September 20, 2020

Warren selectmen extend moratorium

WARREN – Selectmen have extended moratorium on the expansion or construction of commercial retail sales buildings larger than 35,000 square feet has been extended six months by selectmen, Town Manager Grant Watmough said Tuesday.

Selectmen voted last week to continue the moratorium to March 27, which is the anticipated date of the annual town meeting, Watmough said.

In July, residents at a special town meeting voted 43-19 to enact a temporary ban on such buildings to give the town time to review its ordinances. The measure was retroactive to April 1.

Steve Burke, a spokesman for Our Town Warren, a group that favors controls to keep so-called big-box developers at bay, pushed for the moratorium to give the town the opportunity to fashion a size cap appropriate for Warren. The 35,000-square-foot cap is an arbitrary size that is subject to change, he had said.

Selectmen appointed a committee to review ordinances. The panel is composed of the entire planning board and up to seven community members. The committee met for the first time Sept. 21 and plans to meet the third Thursday of each month.

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