Q C 3 - Full EAF (Part 1) Zoning
Full Environmental Assessment Form (FEAF) Workbook
C3 a. Is the site of the proposed action located in a municipality with an adopted zoning law or ordinance.
If Yes, what is the zoning classification(s) including any applicable overlay district?
Understanding whether or not a proposed activity is permitted under current zoning provides a context for determining if the activity is compatible with the community's plans for development. Some projects are allowed by right, needing no planning board review. However, most Type I actions will require site plan or special use permit approval, or both. Others may need a use variance or an area variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals in the municipality. Some municipalities do not have zoning laws in place.
For help in determining if the municipality has zoning or a comprehensive plan, check their website, or contact the code enforcement officer (building inspector), municipal clerk, or planning board clerk. Local resources are the best way to help you determine if your project is consistent with the local zoning or plan.
If zoning exists, review the schedule of uses, density, and dimension requirements (sometimes called 'area and bulk regulations'), zoning map, and any supplemental regulations that may be required. Some communities also have overlay districts. These are special districts that are designed to protect specific resource such as historic buildings, viewsheds, open spaces, or aquifers. If a zoning law exists, be sure to evaluate all parts of it to determine the district requirements that may pertain to the project location.
Answering Question C.3.a.
Check 'Yes' if a zoning law or ordinance is in effect in the municipality where the proposed action is to take place. If there is no adopted zoning, check no and move on to Question C4. If you answered yes, describe the zoning classification(s). Zoning classification refers to the name and type of zoning district that regulates the project location. An example statement for this could be: "The proposed activity is located within an R-2 district, which requires a 2 acre minimum lot size. The proposed activity is a use permitted with site plan and a special use permit. Part of the parcel is also within the designated Aquifer Protection Overlay District and will comply with those additional requirements."
C3 b. Is the use permitted or allowed by a special or conditional use permit?
Special or Conditional Uses
A special use permit is a permitted use in the municipality but is one that has characteristics that may make it more difficult to co-exist in a particular area or neighborhood. A special use permit evaluates the proposed use. It is often required along with site plan review which evaluates the function of structures on the parcel. Special uses often are allowed with certain conditions to ensure it fits in with the surrounding land uses. Some communities refer to their special use category as a 'conditional use'. These should be considered the same for this question.
Answering Question C.3.b.
Check 'Yes' if the proposed activity requires obtaining a special use permit or conditional use permit.
C3 c. Is a zoning change requested as part of the proposed action?
i. What is the proposed new zoning for the site?
Some applicants request a zoning change in order to allow their proposed project in a specific district, or a change in density, dimension, or other development requirements of an already allowed use. Zoning change requests are made to the legislative board of the municipality.
Answering Question C.3.c.
If the proposed use is allowed in the municipality as-of-right, or with site plan or special use permits, and no zoning change is requested, check 'no'. If the proposed action is the adoption of a municipal plan or local law, and it recommends enacting new zoning, or changing the existing zoning in the community, check 'yes' and identify the proposed new zoning. If the proposed project includes a zoning change component, also check 'yes' and identify the requested zoning change.