Lyme Planning Board consider senior housing rules

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/24/2019 9:46:17 PM
Modified: 11/24/2019 9:46:15 PM

LYME — The Planning Board is fine-tuning a set of proposed zoning rules for the development of senior-housing complexes in the middle of Lyme.

On Monday, the board is scheduled to “finalize language” for amendments that, if approved, could go before voters at annual Town Meeting in March, Planning and Zoning Administrator David Robbins said last week.

The draft regulations include:

■Confining such developments to the Lyme Common zoning district.

■Limiting developments “abutting or directly across from the Lyme Common or the Little Lyme Common” to conversions of existing buildings.

■Requiring the primary resident of a given unit be at least 62 years old.

■Restricting the maximum size of each unit to 1,200 square feet, and the average size of all units in a complex to 900 square feet.

Planning Board alternate member Rich Brown expressed concern that the restrictions, as currently written, would drive up construction costs to the point where the developers would have to charge more per unit than most seniors could afford.

“It’s important for people to be able to downsize as they get older,” Brown said. “It would be a shame for them not to be able to stay in town, to move out because there wasn’t a place, a good affordable place.”

Brown is one of the principals in the Pinnacle Project, a proposed 36-unit co-housing development at Loch Lyme Lodge on Post Pond. Lyme voters rejected a zoning amendment for the development at Town Meeting in 2017.

Since the board took up the senior-housing proposal in late summer, Robbins said, “there’s been a little bit of public input at previous meetings.” Recommendations from the public included clustered condominiums on the models of The Greens at Hanover and of 85 Dartmouth College Highway in Lyme, south of the village on the way to Hanover.

The meeting is at 7 at the town offices.

David Corriveau can be reached at or 603-727-3304.

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