Byline: Steven H. Foskett Jr.
DOUGLAS - Just weeks after adopting a state law that allows for expedited permitting in designated economic development areas, the town has been awarded a $150,000 state grant to help ramp up the process.
The process essentially guarantees a 180-day limit on permitting for development projects within designated areas to encourage economic development. The two areas designated in town by the annual town meeting are large industrially zoned tracts off Route 16 near the Webster line and in the area of the Pyne Sand & Gravel operation near Route 146.
Towns that participate in the process created by the state law, known as Chapter 43D, are eligible for one-time technical assistance grants of up to $150,000, but only have 120 days to use the grant to streamline and update regulations, and to put a process in place that will ready the town for the expedited permitting.
Selectmen have voiced concern about town departments, town boards, and town bylaws being ready for the expedited permitting, and continued to air those concerns last night. But selectmen said the next step is to establish timelines for each department that will be affected by the expedited permitting. A joint...