Special Town Meeting Postponed; New Date to be Announced


With growing concerns about the ability to gather a quorum for the Special Town Meeting, the Select Board met on Friday morning, May 27 and reluctantly voted to postpone the June 11 Special Town Meeting.  A new date will be discussed in a joint session with the Planning Board on Monday, June 6. 

Board members have been hearing from residents that the Saturday afternoon timing of the originally proposed Special Town Meeting was problematic – graduation parties, weddings, family gatherings, etc. all posed conflicts for attending.  Our quorum requirement, as specified in our local bylaws, is for a minimum of 100 voters.  After hearing from so many constituents, the Select Board made the last-minute decision to not post the warrant for the Special Town Meeting and thus postponing it.  (May 27 was the deadline for posting the warrant for a June 11 meeting.)

The Select Board concluded that it did not make sense to go through the expense of a town meeting only to have to dissolve the meeting for lack of a quorum.  While both the Select Board and the Planning Board are anxious to have voters give their final review and possible approval of the changes that have been developed, there is nothing so pressing that can’t wait a few more weeks.

A delayed meeting will have the added benefit of giving the voters more time to become familiar with the proposed zoning amendments which are the focus of the Special Town Meeting. With any luck, it also might give time for the COVID cases to ease up.   As previously outlined, the warrant will have a series of zoning amendments, most of which are aimed at making the byways easier to read and follow but some are more substantive in nature.  Most people do not have a working knowledge of our zoning by-laws thus regardless of the changes, it takes time to understand the details of any amendments, whether more administrative in nature or, as in the case of some of the proposals, providing greater flexibility in what can be bult and foregoing public hearings in certain circumstances.    

The Planning Board has worked very hard over the last 30 months to develop a comprehensive rewrite of the Town’s zoning rules.  Their proposed changes can all be found on the Town’s website – there is a quick link to them on the homepage. Voters are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the changes.  Additional articles in the Cricket and further explanations at upcoming meetings will continue to facilitate the public’s education on the proposed amendments.

At the Select Board Meeting on June 6, a portion of the agenda will be scheduled as a joint meeting with the Planning Board to discuss options for a new date for the Special Town Meeting.  Per our local General By-Law, a Special Town Meeting can be called for by the Select Board if the warrant is posted at least 14 days prior to the meeting.  One option that will be discussed is holding the meeting the last week of June, possibly Monday, June 28 in the evening with the option of going a second night on June 29.  School will be out, and the end of year rush of activities will be over before summer gets underway in earnest in July.  Others have suggested waiting until the fall, perhaps aiming for a town meeting in early October.

Regardless of what decision is made for a new date, there will be a concerted effort to inform the pubic on not only the new date but also the content of the proposed zoning amendments. Ultimately voters have the final say in how development in regulated in town – that final say will come at an upcoming Special Town Meeting.  Stay tuned for a new date. 


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