Special Town Meeting: Articles on Saturday ATMs & Kallander; ZBA/zoning Article hearings on May 14; BOS talks with petitioners on May 15

by beth on May 2, 2018

Post image for Special Town Meeting: Articles on Saturday ATMs & Kallander; ZBA/zoning Article hearings on May 14; BOS talks with petitioners on May 15

On May 22nd, the Town will hold a Special Town Meeting. Before the Warrant was closed and signed last night, two new Citizen Petition Articles were added. One will ask voters to move future Annual Town Meetings to Saturdays. The other was to secure a spot on the Warrant for Recreation’s Kallander Field project.*

According to Town Administrator, Mark Purple, the Kallander Article was the same language as in the draft Warrrant posted for last night’s BOS meeting. That lists the project at $248,300. The figure is $19,100 less than the request that failed at Annual Town Meeting last month.**

The upcoming STM was prompted by two Citizen Petitions related to the Zoning Board of Appeals’ rules and regulations. As long as the meeting is being held, the Board of Selectmen decided to bring back an Article from Annual Town Meeting on zoning appeal process – also related to the ZBA. (You can read more about the Articles in past coverage.)

In preparation, the Town needs to hold public hearings on those Articles. Because they are related to zoning, hearings are the responsibility of the Planning Board. The board announced the date: the evening of Monday, May 14th in the Town House Hearing Room.

Here are the scheduled times with links to the announcements and Articles (as numbered in the draft Warrant):

Of course, the Planning Board doesn’t expect any of the hearings to take 5 minutes or less. But while the board is prohibited from starting the hearing before the scheduled time, they can start it later. This schedule allows them the flexibility to hold one right after the other – or even change the order of discussion if warranted. 

There is one Article that could be rescinded from the Warrant. Article 3 needs to be supported by the Planning Board in order to go forward. But, the board unanimously supported it for Annual Town Meeting. So, it will be a surprise if they withdraw their support.

Selectmen’s support for that Article will be noted in the Warrant. Due to the deadlines for posting the Warrant, no other Articles will include positions from either Advisory or BOS. Advisory plans to issue a handout at the meeting with their positions.

Before making their decisions, selectmen will ask proponents of all four of the Citizen Petition Articles to attend their meeting on Tuesday, May 15th. Selectwoman Lisa Braccio said she would like to hear a brief explanation of each. That will also allow selectmen to ask questions in advance of Town Meeting.

*Initially, Rec intended to ask selectmen to add the Kallander Article to the Warrant. By submitting a Citizen Petition, supporting residents took the decision out of the board’s hands.

**One objection some made to Recreation’s original repair requests was the 30% contingency included beyond the estimated cost. The standard is usually 10%. The Commission defended that based on the uncertain nature of field projects and issues with previous projects, they believed higher contingencies were needed. The new figure appears to be about 20% above the original estimate.

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