Nantasket Beach: Special permits and incentives within a beach overlay district
In 2013, the Town of Hull passed a zoning by-law creating a Nantasket Beach Overlay District to create a sustainable shoreline that allows for mixed-use development while protecting natural resources and coastal communities. The zoning by-law establishes the Planning Board as a Special Permit Granting Authority for the overlay district. The Board is also granted the authority to hire consultants or experts to assist in evaluating permit proposals at the expense of the applicant, and incentivize climate-resilient development in designated floodplain districts. Incentives include rebates on permit fees, insurance savings from the National Flood Insurance Program, and variances from dimensional requirements. In terms of reducing vulnerability to climate change, the by-law requires that planners (1) protect dune and barrier beach systems and their associated ecosystem functions in terms of acting as natural buffers and providing habitat for coastal species; and (2) create incentives for development that is resistant or resilient to sea level rise, flooding, and increased storminess, and also protects people and property from these hazards (e.g., accelerated permitting for buildings that have no habitable first-floor use or incorporate energy efficiency).
Hoffman, J. 2017. Nantasket Beach: Special permits and incentives within a beach overlay district. Summary of a project of the Town of Hull. Retrieved from CAKE: www.cakex.org/case-studies/nantasket-beach-special-permits-and-incentiv… (Last updated February 2017)