Category Archives: Town Meeting

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:

List of Articles with Links & Details

Town Meeting 2017 Banner

REPORTS:

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

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
  2. FY 2017 Budget Transfers – None
  3. Unpaid Bills from Previous Fiscal Years -$6,076.79

FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2018:

  1. Property Tax Exemption Increase
  2. Senior Tax Relief
  3. Means Tested Senior Property Tax Exemption
  4. Set the Salary of Elected Officials – Town Clerk $65,630.24
  5. Fiscal 2018 Operating Budget – $82,102,328.78 (This includes $42,591,311 for the Hopkinton Public Schools)
  6. FY 2018 Revolving Funds
  7. Chapter 90 Highway Funds – $651,149 paid by the state to support the Town’s Pavement Management Plan
  8. Transfer to General Stabilization Fund – $300,000 from free cash
  9. Transfer to Capital Expense Stabilization Fund – None
  10. Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund – $379,264 from free cash
  11. Underride – 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.
  12. Hopkinton Day Funds – None
  13. Sewer Flow Metering Program – $150,000 from Sewer Enterprise Fund Borrowing

CAPITAL EXPENSES AND PROJECTS:

  1. Pay-As-You-Go Capital Expenses
  2. Fire Station Roof HVAC $525,000 Debt Exclusion – FD Roof Slides
  3. Main Street Cemetery Fence Repairs – None
  4. Re-purposing of Appropriated Funds – ATM 2016 Article 23 – $50,000 – Whitehall Wells DPW Slide
  5. Fruit Street Blending Facility Construction $1,500,000 from Water Enterprise Fund Borrowing
  6. Hayden Rowe Traffic Calming $1,050,000 Debt Exclusion
  7. Chestnut Street Sidewalks – Citizen’s Petition – This is expected to be withdrawn
  8. DPW Salt Shed $260,000 from General Fund Borrowing
  9. Elmwood School Solution – $600,000 for a Feasibility Study from General Fund Borrowing
  10. Application of Bond Premiums – This article is of housekeeping nature in order to facilitate the request in Article 29 below.
  11. Excess Bond Premium – $646,430.41

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION FUNDS:

  1. Community Preservation Funds
  2. Community Preservation Recommendations – CPC Slides
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  8. 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 101

Town Meeting 101 Photo Essay (2 min. video)
You do not need to bring anything to Town Meeting. However, many people find that bringing a notebook and pen or pencil is helpful to make notes during the discussions. No food or drink is allowed in the Middle School Auditorium. There is a drinking fountain outside the auditorium. Many people also find that something to occupy one’s hands is helpful. If you are a knitter, for example, bring a small project. There are plenty of padded stationary folding auditorium style chairs, which are reasonably comfortable. But remember you’ll be there for a long time, so wear comfortable clothes.

Town Meeting begins at 7:00 PM in the Middle School Auditorium. Enter by Grove Street and please allow time to park and walk to the building. As you enter the Middle School, head to the left to the cafeteria to sign in. To actually vote in the auditorium, you must be a Hopkinton resident registered to vote and you must sign in at the voter table. Your name will be checked off and you’ll be given a small piece of paper marked “Voter Pass.” Hold on to this slip of paper; you will need it when it is time for the votes to be counted! You’ll see a table of handouts and fact sheets regarding all the proposed articles to be voted on from the town boards and committees. There is some terrific information here that may answer many of your questions. Listening devices for the hearing impaired will be available, please ask when you check in.

Assistive Listening Device

You do not have to be present for the entire town meeting to vote, though the more that participate in whole, the more balanced the democratic process. A quorum of 100 people is needed for any business which calls for the appropriation of money at any Town Meeting. There is no set time to check in. The meeting will be broadcast live via HCAM TV (Comcast 8/Verizon 30/Streaming live at www.hcam.tv), but you MUST be present to vote. You just need to check in prior to the vote, whenever you arrive. You only have to check in once, and you can come and go from the auditorium as you please. You can text (with phone switched to silent mode) from within the auditorium, although there is minimal cell coverage. Step outside to make a phone call.

The Board of Selectmen (Brian Herr, Chair) presides over the meeting, which is facilitated by the Town Moderator (Thomas Garabedian) and recorded by the Town Clerk (Connor Degan). The format of the meeting itself follows procedures set out in the Town Bylaws, page 35-37 (similar to Robert’s Rules of Order). Articles are presented, motions made, discussions ensue. Sometimes it can be a little confusing if an amendment comes up, so keep your ears open. Listen carefully — and you’ll learn a lot.

The committee or board presenting each article may make a brief presentation before each article. The Town Moderator, Thomas Garabedian, will facilitate a question and answer period for registered residents. If you choose to ask a question or comment on an article, step up to one of the microphones located in the auditorium aisles. Wait for the moderator, to recognize you, then state your name and address, and keep your comments brief, civil, and to the point. The comment, question and answer period will end when either #1 the moderator sees that no one else is waiting at the microphone to speak or #2 a voter comes to the microphone, is recognized by the moderator, and says “I move the question” or “I call the question.” The motion to end debate must then be seconded and then adopted by a ⅔ vote.

As for the actual voting, most votes start as a voice vote. The moderator asks all in favor and all opposed. If the voice vote sounds close, it will go to a standing count. The moderator will ask all in favor to stand up. Now is the time to get out that piece of paper! Hold out your Voter Pass and remain standing until the counters for your section have indicated that your vote has been recorded.

Although you can leave at any time, we recommend you do NOT leave until the meeting is officially adjourned. Someone may ask for a recount, and if a large group has already left, the outcome could be different, especially if the original vote was close. If you have any other questions about Town Meeting, please ask!

Citizen’s Guide to Town Meetings from the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Tomorrow: 5th Annual “Know Your Vote” at 6:30 PM at the High School

Know Your Vote Postcard 2017

In preparation for Annual Town Meeting, eHop in conjunction with the Town of Hopkinton, will hold its 5th Annual “Know Your Vote” forum on Monday, April 24 at 6:30-8:30 pm in the Hopkinton High School library. The forum will be broadcast on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8/Verizon 30) and streamed on Facebook Live at facebook.com/eHop01748. This is your chance to get the answers you need from town officials before Town Meeting.

A few key issues to be voted on at this year’s Annual Town Meeting include a temporary moratorium on non-medical marijuana establishments, traffic calming measures on Hayden Rowe ($1M), a feasibility study to renovate or replace Elmwood School ($600K), and additional funds to begin the construction of an athletic facility on Fruit Street ($400K). Read the full 2017 Annual Town Meeting Warrant at http://ehop.org/HopTM17Warrant. There are 63 articles on the warrant this year.

Come join the conversation and learn about the potential impact of these and other important votes. You can also submit questions in advance to knowyourvote@eHop01748.org or on facebook.com/eHop01748 or by using the hashtag #HopTM17.

Panelists will include:

  • Town Moderator Thomas J. Garabedian
  • Town Manager Norman Khumalo
  • Superintendent of Schools Cathy MacLeod
  • Selectmen Chair Brian Herr
  • School Committee Chair Lori Nickerson
  • Planning Board Chair Ken Weismantel
  • Director of Land Use and Town Operations Elaine Lazarus
  • Director of Youth and Family Services Denise Hildreth
  • Parks & Recreation Representative TBD