Published Date Written by Craig LyonsAn ordinance change that will ease the permitted uses in the city's light industrial zone won the approval of the Planning Board Tuesday.
The Planning Board unanimously approved a series of text amendments related to the city's light industrial zone — specifically in East Bayside — and what types of accessory uses will be allowed in the area. The ordinance change would allow for maker's markets, special events and studio space for artists, crafts people and photographers.
"This is a great thing," said board member Jack Soley, and said that the city should be careful not to disrupt the good path that the East Bayside neighborhood is on.
The city has received requests from some of the businesses in the light industrial zone, particularly the food and drink-related ones, that sought to hold special events and farmer's market-style vending on private property, according to a staff memo, but existing zoning prevented those uses.
Planner Nell Donaldson said there are three major components of the text amendments: The maker's market concept, allowing temporary events; and permitting studios for artists, crafts people and photographers.
The maker's market will allow businesses to sell hand-crafted and limited production products, said Donaldson, but be limited to no more than 28 hours of vending and be restricted to 45 percent of the floor area. She said the limitations of the maker's market provision emphasize that it's an accessory use for a business in the light industrial zone.
The special events allowance would give businesses the opportunity to host performances, readings and other events in the zone, said Donaldson, but only allow them 16 hours per week.
Lastly, the ordinance change would allow for studio space in the light industrial zone for artists, crafts people and photographers.
Donaldson said the ordinance amendments are consistent with the city's policies and are designed to protect the existing uses in the light industrial zone.
"I think it's a great idea," said board member Elizabeth Boepple.