Daily Buzz | Select Board Hears Residents' Thoughts on Proposed 40B Development
And, Town accepts donation of Seraph
Last night’s Select Board meeting began with a moment of silence for Dottie Yeadon, who passed away last week. Dottie was a long-time BPS bus driver, Number One Red Devils Fan, and mainstay of the Burlington community for generations. She will be sorely missed, and the Buzz community wishes Dottie’s family peace and healing.
Select Board Recap
As always, a variety of items were discussed last night at the Select Board meeting.
Recognition & Retirement
DPW Central Maintenance Superintendent, Tommy Lee, is retiring after 35 years with the town. Career highlights include adding numbers and maintaining our fleet of buses and road vehicles while maintaining head count and providing strong leadership within the department.
Fire Chief Michael Patterson is retiring, also after 35 years with the department. He guided the process of establishing Station 2 at the corner of Middlesex Turnpike and Terrace Hall Ave., and under his leadership an Advanced Life Support (ALS) program was established.
Fire Department Appointments
Limited Assignment Firefighters are retired firefighters who continue to work details, helping out the town when needed. At this meeting, Ed McLean was appointed to this role.
A new Assistant Chief, Steven McLean, was named in light of Chief Patterson’s retirement and the promotion of Andrew Connerty to Chief.
Early in-person voting and vote-by-mail need to be approved by the Select Board, but if the town chooses not to do that, we are required to go through an opt-out process which includes a public hearing. According to Town Clerk, Amy Warfield, these are not much different from what we’ve been doing already, with in-person and mail-in absentee voting, and she doesn’t believe it would be much more of a lift than the Town Clerk’s office is accustomed to.
A note, which you know if you have been following me from the beginning: Our Town Election turnout is around 15%. That means Only fifteen percent of registered voters determine who sits on our Select Board, School Committee, Planning Board, and so on. Local election demographics also tend to skew older, whiter, and wealthier than overall town demographics. This isn’t ideal, because it means the folks who are making decisions for the town are not necessarily representative of the entire makeup of the town. Be on the lookout for more information about how to get involved—both in learning about candidates for office and running yourself, if you’re in a place to do that.
The Town Election will be on April 1, 2023.
Meeting Calendar for 2023 was approved.
Licenses were renewed by and large, but a few businesses need to get caught up with their paperwork; for a full list, see the agenda and watch the meeting around 1:50.
Sculpture Donated to Town
The Sculpture Park is excited that the Seraph sculpture was donated to the town. This is the blue, birdlike structure that is constructed primarily out of plexiglass. A plug was made for picking back up with the long-range planning for the Sculpture Park.
Pubic Hearing Regarding Proposed New Development
The proposed Winn View Heights II development was discussed. This will be a 55 and over, 25% affordable development with 24 units and below-ground parking and some surface-level overflow parking. The project was originally proposed in 2021, but the access to the property was disputed, and so an updated application is being submitted and the proponent is requesting a renewed signoff from the Select Board.
This is known as a “friendly 40B project”—one that is coming from the municipality rather than being forced in by the state.
Some potential issues that came up:
Blasting to create this access
Adding density to an already dense area
Things that have changed since the initial application, such as the disbanding of the B line
This was a public hearing because Town Meeting passed an article requiring a public hearing and a 30-day waiting period prior to voting. A yes vote on this would result in a letter of approval from the Select Board to accompany the application when it goes to the Board of Appeals.
The public hearing is to continue to the Select Board meeting of January 9, so if you have thoughts about this project, please mark your calendars. The vote will happen on January 23.
I’m going to stop there, because the next section (starting around 1:40) was a really fascinating discussion on government structure that I want to dig more in to and I don’t have time to do that and the rest of what I want to get together today. So stay tuned, and/or watch the replay.
Also, I can’t remember if I’ve shared here, but we have a Winter Overnight Parking Ban. I wasn’t aware of this, so I wanted to share to be sure we all have the same information!
Today in Burlington
Meetings and Events
7:00 PM - Board of Health will be discussing possible revisions to our Biological Safety Regulations as well as an application for variance by Foodland, which if you’ll remember was before Planning Board last week. (Join online)
Sports and Events
Our coed swimmers lost in a super close match against Shawsheen Tech on Friday. Congrats to both teams for a hard fight!
Freshman Girls play in Belmont at 4:00.
JV and Varsity Girls play in Winchester at 4:30 and 6:00, respectively.
Boys play at home against Winchester; Freshman and JV at 4, and Varsity at 6:00.
Enjoy your day!