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PLANNING BOARD ANNUAL REPORT FOR 1998 -- Jan. 15, 1999

The Planning Board has seen the completion of two subdivisions this year, The Village at Mill Creek, containing Page Road, Mill Creek Drive, and Stone Brook Lane, and Candlewick Lane, on Wilder Road off Erickson Road. The subdivision, Bayberry Hills on Nash Road is nearing completion. The Planning Board has placed these five roads on the Warrant for acceptance by the upcoming Annual Town Meeting in May 1999.

In 1996 the Building Inspector reported 15 new building permits for houses. In 1997 he reported 16 permits, and in 1998 he reports 18. The Planning Board is exploring ways to preserve the aspects of rural life we value while growth and development continues. We are concerned that a rapid rise in new construction will out pace the Town's ability to provide services for its residents. The Board is working with other Boards and residents to write an Open Space and Recreation Plan. This project should help us express our Townspeople's priorities for recreational needs and open space preservation. A completed Open Space and Recreation Plan will make Ashby eligible for an array of State grant programs. We hope many townspeople will participate in this planning process.

The Assessors maps have been updated to show the zoning districts more accurately. We are working with the Assessors' G.I.S. mapping system to reflect environmentally sensitive zones, and potential recreation and development areas. These maps will be available to the public as they are ready.

We continue to refine our Town By-laws and are proposing a number of warrant articles for the voters to consider at the Annual Town Meeting. In order to protect the historic center of Town, we are proposing to modify the commercial district there to restrict some of the commercial uses allowed. We will also propose allowing a Post Office in that District. Other By-law changes include requiring the display of dwelling numbers and setting driveway length limits for fire safety reasons, discontinuing two roads, and, renumbering the Zoning By-laws.

Respectfully Submitted,

James Hargraves, Chairman

Jean Lindquist

Alan Pease, Clerk

Anthony Batista

John Brodie

Scott Boudreau (res.)