Is the Town of Norwood currently considering allowing light industrial businesses to be located in its residential districts? That is the question that should be answered at February’s monthly meeting. The town has already sent the landowner a letter notifying them of a zoning violation, but that seems to be just a mere formality. The town is now trying to decide if a light industrial business should be allowed to operate there, based on past use. The past use cannot be verified because of lack of documentation, and landowner testimony stating there was no past use. The parcel also does not qualify for a non-conforming use because it does not meet the criteria set forth in the town’s Land Use Code. Light Industrial use is also a step above and less restrictive than the commercial zoning that Norwood’s Grand Avenue businesses fall under. This should be a no-brainer. If businesses that are classified as light industrial are allowed to operate in any residential district in town, then we should just do away with the Master Plan and the Land Use Code. It appears all that is needed to start an illegal business in a residential district is, just start doing it and hope no one files a complaint. If a complaint is filed, then just hope the town can find a reason to allow the business use to continue.
My position is the Master Plan and Land Use Codes are not just some mandate from the state, but rather a very useful tool to allow a much more desirable town to live and work in. Come to the February meeting and voice your opinion.
– Craig Greager, Norwood
Editor’s note: The above dispute will be addressed at the Norwood Town Board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m. at Norwood Town Hall.