Design Review

Quite some time ago I put up a poll asking whether the town should reinvigorate the Design Review Panel.  There were 16 responses, not an overwhelming response rate, but one that at least provides some perspective.  Seventy-five percent of those responding felt we needed to recharge the Design Review Panel.

The next step is to start to research effective Design Review Panels.  “Effective” in this case, means finding a way to create a Design Review Panel that will not result in the same frustrations felt by the panel that last existed in the 1970’s.  A panel that disbanded after reporting over and over their frustrations with having no teeth and being ignored in the project review process.

To this end, I have made a request to my counterparts across the state for their thoughts on a workable Design Review Panel with teeth.  I am sure there are many examples out there for us to consider.  I am hopeful that we will find something that can be adapted to work for Dennis.

If anyone in Town has any ideas, please feel free to share them.

A side note, to be truly effective, we may need to consider changes to the “by-right” development thresholds.  Many communities limit by-right commercial development to between 2,000 and 5,000 sf, with 2,500 sf of space being the norm.  That leads to a new question:


One thought on “Design Review

  1. Jon Idman

    Dan- One idea…design review could be made a component of site plan review, with the addition of some new spr standards related to aesthetics/ design, and perhaps re-appraisal of the spr thresholds I’d think that the thresholds triggering the need for spr would likely trigger design review anyway, and a single forum would be less burdensome on an applicant.

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