All posts by Amy Ritterbusch

eHop Board Member 2007-present

eHop Annual Meeting Notice 2017

The eHop Annual Member Meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 14 at 12:00 PM. All subscribers and members are welcome to attend. We are planning to meet at a restaurant, so we will need an accurate headcount, please RSVP to nandabarkerhook@ehop01748.org by midday June 13. The exact location will be sent to all those who RSVP. Anyone interested in getting more involved with eHop is encouraged to attend or to reach out to any eHop Board Member for more information. We would especially love to have more help with flocking!

Continue reading eHop Annual Meeting Notice 2017

Flamingos are Back in Hopkinton

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They’re back! Under the cover of darkness eHop will once again be herding a flock of 24 friendly flamingos around town. To join in on the fun, send a flock to a friend! Visit our website shop to order or simply email Tara Sanda and she can help you out at tarasanda@ehop01748.org.

What are we fundraising for?

We’re glad you asked. eHop’s mission is to provide timely and factual information about key town matters with the goal of increasing government transparency and fostering civic engagement. In recent years our flock earned us banners, yard signs, and social media publicity to raise awareness about Town Meetings.  This past year we were also able to host forums on:

  • Water and the Drought
  • Traffic & Pedestrian Safety
  • As well as our 5th Annual “Know Your Vote” pre-town meeting show

We hope to continue to do even more next year! So have a little fun, send a flock to a friend and support awareness of town issues!

Click here to Flock a Friend!

Volunteer Openings on Hopkinton Town Committees

Town Hall

The following Vacancies (see below) are open and available to all Hopkinton residents. Interested residents should apply by 7:00 PM on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 via the online volunteer form at http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/about/hug. If the board or committee name is not listed on the form, please be sure to fill in the name of the Board/Committee you are interested in applying for. Residents may also apply by submitting a letter of interest to Maria Glynn, Executive Assistant, Town Manager’s Office, 18 Main St., Hopkinton, MA 01748.

Board or committee qualifications: Hopkinton resident. Special qualifications for positions, if any, are noted in the list:

  • ADA Oversight Committee (3 year term)
  • Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board (2 year term)
  • Board of Registrar of Voters (Please contact Democratic or Republican Town Committee)
  • Cable Advisory Committee (3 year term)
  • Conservation Commission (3 year term)
  • Council on Aging (Associate) (1 year term)
  • Cultural Council (3 year term)
  • Fence Viewer (one year term) (Town Manager appointment)
  • Field Inspector (one year term) (Town Manager appointment)
  • HCAM Board of Directors (3 year term)
  • Historical Commission (3 year term) (2 vacancies)
  • Marathon Committee (3 year term)
  • Permanent Building Committee (3 year term) (2 vacancies)
  • Personnel Committee (3 year term) (2 vacancies)
  • Surveyor of Wood, Lumber & Bark (1 year term) (Town Manager appointment)
  • Tax Relief Committee (1 year term) (2 vacancies)

Six Ballot Questions at the 2017 Town Election

Ballot Questions 2017

Vote “Yes” or “No” on the following questions appearing on the May 15, 2017 ballot:

QUESTION 1: Shall the Town of Hopkinton approve the charter amendment proposed by the Town Meeting, summarized below? The proposed changes to the Hopkinton Home Rule Charter include technical updates throughout to reflect current Town practice. Major changes include:

  • Reorganization of the text to express the structure of the Town government;
  • Revision of employee reporting structures to standardize employee hiring, goal setting, supervision, evaluation and discipline;
  • Amendment of the budget and warrant processes to facilitate distribution of information prior to Annual Town Meeting;
  • Incorporation of the Board of Cemetery Commissioners, Commissioners of Trust Funds, Board of Library Trustees and Department of Public Works into the Charter; and
  • Clarification of the process and timing of the decennial Charter Review.

No change is proposed to the election of any Town official.

This article #1 passed at Special Town Meeting in January, after several amendments. If this question fails at the ballot then the 2006 Charter will remain in effect. Read more…

Question 1 Charter May 2017 ATM Presentation


QUESTION 2: Shall the Town of Hopkinton vote to have its elected Constables become appointed Constables of the Town?

This related article #62 Failed at Town Meeting, Yes 36 No 66


QUESTION 3: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be required to reduce the amount of real estate and personal property taxes to be assessed for the fiscal year beginning July first, two thousand and seventeen by an amount equal to $1,500,000 (ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS)?

An underride can be passed to limit additional funds for any municipal purpose. An underride permanently decreases the Town’s levy limit. It does not necessarily decrease taxes paid by residents. An underride question may be placed on the ballot by a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen and must be passed by a majority of voters. 

Effects of Underride

Appropriations Committee had a tie vote of 2-2 on whether to recommend the Underride.

This article #16 passed at Town Meeting.


QUESTION 4: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to fund design and construction of traffic and pedestrian safety improvements on Hayden Rowe?

Slides from Town Meeting: Hayden Rowe Traffic Calming $1,050,000 Debt Exclusion

This article #24 passed at Town Meeting, 152 Yes to 20 No.


QUESTION 5: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to repair the HVAC system on the Main St. Fire Station roof?

Slide from Town Meeting: Fire Station Roof HVAC $525,000 Debt Exclusion

This article #20 passed at Town Meeting.


QUESTION 6: Shall the Town be authorized to prohibit, from all zoning districts within the Town, marijuana establishments as defined in Section 1(j) of Chapter 94G of the Massachusetts General Laws, including commercial marijuana cultivators, marijuana testing facilities, marijuana product manufacturers, marijuana retailers, and any other type of marijuana-related businesses, but excluding Registered Medical Marijuana Dispensaries as defined in Article XXXIII of the Zoning Bylaw?

This is a different than article #38 at Town Meeting. This question would be a full Prohibition, not a Temporary Moratorium.

Town Meeting Results Day 2 (unofficial)

Town Meeting 2017 Banner

ZONING BYLAW AMENDMENTS:

  1. Sign Bylaw – The proposed changes were requested the Design Review Board. It has reviewed signs on second floors of buildings that from a design perspective do not contribute positively to the appearance of the Town’s commercial areas. It is the intent that prohibiting signs all the way up the walls of buildings will impose a design aesthetic that is consistent with how we want our commercial districts to look. PASSED

GENERAL BYLAW AMENDMENTS:

  1. Public Consumption of Tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana / cannabis) PASSED
  2. Minutes of Public Bodies – PASSED, after an amendment by Connie Wright FAILED.
  3. Departmental Revolving Funds – This is a housekeeping article to establish existing revolving funds by incorporating them into the Town Bylaws. There are no new revolving funds being created in this article. This type of article would only be needed on future warrants if a revolving fund were added or removed by the Town. PASSED
  4. Posting of Warrant – PASSED
  5. Town Meeting Quorum – Citizen’s Petition – Amendment by Darlene Hayes to require a quorum of 1% at Town Meeting to vote both financial and non-financial articles PASSED. Article PASSED
  6. Alcohol Sales at Town Facilities – Amendment by Clifford Kistner to limit to beer & wine FAILED. Amendment by Kathleen Culler to expand bylaw to allow more than 3 events per year PASSED. Article PASSED
  7. Kennels PASSED
  8. Construction Waste or Debris Bylaw – Yes 78 No 48 PASSED
  9. Discharges to Storm Drain System – PASSED
  10. Driveway Standards – PASSED
  11. Unregistered Motor Vehicles – Yes 87 No 33 – PASSED

LAND ACQUISITIONS AND DISPOSITIONS:

  1. Gift of Land – Hehn’s Farm Way – This article will allow the Town to accept the gift of 4.9 acres of open space created in the Hehn’s Farm subdivision. The land connects open space that the Town already owns and the Center School property. – PASSED
  2. Gift of Land – Box Mill Road – This article will allow the Town to accept the gift of 10.2 acres of land off Leonard St., where lots were recently created off an old paper street. The land is adjacent to the Middle School and the Upper Charles Trail. – PASSED
  3. Street Acceptances – PASSED
    • Cider Mill Road from Ash Street to Dead End
    • Cold Spring Brook Road from North Mill Street to Dead End
    • Cranberry Lane from South Mill Street to Dead End
    • Pinetree Lane from North Mill Street to Dead End
  4. Easement – 125 East Main Street – PASSED
  5. Fruit Street Property – Lease to Youth Organization – Map for Articles 55 & 56 – Amendment to extend lease to 50 years instead of 30 PASSED. Article PASSED.
  6. Fruit Street Property – Lease to Animal Shelter – Map for Articles 55 & 56 – Amendment to extend lease to 50 years instead of 30 PASSED. Article PASSED.

ADMINISTRATIVE:

  1. Early Voting – Citizen’s Petition – Motion for No Action PASSED
  2. PILOT Agreement – MA Solar Highway Phase 1B LLC – PASSED
  3. PILOT Agreement – NRG DG Marathon LLC – PASSED
  4. Set local speed limits – 25 MPH – Motion for No Action PASSED
  5. Set local speed limits – Designated Safety Zones – PASSED
  6. Constables – to make the position of Constable an appointed, instead of elected, position to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen. Yes 36 No 66 FAILED
  7. Trustees of the School Trust Fund in the Town of Hopkinton. Courtney Mello PASSED

The meeting adjourned at 11:02 PM.

Coming Up on Town Meeting Day 2

Town Meeting 2017 Banner

Hopkinton Annual Town Meeting Day 2
Tuesday, May 2 at 7:00-11:00pm
Middle School Auditorium

As usual eHop will be covering Town Meeting live on social media to let you know the results of each vote as it happens. Follow us @eHop01748 and look for the hashtag #HopTM17.

  Instagram

Useful Documents:

ZONING BYLAW AMENDMENTS:

  1. Sign Bylaw – The proposed changes were requested the Design Review Board. It has reviewed signs on second floors of buildings that from a design perspective do not contribute positively to the appearance of the Town’s commercial areas. It is the intent that prohibiting signs all the way up the walls of buildings will impose a design aesthetic that is consistent with how we want our commercial districts to look.

GENERAL BYLAW AMENDMENTS:

  1. Public Consumption of Tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana / cannabis)
  2. Minutes of Public Bodies
  3. Departmental Revolving Funds – This is a housekeeping article to establish existing revolving funds by incorporating them into the Town Bylaws. There are no new revolving funds being created in this article. This type of article would only be needed on future warrants if a revolving fund were added or removed by the Town.
  4. Posting of Warrant
  5. Town Meeting Quorum – Citizen’s Petition
  6. Alcohol Sales at Town Facilities
  7. Kennels
  8. Construction Waste or Debris Bylaw
  9. Discharges to Storm Drain System
  10. Driveway Standards
  11. Unregistered Motor Vehicles

LAND ACQUISITIONS AND DISPOSITIONS:

  1. Gift of Land – Hehn’s Farm Way – This article will allow the Town to accept the gift of 4.9 acres of open space created in the Hehn’s Farm subdivision. The land connects open space that the Town already owns and the Center School property.
  2. Gift of Land – Box Mill Road – This article will allow the Town to accept the gift of 10.2 acres of land off Leonard St., where lots were recently created off an old paper street. The land is adjacent to the Middle School and the Upper Charles Trail.
  3. Street Acceptances
    • Cider Mill Road from Ash Street to Dead End
    • Cold Spring Brook Road from North Mill Street to Dead End
    • Cranberry Lane from South Mill Street to Dead End
    • Pinetree Lane from North Mill Street to Dead End
  4. Easement – 125 East Main Street
  5. Fruit Street Property – Lease to Youth Organization – Map for Articles 55 & 56
  6. Fruit Street Property – Lease to Animal Shelter – Map for Articles 55 & 56

ADMINISTRATIVE:

  1. Early Voting – Citizen’s Petition
  2. PILOT Agreement – MA Solar Highway Phase 1B LLC
  3. PILOT Agreement – NRG DG Marathon LLC
  4. Set local speed limits – 25 MPH
  5. Set local speed limits – Designated Safety Zones
  6. Constables – to make the position of Constable an appointed, instead of elected, position to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
  7. Trustees of the School Trust Fund in the Town of Hopkinton

Town Meeting Results Day 1 (unofficial)

Town Meeting 2017 Banner

REPORTS:

  1. Acceptance of Town Reports – HOPKINTON MA 2016 Annual Town Report – PASSED
  2. Hopkinton Day – PASSED

FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2017:

  1. FY 2017 Supplemental Appropriations – $500,000 from free cash for snow & ice removal in excess of last year’s budget – PASSED
  2. FY 2017 Budget Transfers (none needed) – Motion for NO ACTION PASSED
  3. Unpaid Bills from Previous Fiscal Years -$6,076.79 – PASSED

FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2018:

  1. Property Tax Exemption Increase – PASSED
  2. Senior Tax Relief – PASSED
  3. Means Tested Senior Property Tax Exemption – PASSED
  4. Set the Salary of Elected Officials – Town Clerk $65,630.24 PASSED
  5. Fiscal 2018 Operating Budget – $82,102,328.78 (This includes $42,591,311 for the Hopkinton Public Schools) – PASSED
  6. FY 2018 Revolving Funds – PASSED
  7. Chapter 90 Highway Funds – $651,149 paid by the state to support the Town’s Pavement Management Plan – PASSED
  8. Transfer to General Stabilization Fund – $300,000 from free cash – PASSED
  9. Transfer to Capital Expense Stabilization Fund – Motion for NO ACTION PASSED
  10. Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund – $379,264 from free cash – PASSED
  11. Underride $1,500,000 – PASSED
  12. Hopkinton Day Funds – Motion for NO ACTION – PASSED
  13. Sewer Flow Metering Program – $150,000 from Sewer Enterprise Fund Borrowing – PASSED

CAPITAL EXPENSES AND PROJECTS:

  1. Pay-As-You-Go Capital Expenses – $583,115.88 from Free Cash & $264,406.12 of Excess Bond Premiums – ALL PASSED
  2. Fire Station Roof HVAC $525,000 Debt Exclusion – FD Roof Slides – PASSED
  3. Main Street Cemetery Fence Repairs – Motion for NO ACTION
  4. Re-purposing of Appropriated Funds – ATM 2016 Article 23 – $50,000 – Whitehall Wells DPW Slide – PASSED
  5. Fruit Street Blending Facility Construction $1,500,000 from Water Enterprise Fund Borrowing – PASSED
  6. Hayden Rowe Traffic Calming $1,050,000 Debt Exclusion – PASSED 152 Yes to 20 No
  7. Chestnut Street Sidewalks – Citizen’s Petition – Motion for NO ACTION (Article does not have a funding source) – PASSED
  8. DPW Salt Shed $260,000 from General Fund Borrowing – PASSED
  9. Elmwood School Solution – $600,000 for a Feasibility Study from General Fund Borrowing – Motion for NO ACTION – PASSED
  10. Application of Bond Premiums – This article is of housekeeping nature in order to facilitate the request in Article 29 below. PASSED 160 Yes to 0 No
  11. Excess Bond Premium – $646,430.41 – PASSED

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION FUNDS:

  1. Community Preservation Funds – Housekeeping Article – PASSED
  2. Community Preservation Recommendations – CPC Slides
    • Motion to approve items a, b, c, d, e, f, g, k, l – PASSED
    • Motion for NO ACTION on CPC items i, j and m – PASSED
    • Motion to approve item h (Fruit Street Building) – PASSED 117 Yes to 22 No
    • a.) $55,000 from Budgeted Reserves for a Shared Use Trail on property located on the former Hughes Property and shown on the Assessor’s Map as U24 10 0, U24 10A and U24 9 0 (192 Hayden Rowe); provided, however, that no work shall be performed with CPC funds except on such property, that signage shall be installed prohibiting dogs off the Shared Use Trail, that no trail construction shall commence until a plan is approved which identifies the location of a dog park on the property, and that no bridge shall be constructed over wetlands located on the property with CPC funds; said sum to be spent under the direction of Hopkinton Trails Club and the Community Preservation Committee.
    • b.) $20,000 from funds reserved for Historical Preservation to preserve Hopkinton and Upton Town land records, determined by the Historical Commission to be significant to the history, archeology, architecture or culture of the Town; said sum to be spent under the direction of the Town Clerk and the Community Preservation Committee.
    • c.) $200 from funds reserved for Historical Preservation for the Film Reel Conversion of “Hopkinton Fair” 1944-1945, determined by the Historical Commission to be significant to the history, archeology, architecture or culture of the Town; said sum to be spent under the direction of Hopkinton Historical Society and the Community Preservation Committee.
    • d.) $10,000 from funds reserved for Historical Preservation for Historic Headstone Restoration, determined by the Historical Commission to be significant to the history, archeology, architecture or culture of the Town; said sum to be spent under the direction of Hopkinton Cemetery Commission and the Community Preservation Committee.
    • e.) $7,000 from funds reserved for Historical Preservation for the professional organization, cataloging and display of the Cheney Family Collection; determined by the Historical Commission to be significant to the history, archeology, architecture or culture of the Town. Said sum to be spend under the direction of the Hopkinton Historical Society and the Community Preservation Committee.
    • f.) $4,000 from Budgeted Reserves for the Reconstruction of Three Bridges in the Town owned Cameron Woods Property. Said sum to be spent under the direction of Hopkinton Area Land Trust (HALT), the Open Space Preservation Commission and the Community Preservation Committee.
    • g.) $25,000 from funds reserved for Historical Preservation for an Architectural Historical Survey. Funding request is contingent upon receiving a Massachusetts Historic Grant, determined by the Historical Commission to be significant to the history, archeology, architecture or culture of the Town; said sum to be spent under the direction of Hopkinton Historical Commission and the Community Preservation Committee.
    • h.) $400,000 for the Fruit Street Building bathroom, concession and storage facility; said sum to be spent under the direction of Parks and Recreation Commission and the Community Preservation Committee, and for the purpose of meeting such appropriation, to authorize the Town Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, to borrow said sum in accordance with Chapter 44B, Section 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, or any other enabling authority; provided, however, that payment of debt service on the bonds and notes for this purpose shall be made from CPC reserve funds.
    • i.) $250,000 from Budgeted Reserves for EMC Park Lighting; said sum to be spent under the direction of Parks and Recreation Commission and the Community Preservation Committee. REMOVED
    • j.) $5,000 from funds reserved for Historical Preservation for Cemetery Fencing on Main Street, determined by the Historical Commission to be significant to the history, archeology, architecture or culture of the Town; said sum to be spent under the direction of the Cemetery Commission and the Community Preservation Committee. REMOVED
    • k.) $26,000 from Budgeted Reserves for the engineering, and limited construction support for Reed Park; said sum to be spent under the direction of Parks and Recreation Commission.
    • l.) $5,500 from Budgeted Reserves for benches for the Center Trail; said sum to be spend under the direction of Open Space Preservation Committee, Hopkinton Area Land Trust (HALT) and the Community Preservation Committee.
    • m.) $5,000 from funds reserved for Historical Preservation for Cemetery Fencing on Main Street, determined by the Historical Commission to be significant to the history, archeology, architecture or culture of the Town; said sum to be spent under the direction of the Cemetery Commission and the Community Preservation Committee. REMOVED

ZONING BYLAW AMENDMENTS:

  1. Utility Structures – This article would make a change to require a special permit in the residential zoning districts for the construction of new above ground structures for utilities. At the present time, these structures typically require Site Plan Review from the Planning Board, and this would not change. It would add another layer of Town regulation of utilities. – PASSED
  2. Restaurant Definition and Parking Requirements – This article would define the term “restaurant” and clarify the bylaw with respect to such uses. The changes also revise the parking requirements by establishing separate parking requirements for restaurants with customer seating and those without. The parking requirements also take into account outdoor seating, which current requirements do not. This change was initiated from litigation. The case pointed out that the term “restaurant” is used extensively in the bylaw, but it isn’t defined. There are many places that have food available and the Zoning Advisory Committee had extensive discussions regarding the nature of restaurants. The proposed definition would not make any existing restaurants nonconforming. – PASSED Yes 96 to No 34
  3. Flexible Community Development Bylaw – This is a housekeeping article that clarifies the intent of existing language within this bylaw. Some developers were confused as to how the amount of a payment in lieu of an affordable housing unit is calculated. The intent of the Town has always been that the payment would be calculated for an affordable 3 bedroom single family home regardless of what is constructed. This will spell that out more clearly. – PASSED
  4. Open Space and Landscape Preservation Development – This is a housekeeping article to clarify when the Open Space required under the bylaw is conveyed to the future owner. This language will require conveyance prior to the issuance of the first building permit but also allow some flexibility if an extension is needed and all parties agree. – PASSED
  5. Hotel Parking Requirement – There is currently no parking requirement associated with hotels and inns permitted in the Hotel Overlay District. This article will add a parking requirement. – PASSED
  6. Gross Floor Area/Site Plan Review – The terms gross floor area and gross floor space are used interchangeably in the Zoning Bylaw and gross floor area is not defined. The definition of gross floor space excludes the floor area used by accessory garages. Because our site plan review bylaw has a review threshold based on gross floor area, there is a loophole in which large commercial garages can be constructed without site plan review. The amendment closes that loophole but does not change the intent of site plan review. The impact of the change would mean that site plan review would be required for commercial garages. – PASSED
  7. Moratorium on Marijuana Establishments – This article proposes a temporary moratorium on commercial marijuana establishments in the Town. The need for this arose from last November’s state election that legalized recreational use of marijuana. The Planning Board and Zoning Advisory Committee will draft zoning regulations for the 2018 annual town meeting during the period of the moratorium. During this same period, the state will developing regulations, and it is hoped that the regulations they develop will inform our process. These are new uses that the Town is not familiar with, so we need to do research on parking requirements, dimensional requirements, etc. before making recommendations to town meeting. – PASSED 103 Yes to 16 No

The meeting adjourned at 11:13 PM, to be continued tomorrow, Tuesday, May 2 at 7:00 PM.

Town Meeting Begins Monday at 7:00pm

Town Meeting 2017 Banner

Hopkinton Annual Town Meeting Day 1
Monday, May 1 at 7:00-11:00pm
Middle School Auditorium
There are 63 articles to vote on in the warrant this year. Town meeting will repeat the following evenings 7:00-11:00pm until all the articles are voted. We expect Town Meeting to last 2-4 evenings. A full list of articles, a link to watch Know Your Vote and our Town Meeting 101 is included in the following posts.

As usual eHop will be covering Town Meeting live on social media to let you know the results of each vote as it happens. Follow us @eHop01748 and look for the hashtag #HopTM17

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Useful Documents: