The 2017 Special Town Meeting was opened and closed in one night; there are a few changes that are worth taking note:

Zoning Changes: Nantucket adopted several zoning bylaw changes, including the following:

  • Increased time to use a zoning permit: Use of a zoning permit has to start within one year (not 6 months) and the permit is good for 3- years (not 2 years),
  • Expanded definition of legally non-conforming structures: Structures that are zoning violations and are more than 10 years old will now be treated as legally nonconforming (not just unenforceable violations).
  • The formula for determining ground cover in lots that are in multiple zoning districts was clarified
  • Unenclosed exterior spaces and other structures are exempt from ground cover.
  • Sheds of up to 200 SF can qualify as a “non-ground cover” shed, only if they are a detached shed, less than 16 feet in height, and on a slab, pier, or crawl space foundation.
  • The Planning Board can give relief by Special Permit to the requirement that a secondary dwelling to be 20% larger or smaller than a main dwelling.
  • Underground propane tanks are exempt from setback requirements.
  • Up to two stairs can encroach up to two feet into the setback, in all districts with lots smaller than 40,000 SF.
  • The Planning Board has more options by Special Permit for approving Apartments and Apartment Buildings.
  • Trailers and storage containers can be an approved use by Special Permit in the Commercial Neighborhood (CN), Commercial Industrial (CI) and Commercial, Trade, Entrepreneur, and Craft (CTEC) districts. Previously the use of trailers and containers for storage was prohibited except for temporary use on construction sites. This new use does not interfere with the parking of registered trailers with license plates in any zone.

Marijuana Sales: Nantucket adopted three Articles regulating the commercial retail sale of recreational Marijuana by adding:

  • A moratorium on retail sales until the end of 2018, to allow time for the state to issue its rules.
  • A zoning provision to limit the retail sale to the Commercial Neighborhood (CN) and Commercial Industrial (CI) zones, by Special Permit, with prohibitions on other uses on the lot and a 500’ buffer from schools and day care facilities.
  • A 3% local sales tax, on top of the State sales tax.

Speed Limits: Nantucket adopted a state law that authorizes new 20 MPH speed limits, which were previously not enforceable.