NLC 2023 Annual Town Meeting Recommendations

2023 Annual Town Meeting
Saturday, May 6th at 8:30 am
Nantucket High School Auditorium

Nantucket’s community depends on the
vitality of its sustainable natural resources.

The Nantucket Land & Water Council has reviewed the Warrant for the May 6th 2023, Annual Town Meeting and offers the following recommendations on articles which could affect the island’s unique and valuable natural resources and quality of life.

Article 16 YES Appropriation: Miacomet Pond Dredging
The Land Council supports the appropriation of funding to dredge a portion of Miacomet Pond. Research conducted by the NLC, the Town and the Nantucket Pond Coalition has shown that dredging is the preferred option to manage nutrient loading and Harmful Algal Blooms in Miacomet Pond.

Article 20 YES Establishment & Appropriation: Stormwater Enterprise Fund
The Land Council supports the establishment and appropriation of money for a dedicated Enterprise Fund focused on the long term management of Stormwater Infrastructure, which is critical for the health of our waters.

Article 40 YES Bylaw: Time-Sharing, Time Interval or Fractional Ownership
The Land Council supports Article 40, which adds language to the Bylaw about Fractional Ownership to clarify that Time-sharing is only permitted in certain commercial zoning districts (CDT, CMI, CN, RC, and VN). Incorporating this newer business model into the bylaw further protects the community from commercial uses in residential areas.

Article 46-48 YES Zoning Map Change: RC2 Properties
The Land Council supports the Planning Board’s continued effort to eliminate the RC/RC-2 zones and replace them with more appropriate zoning districts.

Article 53 YES Zoning Bylaw Amendment: Town Overlay District – Open Spaces
The Land Council supports this Planning Board article which appropriately changes the zoning of several Town owned open-space properties to R40, increasing the minimum lot size to the greatest extent possible within the Town Overlay District.

Article 60 YES Zoning Bylaw Amendment: Short Term Rental – Accessory Use
The Land Council supports this article, which ensures all homeowners have the ability to short-term rent their homes, as long as the home is used more often as a residence than it is used as an STR. This article also helps protect neighborhoods by prohibiting full-time commercial STRs in residential areas.

Article 61 NO Zoning Bylaw Amendment: Definitions – Commercial
The Land Council joins the Planning Board’s recommendation not to adopt this article. It introduces rentals (including short-term rentals) into the definition of private residential use, which could allow short-term rental use in all residential districts without any reasonable limitations or regulations.

Article 62 YES Zoning Bylaw Amendment: Preexisting Nonconforming Uses, Structures and Lots
The Land Council supports this article to remove language from the Bylaw that currently acts as a loophole, enabling unregulated infill development that local zoning does not support. By allowing self-inflicted nonconforming lots to be developed by right without review or permitting, this infill development has many negative ramifications for the community and the island.

Article 67 NO Zoning Map Change: R20 to R10 Old South Rd/Miller Lane
This article, if adopted, would more than double the potential density of these properties in a very congested residential area with no restrictions, affordability requirements, or other public benefit.

Article 68 NO Zoning Map Change: R40 to CN Evergreen Way/Airport Rd
This article, if adopted, would cut the minimum lot size to a fraction of an acre from 40,000 sf to 7,500 sf, enabling new commercial uses and substantial subdivision on these 2 properties from a current potential of 3 lots under current zoning up to 14 lots with this change, increasing the density nearly five-fold.

Article 74 & 75 YES Sewer District Map Changes: Hummock Pond Rd, Vestal Street & Millbrook Rd
The Land Council supports these articles proposing to move the subject properties, which are in an identified Needs Area, into the Town Sewer District for the improvement of water quality within the Hummock Pond Watershed.

Article 76 YES Outdoor Lighting
The Land Council supports this article and the improvement of local regulations regarding impacts of lighting and the preservation of Dark Skies. Light pollution interferes with the circadian rhythms of humans and wildlife, and is particularly detrimental to nocturnal animals, migratory birds, and amphibians. The preservation of Dark Skies is essential to the long-term health of Nantucket’s natural and cultural resources.

Article 83 YES Home Rule Petition: Amend the NP&EDC Enabling Legislation
The Land Council supports the intent of this article which amends the special act, adjusting the makeup of the Commission and encouraging the NP&EDC to work with a broader vision for long-term planning.

Article 86 YES Home Rule Petition: An Act Regulating the Application of Fertilizer
The proposed fertilizer ban voted for by 2022 ATM is still being reviewed by the state. The Land Council supports the intent of this article, which would allow Nantucket to amend and improve existing fertilizer regulations.

Article 87, 90, & 95 YES Real Estate Conveyances: Town of Nantucket to NCF & NILB
The Land Council supports these articles to allow for the conveyance of these parcels to conservation organizations for long-term protection and stewardship.

Article 96 YES Real Estate Acquisition: Easements for Water Main adjacent to Airport
The Land Council supports the efforts of the Wannacomet Water Company and the Town to bring Town water to properties that have been directly impacted by PFAS groundwater contamination.