Halls Road Committee Accelerates Rezoning Plans

OLD LYME — At a special meeting on Wednesday night, the Halls Road Improvements Committee voted unanimously to accelerate the creation of rezoning language for Halls Road for the creation of a village district that will include mixed use, multi-family housing, and residential development. 

The committee voted to direct BSC Group to craft the new zoning regulations — which are part of Phase III of the master plan proposal — despite a number of tasks in Phase II that are not finished. 

Committee Chair Edie Twining said the outcome of many of the items in Phase II — sidewalks, bike lanes, right-of-way modifications — are reliant on showing the plan to the Department of Transportation because Halls Road (Route 1) is a state road. 

Committee member David Kelsey suggested that the committee show the DOT a wider range of ideas than what was included in the BSC plan. Members voted unanimously to include four additional items — a crosswalk beacon, traffic islands, a bus turnout area and on-street parking — in the plan and to direct BSC to begin the necessary conversations with DOT for feedback. 

With DOT input on what items might be allowed and not allowed, BSC will then put together three options ranging from “economy” to “Cadillac,” and the costs of each. 

The committee has also formed four subcommittees  to address specific issues— zoning, signage, grant writing and design guidelines.

Twining said that this summer the committee will create a display for the public in the town hall foyer using enlarged BSC drawings of the potential future zoning on Halls Road and a supporting booklet of information. She suggested that the committee hold two open houses for the public as well as present the plan to the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance.

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