WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – West Springfield Mayor Reichelt submitted a legislative package to the Town Council.

In the submittal, the Mayor indicates ten proposals for passage including general and zoning ordinances such as marijuana with some outstanding issues from the last six years.

Municipal Light Plant Legislation (2022-01):

The proposal requests to complete the municipal light plant to roll out broadband service to residents in partnership with Westfield Gas & Electric.

Home Rule Petition – 7 additional liquor licenses (2022-02):

The mayor is requesting 7 additional alcohol licenses. As part of the town’s economic development and downtown revitalization efforts, the special legislation proposal includes 5 licenses restricted to the “Economic Opportunity Zone” and the remaining 2 licenses would be restricted to the “Route 20 Business Corridor”.

Courtesy: Mayor Reichelt’s Legislative Package

Establishment of a Special Injury Leave Indemnity Fund (2022-03)

Establish the fund to appropriate monies and in addition to crediting the fund with any insurance or restitution monies received from third parties for injuries to police officers and firefighters (i.e., salary and other compensation, medical bills and replacement services for the injured police officers and firefighters).

If the fund reaches a determined amount that is not needed, a portion of the balance may be released to the General Fund.

Small Cell Wireless Facilities Proposals (2022-04):

Includes several ordinance amendments to address the installation of small cell wireless facilities.

Accessory Structure Setbacks and Property Buffers (2022-05):

A proposal combines two zoning ordinance issues to address the increase in stormwater runoff.

Proposing the language to limit the amount of property that can be paved or hardscaped by impervious surfaces (which increases stormwater runoff).

Amend the ordinance to allow property owners to put sheds and smaller outbuildings closer to the property line and closer to their homes. These changes will allow property owners with more flexibility to use their own property and yards, while still maintaining structures away from the property line.

Electronic Signs at Gas Stations (2022-06):

The current zoning ordinance does not allow pump topper price displays to be electronic. The proposed amendment will clarify that electronic changeable copy is permitted for fuel price displays and also clarify the extent to which price advertisements required by state law are exempt from sign permit.

Property Fencing (2022-07):

Proposal to allow property owners to choose one “front yard” and treat the remainder of the property as back and side yards.

Proposal to require fencing for pools with more than 24” of water depth to address the life-safety issues of soft-sided pools.

Impervious Surface Coverage (2022-08):

Currently, the zoning ordinance only regulates impervious surfaces as it relates to building coverage of a lot and does not include other impervious surfaces (such as hardscape or landscape buffers).

The proposed amendment would address all impervious surfaces on a lot and should help to mitigate stormwater runoff issues to mitigate runoff and drainage issues between private property owners.

Retail Marijuana Facilities (2022-09):

A two-part proposal to lift the Town-wide ban on retail marijuana establishments and to allow additional types of retail marijuana facilities to operate in certain areas.

The amendment would expand the categories of marijuana businesses that are allowed from (currently) medical-only, to permit additional marijuana establishments to operate in the Town, including cultivators, manufacturers, retailers, testing and research facilities and transporters.

Home-based Businesses (2022-10):

The proposal will allow one commercial vehicle per property, provided that it is one ton or less in rated capacity to provide more flexibility for home-based businesses.