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Weekend Buzz | Town Meeting Warrant Article Roundup, Part 3
Also, To Hybrid or Not to Hybrid?
A happy weekend to you, friends.
Today is all Town Meeting, all day.
The following Warrant Articles have been officially withdrawn and will not be discussed:
Article 2: Transfer FY22 funds to various accounts
Article 4: Transfer from Free Cash to Stabilization fund
Article 5: Transfer from Free Cash to OPEB
Article 16: Transfer from Receipts Reserved Account for Ambulance Services
Article 33: Alteration of Public Way, Winter Street ← this is the only one I haven’t yet summarized for you, and I guess I won’t now. 😂
To Hybrid or Not to Hybrid?
There’s been a lot of discussion lately - mostly among us Precinct Representatives - about Town Meeting and whether or not it should be hybrid. I spent a good chunk of time in the last couple days laying out the arguments on both sides, and you can find my attempt at a balanced discussion here.
For now, Town meeting in May will be hybrid and after that everything will return to pre-pandemic. Lots of people think we should keep a remote participation option, as many residents who could not attend in-person meetings can be active and contributing participants if allowed to attend remotely. Lots of other people think meetings should be in-person only, for financial reasons, ease of discussion, and (always my least favorite argument for anything) because we’ve always done it that way. Read more at the above link to the article I sent to TMMs yesterday.
Warrant Article Roundup
Only 8 more articles to go, so let’s do this! Reminder, Warrant (a list of all the things up for discussion & vote) can be found here and Backup (most of the supporting documentation) can be found here. If you’ve got questions, concerns, opinions, or input, reach out to your Town Meeting representatives.
Article 32 - To see if the Town will adopt the Community Preservation Act.
That the CPA adds a surcharge to real estate taxes to create a fund from which we can draw for projects supporting open spaces, affordable housing, historical preservation, and outdoor recreation.
CPA at the state level is already supported by a portion of real-estate transactions. This allows the state to offer a partial match for these projects listed above.
This article is only requesting the adoption of the CPA to be added to the November ballot so the voters at large can decide whether or not to adopt it.
Article 33 - WITHDRAWN - Requesting an easement at Winter Street. I’m not going to summarize more, since it’s not happening at this time!
General Bylaw Article
Article 34 - Amendment to a General Bylaw Article regarding setting the compensation for the secretary. It looks like they’re just changing the name of “secretary” to “recording clerk,” but someone correct me if I’m oversimplifying.
Zoning Bylaw Articles
You’ve likely heard a lot about these if you’ve been reading the buzz or paying attention to the meetings. Quick summaries follow each article; backup is separate from the main document and linked in the Article name.
Articles 35 and 36 - These are the Roger’s Piano Articles. The owner of the parcel of land there would like to build some condos, but currently the zoning doesn’t permit multifamily housing. Article 35 is to add multifamily zoning and article 36 is, to zone the property into that zone, provided TM votes yes on 35.
Article 37 - The owner of Network Drive at Northwest Park would like to build some additional buildings in the (largely unused) parking area to accommodate the influx in business.
Articles 38 and 39 - I am missing backup for these articles (My issue, I’m sure), so I’m going off memory here. The property owners of two properties near Burger King (56 Middlesex Turnpike and 5 Adams Street) want to amend the zoning from General Business and General Industrial, respectively, to Innovation.
Article 40 - This article seeks to amend the Zoning bylaws to require foundations to be 24 inches or more above the Estimated Seasonal High Groundwater Table. It is in Zoning Articles because it is a dimensional requirement much like setbacks from property lines.
Alright, that’s it!
Keep in mind, we won’t get to any of these articles on Monday - we’ll be working through the financial articles for Monday and probably a big chunk of Wednesday!
Hope you have a wonderful Saturday!