BELFAST — The Planning Board has spent the last two meetings discussing a variety of proposed changes to the city’s zoning ordinances, with a large amount of that discussion dealing with changes to the nonconforming use section of the city’s code.

A nonconforming use is a use of property that does not conform to the zoning code which was originally established in 1997. According to the code, any nonconforming use existing at the time the code was implemented is grandfathered as a legally nonconforming use.

The specific discussion the board spent significant time on during the two meetings July 27 and Aug. 10 concerned expansion of a residential and commercial structures on nonconforming lots, designated as Type 2 and Type 4 nonconformities, respectively.

City Planner Wayne Marshall presented several proposed changes to the board, many of them of a technical nature regarding language to be used in the codes.

The board seemed to favor allowing expansions of up to 30% of the current usable area of a structure for both residential and commercial buildings, with some caveats.

During the most recent meeting, Code and Planning Director Bub Fournier said the city has seen a lot of construction recently and that he plans to bring several developmental reviews before the board in upcoming meetings.

Fournier also updated the board on the project at 126 Church St., saying the project has a couple of upcoming reviews before the In-Town Design Review Committee, but no further action is needed from the Planning Board.

Fournier also discussed a major subdivision project involving Penobscot Community Health Care at the former MBNA building at 21 Schoodic Drive, which would be presented to the Planning Board at a future meeting.

Fournier also updated the board on the fence project at 19 Church St. as a result of its recent mention in The Republican Journal. He said as of Aug. 10, the department has not issued any permits for the project.

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