Gray Community Development Director Doug Webster, calls this home converted into office space on Shaker Road “a textbook example” of what new zoning changes will do. Kristen McNerney / Lakes Region Weekly

Changes to the town zoning ordinance designed to promote growth in Gray Village will require new or renovated housing in the village to be built to accommodate commercial uses as well.

The amendments, set to go into effect at the end of the month, will affect newly constructed or “substantially altered” homes in Gray’s Village Center and Village Center Proper zones. They will result in a more efficient use of space in the village, Community Development Director Doug Webster said, by requiring “adaptive reuse of structures … so the same parcel could be used for either residential or commercial” purposes.

A map of Gray’s zoning shows the Village Center and Village Center Proper districts represented by VC and VCP in yellow. The districts are intersected by Yarmouth Road, Portland Road and Colley Hill Road in the center of town. Screenshot / Town of Gray

The changes, approved by the Town Council, are part of a town-wide review of all zoning districts over the next 18 months, Town Manager Nate Rudy said. The review is meant to address growth, outlined as a priority in Gray’s 2020 comprehensive plan.

Town-wide, 48 new single-family homes were built in 2020, compared to 36 in 2015 and 19 in 2010, according to Pam Edson, assistant to the town’s community development staff. Between 2011 and 2020, there were six new housing starts in the village center, Rudy said.

Only new houses in the village or those that are undergoing renovations that affect more than 50% of their footprint will be subject to the new rules.  A proposed addition to a house would have to meet the standards, but minor renovations would not, Webster said.

Residents applying for permits for substantial renovations will have to meet certain commercial standards, such as for parking and storm water collection and management sites.

At the same time, they must adhere to aesthetic standards designed to “maintain the existing character and feel” of traditional homes within the village, Webster said.  For example, roofs should be pitched rather than flat and exterior materials such as wood clapboard siding should be used. Concrete block, multi-colored brick, asphalt shingles and synthetic stone will be prohibited.

Single-family, two-family and three-family homes, as well as accessory apartments and detached structures such as a residential garage or tool shed fall under the new rules’ purview.

The standards will go into effect Oct. 25.

Comments are not available on this story.