Real estate

Norwood officials seek approval for zoning change

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Local officials are hoping that Town Meeting voters don’t, for the third time in a row, strike down a zoning change the officials say will spur business growth and increase the commercial tax base. The town’s Economic Development Committee has been meeting with local boards to try to build a consensus on a commercial zoning amendment that would be put to a vote at the annual Town Meeting in May. The last two proposals — which included increasing building heights from 40 to 60 feet in industrial-zoned areas and from 34 to 40 feet in commercial-zoned districts — received majority votes at the last two Town Meetings, but did not get the two-thirds vote required for passage. Rick Merritt, chairman of the Economic Development Committee, said he is confused as to why some residents are hesitant to expand the town’s zoning regulations to make Norwell more attractive to businesses. “For example, some people seem to be afraid of additional [building] height and how it will impact the water supply and environment,” he said. “But we had the full support of the water department, so I was kind of taken by surprise by their concerns.”

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