Sunday, April 16, 2017

Town Council Recap of April 12, 2017

The Town council meeting of April 12, 2017 provided a variety of items for discussion and action. From the recognition of the FHS boys basketball team that opened the meeting, to the legislative update on what's happening at the State level on the budget and other items of interest, and then the legislation slated for action among which the key item was the Residential VII re-introduction for Summer St, there was something for everyone. 

FHS Boys Basketball

Skipping through the whereas and wherefor's of the proclamation language, regular readers are aware of the accomplishment of this year's FHS boys basketball team, getting to the Division 1 State Championship game for the first time in FHS history. Coach CJ Neely was also recognized as the Division 1 Coach of the Year by the Boston Globe. Council Bissanti read the proclamation that the Town offered to recognize the accomplishments of this team.

Council Bissanti read the proclamation
Council Bissanti read the proclamation

Council Bissanti read the proclamation 2

Legislative Update

Senator Karen Spilka, Senator Richard Ross, and Representative Jeffrey Roy presented status updates on the budget process and other legislation of interest (OPEB, school foundation funding, etc.). Details on their comments can be found 

Residential VII - Summer St

The proposal brought before the Town Council (and Planning Board) in the week before Christmas and then voted down in the first meeting in January, was brought back before the Council for reconsideration. The Council procedures differ from Roberts Rules of Order and the re-introduction is allowed within 2 years of the initial denial. Hence it was back.

As the discussion was going to begin, Chairman Kelly also read a letter from the home owner asking for a continuation to a June meeting as the owner was exploring 'other options'. 

Discussion on the motion on the floor to refer the proposal to the Planning Board was diverted to a new discussion on the deferral to a proposed June 28th meeting. The motion to defer was voted down 5-3. They they returned to the original motion and voted NOT to send it to the Planning Board by a 6-2 vote. The Residential VII option for that land on Summer St seems to be done at this point. Other options, for example a 40B proposal, are still possible. Time will tell what the property owner decides to pursue.

ACTION: Mr. Vallee MOVED to postpone this agenda item until the June 27th Town Council meeting. SECONDED. Denied 3-5 (Yes: Padula, Kelly, Vallee; No: Dellorco, Jones, Mercer, Pellegri, Pfeffer; Recused: Bissanti). 
ACTION: The Town Council rejected a proposal to approve the resubmittal of zoning bylaw amendment 16-775: a zoning map change on Summer Street. Rejected 2-6 (Yes: Padula, Kelly; No: Dellorco, Jones, Mercer, Pellegri, Pfeffer, Vallee; Recused: Bissanti).

Other Legislation of note

The Council voted not to exercise their right of first refusal on property at 4 Mount St. If the land use is changed from farm, the new owner is liable for the back taxes for the period the land was a farm. The Town chose not to exercise its option as the land value and location (not connected to other Town land) would not have been sufficient to recover the costs for clean up of the land.

The Council voted to refer to the Planning Board the proposed bylaw allowing for
brewery, distillery and wine making facilities to offer tasting rooms. This had come up as a proposal before the Economic Development Committee and sounds like a real good opportunity for some revenue growth.

The Council approved the final reading of the bylaw updating the water conservation measures the town has been performing for decades. This version of bylaw does NOT include prohibition measures for private wells that had created controversy when discussed earlier this year.

The Council approved the first reading of amendments to the water and sewer system maps. There is a proposal for a school for developmentally challenged children being relocated from Attleboro to Mount St. The school would need the water and sewer to operate their facility and future development plans.

Additional details can be found in my notes recorded live during the meeting

The full agenda and associated documents can be found here

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