Friday, January 15, 2010

JANUARY 20, 2010

Order 138-09/10 Amendment to Portland City Code Chapter 14. Land Use Article III.
(Tab 11) Zoning Re: Waynflete School Overlay Zone – Sponsored by the Planning Board, David Silk, Chair.

The Planning Board is forwarding a recommendation to the City Council recommending approval of an overlay zone for the Waynflete School campus and several adjacent properties in the vicinity of 360 Spring Street. The amendments involve a proposed zoning test and an accompanying overlay zoning map. The Waynflete School Overlay Zone concept is similar in concept to the University of Southern Maine Overlay Zone.

The overlay zone has been proposed by Waynflete in order to establish a clear understanding between the school, the City and the neighborhood of the school’s potential plans regarding future development of their campus facilities in the R-4 and R-6 zones and to clearly define its boundary in the neighborhood.

The overlay zone limits Waynflete’s future growth and expansion to a specific campus footprint which provides certainty in terms of what nearby residential properties may or may not be included in the school’s future expansion plans.

Under the present system Waynflete requests approval (site plan and conditional use review) for school expansion plans on a property by property basis that tends to address short-term needs by not necessarily the long-term plan.

Rather than a limited review of an individual school project, the Planning Board’s overlay zoning process has required an in-depth analysis of long-term plans for the entire campus within the context of the City’s Comprehensive Plan resulting in a more complete and informed planning process.

The end result is a campus plan that has been reviewed under the lens of the City’s comprehensive plan providing a tightly defined school campus boundary that accommodates Waynflete’s future facility needs while protecting the character and integrity of the surrounding neighborhood.

Councilor Marshall plans to offer an amendment that would prohibit residential conversions within the overlay zone and eliminate the section that defines major and minor developments in the overlay zone for the purpose of site plan review. The result of the elimination of the section that defines site plan review is that all major and minor development will be subject to review as will be provided in Section 14-522 (Site Plan). As such, changes of use of less than 5,000 sq. ft. will not be subject to any review (Planning Authority or Planning Board), and changes of use, building additions and construction of any new structure 5,000 sq. ft. or greater will not be subject to Planning Board review. His amendment has been included in the backup.

This item must be read on two separate days. It was given a first reading on January 4th. Five affirmative votes are required for passage after public comment,

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