Zoning Bylaw Recodification

Phase 1: Reformat, Reorganize, Clarify, and Update

The first phase of this project involved recodifying the Town’s Zoning Bylaw into a “new version" having a redesigned, contemporary, sound framework, and solid foundation. This new Zoning Bylaw has all of the basic provisions of the old Zoning Bylaw; the text was was transferred, repositioned, and renumbered and some new information was added and necessary changes were made. The Recodified Zoning Bylaw can be found here:

Town of Falmouth Massachusetts Zoning Bylaw, Town Code Chapter 240 Articles 1 – 14, November 2022

November 14, 2022 Fall Town Meeting Presentation

What changes were made as a result of the September 13, 2022 Public Hearing?

The Planning Board approved revisions to the Business Districts Table of Uses (Section 240-6.2B) as it relates to Residential and Commercial Mixed Use. This was done to make it clear that residential uses may be allowed along with commercial uses in all Business Districts. This and other clerical changes are outlined in the Zoning Bylaw Changes Summary document. 

What is Phase 1?

Phase 1 included amending the Zoning Bylaw to renumber, recaption, and recodify, and to make clerical and substantive revisions by (a) reorganizing the layout of the Bylaw and adding tables; (b) assigning new article numbers; (c) renumbering sections of the Bylaw accordingly, (d) updating internal references to reflect the new numbering system, (e) updating the existing text to conform with State statutes and regulations; (f) adding new text to provide clarity, specificity, and structure; (g) correcting typographical errors, (h) eliminating outdated references and terms, and (i) adding recent Town Meeting approved bylaw language where necessary.

Attorney General Review: A look back

As required by G.L. c.40, s.32, the Recodified Zoning Bylaw approved at the November 2021 Town Meeting, was sent to the Municipal Law Unit of the Office of the Attorney General for their review and approval. In July, the town received an informal review from the AG's Office indicating that the Recodification effort included substantive changes, not just reformats, updates or clarifications. They were concerned that Town Meeting members were not adequately informed about the changes when they voted to approve the new Zoning Bylaw because the Warrant Article did not identify that the proposed Bylaw included changes. The AG's Office review and our consultant's responses can be found here.

A brief summary of "where we are now" and the path forward can be viewed here and in the video below. If you still have questions, feel free to download our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS document or simply contact the Planning Office at 508-495-7440.

Phase 2: Modify & Amend

The second phase of the project is focused on reviewing the bylaw for errors, inconsistencies, or areas that need to be better defined. This work will likely happen over several months and will involve a number of meetings of the Working Group. The Zoning Bylaw Issues Topic for Phase 2 document below is an outline of the topics that will be part of this phase.

Working Group

  • Charlotte Harris, Planning Board Member
  • Pat Kerfoot, Planning Board Member
  • D. Scott Peterson, Zoning Board of Appeals Member
  • Frank Duffy, Zoning Board of Appeals Member
  • Robert Dugan, Ex-Officio Member
  • Jed Cornock, Town Planner
  • Michaela Shoemaker, Community Development Planner
  • Noreen Stockman, Zoning Administrator
  • Gary Street, Building Commissioner
  • Brian Tobin, Associate Town Counsel

Zoom Meeting Link for Meetings : https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88303236190