Quorum slow to arrive for final night of town meeting


TOWNSEND — Decisions were reached on the remaining three town meeting articles on Thursday night, but it took awhile to get the meeting underway. One hundred voters must attend to officially start town meeting, and the required quorum was not reached until 7:40 p.m., 40 minutes after the posted start time.

Town meeting began on Tuesday but was cut short after too many voters left the hall and the crowd dropped to only 90 people.

The three articles that were concluded on the second night of town meeting were all bylaw changes, and all were read by Planning Board Chairman Jeffrey Peduzzi.

The first article that was adopted by the voters would make it easier for homeowners to do landscaping on their own property.

”Recent applications to the Zoning Board of Appeals brought to light several inconsistencies and vagaries in the current bylaw, requiring some action,” Peduzzi said.

”Under the current language,” Peduzzi explained, “a town resident cannot technically re-sod their lawn for simple landscaping purposes.” The new bylaw, to correct the problem, was crafted to ensure the changes are consistent with the Master Plan and general intent of the town code, he said.

The new bylaw allows for an easier application process and eliminates the need of a special permit for most residential landscaping projects, Peduzzi said. Only those residential projects requiring the excavation of more that 200 cubic yards of material from the property will need a special permit. The voters agreed and adopted the revised bylaw.

The second bylaw change, also accepted by voters, deals with parcels split between different zoning districts.

The amended bylaw states that when a lot is divided by a zoning district boundary, such that a portion of the lot is in a commercial/industrial district and the remainder in a residential district, the use of the land for commercial or industrial purposes shall be allowed, provided that the use be maintained within the commercial/industrial district boundary lines and conform to the land use regulations.

The third bylaw change, which was also accepted, now allows a miniature gold course or driving range to be located within a residential area once the business gets a special permit.

The older bylaw allowed for golf courses in residential areas, but excluded mini-golf and driving ranges.