SOUTHWICK – During the most recent Planning Board meeting, the board unanimously voted to approve a revised version of the town’s business restricted zone.
The Westfield News first reported on the revised business restricted zone on Nov. 3, as a draft was in progress between the Planning Board and the town attorney.
According to Town Planner Alan Slessler on Nov. 21, the town attorney looked over the proposed changes by the Planning Board and approved of the revisions.
“They (town attorney) came back with a positive review,” said Slessler.
Slessler was pleased to see that every member of the Planning Board voted for the changes of the business restriction zone.
“They understood the concerns,” said Slessler.
The business restriction zone begins just south of the Southwick Town Hall and goes north on College Highway to the area near Westfield River Brewing Co.
Having a mixed use is the main priority for the complete revision of the business restricted zone. Several businesses within the business restricted zone have their business on the first floor and then either live on the second floor or want to rent it out for residence.
Going back to the article on Nov.3, Slessler addresses the need for mixed use from business owners and residents of Southwick.
“According to Slessler, a number of colonial houses in that zone fit that model as well as other small business owners that have parcels and would want to occupy the second floor that wouldn’t be used for their business.”
“We’ve taken and tried to address that,” said Slessler. “Business is the primary concern, but now a residential use is incorporated with that.”
With the approval of the Planning Board and the town attorney, the next step for the revised business restriction zone use will be at the special town meeting on Dec. 6 at the Southwick Town Hall. Anyone in the community that is in attendance can vote on the changes for mixed use.
If the changes are approved at the special town meeting, a warrant article will be drafted and sent to the Attorney General’s office where they will have up to 90 days to review it.