TPRTA was pleased to learn that on December 1, the Planning Board opened a discussion on the definition of “street” contained in Truro’s Zoning Bylaws. The current definition establishes, in part, that roads, ways and streets in Truro be “40 feet wide.” This is consistent with State law.
There is no road in Truro that meets that requirement other than a portion of the State highway (Rt 6) from the split with Rt 6A to to the Provincetown line. Town roads are exempted from this 40 foot width requirement.
There are 230+ roads/ways/streets in Truro on which the vast majority of Truro properties claim frontage that do not and cannot meet this requirement. For this reason, TPRTA has long called for an update to this Zoning Bylaw (Section 10.4). Otherwise, frontage on a non-conforming road may put in question the adequacy of frontage of properties on these roads, with serious implications for properties seeking permits for renovations/alterations, new construction, septic upgrades, and sales, among other actions requiring town permits based on conforming frontage. While in some cases, the ZBA can grant relief, with an issue of this scale this is not a practical, effective or economical solution.
At the same time, this is a complex matter, because State law applies as well.
TPRTA is encouraging and supporting the Planning Board’s efforts to update this bylaw. We appreciate the PB’s willingness to consider this matter and that this is not a simple task. To be constructive in the discussion, we have proposed that the PB consider adding to the exemptions in the bylaw to allow for the real conditions on the ground in an effective and enforceable manner that also removes any doubt about adequacy of frontage on existing roads that meet the Town’s General Bylaw for road safety clearances (Section 1-9-13).
We also encourage any member of the community interested in this issue to join the PB discussion, starting on 12/1 at 5 PM. Instructions for remote access will be found at this link.