind of Colonial Williamsburg attitude and that swashbuckling developer attitude.”
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