LEICESTER, Mass. — After Leicester selectmen voted 4-1 in support of rezoning a group of Pleasant Street properties at the center of town from Residential 2 to Central Business, residents began weighing in on the change.
The issue was initially voted down unanimously by the Planning Board in June. But at the following meeting of the Board of Selectmen, members voted 4-1 to sponsor the zoning map amendments.
Darlene Eager, owner of the property from 8-10 Pleasant St., requested amendments to the zoning map from a designation of R2 to CB. Additionally, Dennis and Sandy Benoit of D&S Realty requested the same change for their property at 16 Pleasant St.
Last Monday, selectmen also voted to sponsor a plot of land that falls between those properties, which has an unknown owner.
Selectman Sandy Wilson opposed the change, saying it would go against the central business district's purpose.
According to Leicester's Zoning Bylaws: "The purpose of the Central Business District is to encourage development and redevelopment of Leicester Center while preserving the area’s pedestrian-oriented characteristics, mixed uses and existing structures of historical significance. New construction should complement the existing historical nature of the Central Business District. Projects which interrupt the continuity of pedestrian circulation, require large expanses of land or involve demolition of historic structures are discouraged."
Since the first public hearing, much of the opposition to the rezoning stems from speculation about plans for a CVS Pharmacy to move onto the lot.
A two-third vote is necessary for the zoning amendments to pass at town meeting.
Where do you stand on the zoning map changes, and the potential for a business such as CVS in the town center? Sound off in our comment section and take our poll.