By Meredith McCulloch
The Planning Board learned at their hearing on Tuesday, October 27, that a petitioner’s article requesting zoning by-law changes will be withdrawn. It was one of two petitioners’ articles on zoning that had been approved by the Selectmen to be placed on the Warrant for Special Town Meeting, November 2. The article was added at the request of the Page Place condominium association, but withdrawn at the very last minute at the hearing. Click here to read the details in The Bedford Citizen. The second petitioner’s article, requesting a zoning change at the Marketplace shopping center, will come before the voters at Monday’s Special Town Meeting.
Special Town Meeting is open to all registered voters and is an opportunity to participate in direct democracy by voting on specific actions affecting the Town. The upcoming meeting will be at 7:30 pm in the Bedford High School auditorium on Mudge Way.
Below are the articles to be voted with a brief description. A PDF copy of the official warrant may be read or printed by clicking Special Town Meeting Warrant.
Article 1 Debate Rules
Article 2 Zoning By-Law Amendment (by Petition)
The Page Place article has been withdrawn by its proponents.
Article 3 Zoning Map Change (by Petition)
If approved this article would change portions of the Marketplace property from Limited Business to General Business. The change would allow retail stores to be larger than the 2,000 square feet allowed in the limited business zone.
Article 4 Street Acceptance Lavender Lane
When streets are accepted the Town assumes responsibility for plowing and maintenance
Article 5 Crosby Road discontinuance
This short street off of Crosby Drive once provided access to the Mass DOT salt sheds that are being relocated. The land will revert to private hands and the town will no longer have responsibility for it.
Article 6 Acceptance of M.G.L. Chapter 901 – Complete Street Program
This article would ask the voters to adopt Chapter 901 of the Massachusetts General Laws, on Complete Streets policy. Such a policy would make Bedford eligible for funds targeted toward safer streets for pedestrians and bicyclists and help implement the Town’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan which was recently completed. The Chapter describes a complete streets policy: [A]“Complete Streets Program…. [would] provide accommodations in the Town for users of all transportation modes including, but not limited to, walking, cycling, public transportation, automobiles and freight.”
Article 7 Proposed Amendments to the 2016 Capital Budget
This article would appropriate a total of $188,783 to provide video surveillance at all four schools, replace window blinds in Town Center, and upgrade the security and lighting systems for the seasonal storage units at the Town dump. In addition it would change the school buildings feasibility study to limit it to Lane School which,due to enrollment changes,is the first priority
Article 8 Community Preservation Surcharge
When Bedford voted to participate in the Community Preservation Act the Selectmen determined that participation would come before the voters each year for renewal. Approval would result in a 3% surcharge on property taxes that would be joined with state funds to support Community Preservation Projects.
Article 9 Amendments to the CommunityPreservation Commission budget
Changes to the budget voted at Annual Town Meeting last March.
Article 10 Article 10 Historical Museum Feasibility Study
If approved this article would authorize $50,000 for a feasibility study for a potential historical museum in a Town owned building. The article is supported by the ad hoc Historical Museum Study Committee, which was appointed by the Selectmen. Buildings to be considered in the study, all within the central “campus” of the Town, are the Police Station, the Fire Station, Town Center, Town Hall, and Old Town Hall. A building addition as well as renovation may be required. The museum would house the collected artifacts of Bedford owned by the Bedford Historical Society, which will be responsible for operation of the museum. Click here to read a PDF of the final report of the Ad Hoc Museum Study Committee
Article 11 Amend FY16 Operating Budgets
This article allows the Town Meeting to make any adjustments to the current budget that may be required.
Article 12 Amend Ambulance Enterprise Fund FY16
Since the budget was approved last March the Town has implemented advanced life support services. The amendments will decrease the budget by $32,973.
Article 13 Stabilization Fund Appropriation
This annual article allows the Town to add funds to the Stabilization Fund, essentially a Town savings account.
Come to Town Meeting for more information on each of the articles,
and for the opportunity to cast your votes.
Democracy is not a spectator sport.