Voting set for May 13, May 14
Voters will go to the polls on May 13 for the second session of the annual Town Meeting, where they’ll elect town officials, decide whether to support an $12,385,899 town budget and cast ballots on requests for $100,000 for the Fire Department’s Fleet Management Capital Reserve Fund and $17,500 for the town’s Financial Management Software/Hardware Capital Reserve Fund. They’ll also vote on 11 zoning amendments supported by the Planning Board and three petition amendments to the zoning ordinance. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more about Wednesday’s voting, see Thursday’s edition.
Article 2: Zoning Amendments
Voters will vote separately on each of the 14 proposed amendments, which are labeled as amendments 2A through 2N.
Key amendments that have drawn attention are:
Amendment 2A, which would create an Innovative Subdivision Design section of the zoning ordinance. It would require all subdivisions of lots over 10 acres in the rural district to follow guidelines calling for houses to be built on smaller lots than are allowed under conventional zoning, with 50 percent of the land to be designated as open space.
Amendment 2N is an alternative proposal, submitted by petition, that has the same wording as Amendment 2A, but adds the word “voluntary” to the title of the section and in several locations in place of the word “required.” Sponsors of the petition have said making the proposal mandatory, as called for in Amendment 2A, would restrict the rights of property owners in the rural district
Amendment 2B would create a Traditional Neighborhood Overlay Zone, to allow residences to be built in close proximity in sections of town where there are already densely developed neighborhoods. The concept, known as “infill development,” has been discussed for a few years at Planning Board meetings and hearings, but this is the first time it will appear on the ballot.
Amendment 2F would bring the zoning ordinance in compliance with state law by permitting workforce housing in all residential districts, subject to Planning Board review.
Amendment 2M, a petition article, would authorize the Planning Board to grant conditional use permits to allow a variety of activities, such as retailing, farm stays, cafes or reception areas on farms in town. Planning Board members have said the petition would be unenforceable even if it is approved, because it refers to the Agricultural Business Enterprise Zone, which does not exist. worded.
Article 3. Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 — $12,385,899
The proposed budget drew little discussion at the town’s April 8 deliberative session. At that meeting, Select Board Chair Joe Byk said the budget is up less than one percent. If the budget does not pass on May 13, it will be taken up the next day at the open session of Town Meeting,
Article 10. New Hampshire Resolution to Get Big Money out of Politics
This article, submitted by petition, calls for the state legislature to call on Congress to support a constitutional amendment to regulate political spending, which would overturn the Citizens United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.