Special Town Meeting Tomorrow 7pm – Pond Street Land Purchase

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Special Town Meeting
Tuesday, March 3 at 7:00pm 
Hopkinton Middle School Auditorium
Read the Warrant (Agenda)

Educate Hopkinton will be live tweeting from the event as usual, follow us @educate01748.

A 2/3rds majority vote is required for the town to purchase 203 Pond Street. All registered voters are invited to participate, but you must attend the meeting IN PERSON to vote.

Summary:

The town has the right of first refusal to purchase land at 203 Pond Street for $2,000,000 and must make a decision by March 14. In order to go through, it must pass both at Town Meeting 3/3 and Town Election 3/10.

A Yes Vote on Question 1 means:

  • The town will acquire 32 acres of land at 203 Pond St designated as “Lot 13 – Open Space Parcel” in the subdivision plan.

A Yes Vote on Question 2 means:

  • The town will acquire 8 acres of land at 22 School St. This gift is contingent on the town purchasing all of the 203 Pond St land.

A Yes Vote on Question 3 means:

  • The town will purchase for $2,000,000 the remaining 12 acres of land at 203 Pond St designated as “Lots 1-12″ in the subdivision plan. A 2/3rd’s majority vote is required. This purchase would be a debt exclusion override and would also require a vote at the polls on 3/10.

A No Vote means:

  • The sale to developer Diamond Builders will go forward. The developer’s plan, already approved by the Planning Board, is to build a 12-lot subdivision with a maximum of 12 buildings to be built on the site, with the remaining 32 acres designated as open space.

Next Week:

  • Special Town Election – Tuesday, March 10 – A simple majority vote is required for the town to purchase 203 Pond Street via a Debt Exclusion override. This is a regular ballot vote at the polls.

Continue reading Special Town Meeting Tomorrow 7pm – Pond Street Land Purchase

Town Meeting 101

Seal of the Town of Hopkinton 1715

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 7:00pm 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 piece of paper. Hold on to this piece 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 article to be voted on. 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.

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 required to open the 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 (Todd Cestari, Chair) presides over the meeting, which is facilitated by the Town Moderator (Dr. Bruce Karlin) and recorded by the Town Clerk (Geri Holland). The format of the meeting itself follows 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. There are only 3 articles on the warrant (agenda) for Special Town Meeting, all related to the land purchase at 203 Pond Street.

The committee or board presenting the articles may make a brief presentation at the beginning. The Town Moderator, Dr. Karlin, 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 paper 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!

Public Hearing – Proposed Zoning Bylaw and Zoning Map Amendments

Crossroads Redevelopment District - Height Zones
Crossroads Redevelopment District – Height Zones

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:

  1. RA/BD Districts boundary line – Rezone 5 parcels as RA in the B Street area.
  2. BD District – Allow off-street parking between a building and the street by special permit.
  3. Define Indoor Recreation and permit the use in the IB District.
  4. Signs – Lighting regulations, design and placement on buildings, prohibit off-
    premises signs, increase maximum size of trades/professional signs.
  5. Add site lighting regulations in the Site Plan Review bylaw.
  6. OSLPD – Trails in buffer; parcel size.
  7. Move definition of Lots in Two or More Residence Districts.
  8. Special Permit language – consolidate and reorganize.
  9. Crossroads Redevelopment District – Adopt new district, rezone 57 acres off Elm St. & Parkwood Dr.
  10. 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)

Links and Documents for More Info:

Ashland-Hopkinton Fire Department Merger Public Forums this Week

Hopkinton Fire Department Winter

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!

Contacts:

  • Anthony Schiavi, 508-881-0100 Ext. 612; Email: aschiavi@ashlandmass.com
  • Norman Khumalo, 508-497-9700; Email: nkhumalo@hopkintonma.gov

Point of Order: 203 Pond Street

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

Links and Documents for More Information:

 Save the Dates:

  • Special Town Meeting – Tuesday, March 3 – A 2/3rds majority vote is required for the town to purchase 203 Pond Street. You must attend the meeting in person to vote.
  • Special Town Election – Tuesday, March 10 – A simple majority vote is required for the town to purchase 203 Pond Street. This is a regular ballot vote at the polls.

Hopkinton Ten-Year Capital Plan Presented

Hopkinton Common

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
  • School Safety & Security $200,000
  • Joint Town and School Technology $200,000
  • Highway Department 10-Wheel Dump Truck $240,000

Documents and Links for More Information:

Forum Tomorrow – Last Chance to Weigh In on New Center School Site

REMINDER: The Elementary School Building Committee will be holding the second of three workshops TOMORROW Saturday, January 24 from 9-10:30am at the Hopkinton Middle School Library.  The forum is designed to engage the public in the Center School Feasibility Study, a project to address the constraints at Center School focused on meeting the needs of Hopkinton’s pre­K through 1st grade educational program.

The focus of the workshop will be presenting the site options, and then gathering feedback, questions, and opinions from the community.

NEW: Here’s the site evaluation matrix, a tool the ESBC developed to generate discussion around the pros and cons of each site alternative. Evaluation Matrix – ESBC- HES Concept Options -20150121

The slideshow below includes draft conceptual test fit depictions produced by the DRA design team.  They were created to evaluate each site’s potential for a new or expanded Center School.  There are currently 11 variations of school options (numbered 1 – 11) being considered at 4 different locations, including the potential for new land acquisitions. The preliminary concepts are subject to change and not reflective of final design.

HPTA State of the Schools

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The State of the Schools will air LIVE this week on Monday, January 12 at 7pm on HCAM. (Comcast channel 8; Verizon channel 30). Superintendent, Cathy MacLeod and Chair of the School Committee, Jon Graziano, will be answering questions pertaining to the Hopkinton Public Schools. You can attend in person at HCAM Studios (77 Main Street) or submit any questions that you may have before Monday at 12pm to stateoftheschools@hptaonline.com.
Helpful links:

 

Because Information Matters, a Civic League of Hopkinton, Massachusetts