Gray will demand that the construction of a new village be adaptable to residential or commercial uses


Gray Community Development Manager Doug Webster calls this converted home office space on Shaker Road “an example handbook” of what the new zoning changes will do. Kristen McNerney / Lake District Weekly

Changes to the city’s zoning ordinance to promote the growth of Gray Village will require new or renovated housing to be built in the village to accommodate commercial uses as well.

The changes, which are expected to take effect at the end of the month, will affect newly built or “substantially altered” homes in Gray’s Village Center and Village Center Proper areas. They will result in a more efficient use of space in the village, said community development director Doug Webster by requiring “the adaptive reuse of structures … so that the same plot can be used for residential or commercial purposes. “.

A Gray zoning map shows the Village Center and Village Center Propre neighborhoods represented by VC and VCP in yellow. The neighborhoods are cut off by Yarmouth Road, Portland Road and Colley Hill Road in the center of the city. Screenshot / City of Gray

The changes, approved by city council, are part of a city-wide review of all zoning districts over the next 18 months, said chief executive Nate Rudy. The review aims to address growth, outlined as a priority in Gray’s Global 2020 plan.

Citywide, 48 new single-family homes were built in 2020, up from 36 in 2015 and 19 in 2010, according to Pam Edson, the city’s community development staff assistant. Between 2011 and 2020, there were six new housing starts in the center of the village, Rudy said.

Only new houses in the village or those undergoing renovation affecting more than 50% of their footprint will be subject to the new rules. A proposed addition to a home is expected to meet standards, but not minor renovations, Webster said.

Residents applying for permits for substantial renovations will need to meet certain commercial standards, such as parking and stormwater collection and management sites.

At the same time, they must adhere to aesthetic standards designed to “maintain the existing character and ambiance” of traditional village houses, Webster said. For example, roofs should be sloped rather than flat and exterior materials such as clapboard siding should be used. Concrete block, multicolored brick, asphalt shingles and synthetic stone will be prohibited.

Single-family, two-family and three-family homes, as well as secondary apartments and isolated structures such as a residential garage or a tool shed fall within the scope of the new rules.

The standards will come into effect on October 25.

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