First, they planted handmade signs in their front yards along Pleasant Street. Now, they’ve delivered a petition to the city that does more than just put those protests in writing.
Almost all the property owners in a residential district west of Langley Parkway have signed on to a “protest petition” opposing the zoning change requested by Concord Orthopaedics. Once authenticated, the document signed by the owners of 19 properties will increase the number of votes needed on the city council to pass the proposed zoning change.
“Basically, it’s a tool that we have to fight larger entities that look to make big changes in zoning and land-use,” said Brendan Ryder, who lives next door to the property Concord Ortho hopes to develop.
State law allows for these protest petitions to be drawn up by the inhabitants or neighbors of a proposed zoning change. When it’s verified that the petition meets the standards set forth in the law, it will trigger the need for a two-thirds majority vote – as opposed to a simply majority – for the change to be adopted.
In this case, Concord Ortho is seeking to rezone the entirety of the medium-density residential district between St. Paul’s School and Langley Parkway to allow the medical campus around Concord Hospital to expand there. The clinic hopes to build a 20,000-square-foot surgical center amid a row of houses on the 297 Pleasant St. property that it bought last year.
Ryder, a Concord police officer, said he discovered the law about protest petitions during the downtime of an overnight shift.
“I think most people would like to know that police officers during the midnight…
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