A Pair of Public Hearings on Zoning - Fall River City Council Session

A Fall River City Council session began just before 6pm Tuesday night and featured a pair of public hearings at the top of the meeting just before the committee on finance began. The two proposals had to do with dog kennels and wind energy.


Fall River Planning Director William Roth explained a new kennel regulation he authored last night during the first hearing in Government Center Council Chambers regarding an update on the policy and tweaking current city ordinances to comply with Commonwealth Law.


“I was working with Building Commissioner Glen Hathaway,” Roth said. “We wrote a bylaw amendment making dog kennels in Fall River compliant with state law. Currently our kennel bylaw is set at 3 dogs. Massachusetts law is not 3 - it’s 4.”


The planning director said the new language would kill two birds with one stone.


“This would look at doing two things,” Roth explained. “First it would modify the definition, changing it from 3 to 4. And then, under the use table modifying kennels, instead of 3 would contain 4 or more. That’s all this would be doing, strictly changing it to comply with state law.”


The second public hearing featured a proposal from Roth regarding a wind energy corridor at portions of the Fall River Waterfront.


“This bylaw has nothing to do with the placement of windmills across the waterfront,” he said. “We’ve received a lot of questions regarding that. A separate windmill bylaw dictates when and where you can put those. This one being proposed today looks at support services and industries that will support offshore wind.”


Roth continued, “They need parcels that predominantly have access to water. That would be in our W.T.O.D (Waterfront and Transit-Oriented Development) District. We would look at adding 3 very specifically detailed uses to the use table.”


Fall River has the capability of adding various support services as part of a marine economy, according to the city’s planning director.


“A lot of services bring different parts in,” Roth explained. “They put them together then put them on a barge and then to offshore wind. A host of support services that will look for maintenance will require waterfront access.”


The Fall River planning board will also have a role to play as well as council as both of these proposals will continue through their process in Spring and the Summer.