FALMOUTH — Following a long, controversial process that rolled back unpopular zoning that had caused more density in already compact residential districts, the Town Council will review two other districts created by 2016 rezoning to see if they also saw unintended impacts.

At a recent meeting, the council heard from Community Development Director Ethan Croce that the majority of new development in the more rural Residential B and D zones included more multifamily than single-family homes over the past three years: eight single-family, compared with 11 two-family.

Courtesy / Town of Falmouth

That information led town councilors to agree Sept. 9 that there’s no real crisis and no need to tamper with the zoning regulations in those two districts, which are mostly located in West Falmouth on the other side of the Maine Turnpike.

Councilor Hope Cahan was the most concerned with the development statistics shared by Croce and said she would like the council to consider making two- and multifamily dwellings a conditional use in the more rural zones, just like it did this past spring for Residential A.

“I just want to make sure that we’re not overburdening an area in a way that we did not intend,” she said. Adding a conditional use requirement would “be just another set of eyes” on the overall development situation, Cahan said.

Council Chairwoman Amy Kuhn agreed that the town should keep an eye on development pressure in the more rural residential areas, but also said she didn’t want to make any further zoning decisions until a planned review of the Comprehensive Plan gets going.

“I do want to be paying attention and intervening when there’s a serious problem,” she said. “But I’m reluctant to go around doing spot fixes all over town when evaluating how the situation has played out would be part of the Comprehensive Plan update.”

“I do want to be present and monitoring this, but I’m torn between the need for long-term planning and recognizing (and acting) on acute issues,” Kuhn added.


Comments are not available on this story.