On Monday, February 23 at 7:30pm, the Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed zoning bylaw and zoning map amendments that have been recommended to the Planning Board by the Zoning Advisory Committee for the May 2015 Annual Town Meeting:
RA/BD Districts boundary line – Rezone 5 parcels as RA in the B Street area.
BD District – Allow off-street parking between a building and the street by special permit.
Define Indoor Recreation and permit the use in the IB District.
Signs – Lighting regulations, design and placement on buildings, prohibit off-
premises signs, increase maximum size of trades/professional signs.
Add site lighting regulations in the Site Plan Review bylaw.
OSLPD – Trails in buffer; parcel size.
Move definition of Lots in Two or More Residence Districts.
Special Permit language – consolidate and reorganize.
Crossroads Redevelopment District – Adopt new district, rezone 57 acres off Elm St. & Parkwood Dr.
OSMUD Overlay District – Increase number of dwelling units from 940 to 1,120, of which 180 would be age-restricted; allow senior housing in Commercial and Village Center Subdistricts by right. (Legacy Farms)
The Ashland-Hopkinton Fire Collaboration Study Group, assisted by the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission and Municipal Resources Inc., will hold two public forums on the Ashland-Hopkinton Fire Collaboration Study project on the following dates and locations:
Monday, February 23 @ 7:00-9:00 PM Ashland High School Auditorium, 65 East Union Street, Ashland MA
Thursday, February 26 @ 7:00-9:00 PM Hopkinton Senior Center, 28 Mayhew Street, Hopkinton MA
The public forums are designed to update the public on the current model that the Collaboration Study Group has developed since meeting regularly over the last two years. Topics to be discussed at the joint boards meeting include project background, role of fire departments in Ashland and Hopkinton, organizational framework, governance, financial analyses and much more.
Most importantly, these forums will serve as an opportunity for any member of the public to ask questions, propose ideas and engage in a community wide dialogue regarding the topic.
The Ashland-Hopkinton Fire Collaboration Study Group encourages all residents to participate in these public forums!
Anthony Schiavi, 508-881-0100 Ext. 612; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Norman Khumalo, 508-497-9700; Email: email@example.com
Watch town moderator Bruce Karlin and guests on HCAM-TV explain 203 Pond Street ahead of the upcoming special town meeting on Tuesday, March 3 at 7:00pm in the Hopkinton Middle School Auditorium: Video Link
At a Special Town Meeting coming up on Tuesday, March 3 voters will have the chance to decide whether to exercise the town’s right of first refusal on the purchase of land at 203 Pond Street for $2 million. The town has the right of first refusal to buy the land because of the 42.3 acre property’s designation as forest under Mass General Law Chapter 61A. The town has only 120 days to make a decision, so a Special Town Meeting will have to be held in March, rather than waiting for Annual Town Meeting in May. According to the 12-lot subdivision plan for the land approved by the Planning Board, 32 of the acres will be designated as open space, with a maximum of 12 buildings to be built on the site. The land sits between Whitehall State Park and the Upton State Forest. A group called “Whitehall Woods Alliance,” which supports the purchase of the land by the town, has recently been formed. Several alliance members are raising funds and seeking grants to fund part of the purchase price, however, Hopkinton’s Community Preservation Committee (CPC) recently rejected a $600,000 request to fund part of the land purchase. In a recent development, the Ora Cheney Estate has offered to give the town eight acres on School Street for open space contingent on the town buying the Pond Street land. Two selectmen (Cestari and Coutinho) have had to recuse themselves from votes on the the Pond Street land because they are abutters to the School Street land.
The Elementary School Building Committee (ESBC) met on February 4 and voted unanimously to approve a short list of site alternatives for further evaluation. As part of the Center School Feasibility Study, the Committee has been evaluating 11 alternatives at 4 locations. These 11 alternatives and related evaluation criteria were the subject of two recent ESBC community workshops.
Over the coming weeks, the ESBC will perform additional due diligence of the following site alternatives (the short list):
–Center School: Alternative 1C + 25 Ash Street, consisting of new construction on town owned property behind existing school, augmented by abutting 25 Ash Street, with preservation of the front of existing Center School building.
– Irvine Property: Just South of Hopkinton Parks & Recreation land at EMC Park.
– Todaro Property: Adjacent to Water Fresh Farm and abutting 5 acres of town owned property on the South.
The committee’s decision followed extensive deliberations and discussion over the course of several meetings, including input from two community workshops, and consideration of expert advice from town and school district professional staff, Compass Project Management, and Drummey, Rosane, Anderson (DRA) architects. Flexibility for future growth, minimizing disruption to education during construction, and other factors in the published site evaluation matrix (http://tinyurl.com/siteevalmatrix) weighed heavily in deciding the short-listed sites.
What’s next? Through the remainder of February and early March, the ESBC and its partners, Compass Project Management and DRA, will complete additional due diligence of the short listed sites. The community is invited to the third community workshop to review results of this additional work, Saturday, March 7, 9:00 – 10:30 AM at the Center School.
The ESBC expects to make a final decision on a preferred site by March 16th, 2015. As always, please send feedback and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
At the January 20 Board of Selectmen meeting, the Town Manager and Finance Director presented the Capital Improvement Committee’s 10-Year Capital Plan. The CIC has not yet made a recommendation on the proposed $15 million new public works garage on Wood Street, which was recommended by the Permanent Building Committee in December. Selectmen requested more details on many of the articles ASAP so they can decide which items to put on the May Annual Town Meeting warrant. A $400,000 item for Hayden Rowe Traffic Calming near the schools was not recommended by the CIC. Some of the larger items in the General Fund recommended by the CIC include:
Fire Rescue 1 Replacement $680,000
Townwide Security Upgrades (School and Town) $300,000