Special Town Meeting

Special Town Meeting 2021

  • Date / Time: Monday, December 13th at 7:00 P.M.
  • Location: Cohasset High School, Sullivan Gymnasium,143 Pond Street, Cohasset, MA 02025
  • The last date to submit Citizen's Petitions is September 28, 2021 - Form is below 

Please review this year's warrant carefully, so that you are fully familiar with the questions you will be called upon to decide. 

Blue Town Seal (002)

Special Town Meeting Warrant 2021

Special Town Meeting Schedule

Citizen's Petition Form

Article 1:     Amendments to Fiscal 2022 Operating Budget

To see if the Town will vote to amend, modify, increase or decrease, or otherwise, to balance the Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget as voted in Article 5 of the May 24, 2021 Annual Town Meeting, including proposed revised appropriations and any additional sums the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, borrow pursuant to any applicable statute, or transfer from available funds or otherwise, for the payment of the salaries and compensation, expenses, equipment, and outlays, capital and otherwise, of the several Town departments, for the current fiscal year, or to take any other action relative thereto.

 

SELECT BOARD

 

INFORMATIONAL SUMMARY: This article requests an increase to the General Fund Debt Service Budget related to bond anticipation notes that were permanently financed in June 2021. The debt service is to be financed from the funds/accounts noted in the chart below with no effect on other departmental budgets.

 

Action

Amount

From

To

Adjusted Debt Payments

$8,254

Title   V      Betterment

Fund

Debt-Non-Excluded Principal & Interest

Adjusted Debt Payments

$459,138

Capital Stabilization

Fund

Debt-Capital Fund Principal & Interest

Adjusted Debt Payments

$101,244

Free Cash

Debt-Non-Excluded Principal & Interest

Transfer PEG Access

Funds to Cohasset 143TV

TBD ($64,954.15) a/o

10/6/2021

PEG Access & Cable

Related Fund

Cohasset 143TV

 

Select Board: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 5-0.

Advisory Committee: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 6-0.


Article 2:     Unpaid Bills from Previous Fiscal Years

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, and/or borrow, pursuant to any applicable statute, a sum or sums of money, to be expended by the Town Manager, to pay for unpaid bills of the Town, the Water Commission and/or Sewer Commission from previous fiscal years, or to take any other action relative thereto.

 

SELECT BOARD

 

INFORMATIONAL SUMMARY: This Article will allow for the payment of properly authorized bills incurred by the Town in a previous fiscal year, which for various reasons, were not paid during that fiscal year as follow:

 

Department

Vendor

Amount

Description

Funding Source

Sewer

FR Mahoney

$5,926.73

Service Calls

Sewer Retained Earnings

 

 

 

Select Board: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 5-0.

Advisory Committee: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 6-0.

 

Article 3:     Stabilization Funds

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, and/or borrow pursuant to any applicable statute, a sum of money to be deposited into the General Stabilization Fund, the Capital Stabilization, Special Education Stabilization Fund and the OPEB Trust Fund, or to take any other action relative thereto.

 

SELECT BOARD

 

INFORMATION SUMMARY: This Article would appropriate the following sums into the following accounts:

 

Amount

Source of Funds

Deposited into

$350,000

Free Cash

OPEB Trust Fund

 

 

 

Select Board: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 5-0.

Advisory Committee: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 6-0
 

Article 4:     Allocation of Funds for One-Time Costs

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, and/or borrow pursuant to any applicable statute, a sum of money for funding one-time expenditures and projects, or to take any other action relative thereto.

 

Select Board for the TOWN MANAGER

 

 

INFORMATIONAL SUMMARY: This Article would provide funding for the following:

 

Amount

Source of Funds

Purpose

Department

$750,000

Free Cash

1. Town Hall Project

Town Manager

$250,000

Free Cash

2. School Facilities Study

Town Manager

$75,000

Free Cash

3. Consulting Services – Zoning Study

Permits & Inspections

$18,000

Free Cash

4. Cemetery Records Upgrade

DPW

$21,000

Free Cash

5. New Voting Booths

Town Clerk

 

Select Board: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 3-0-2 for Project 1.

Recommend Approval by a Vote of 5-0 for Projects 2-5.

Advisory Committee: Recommended Approval by a Vote of 6-0.

 

Article 5:     Capital Improvements Projects

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, and/or borrow pursuant to any applicable statute, a sum of money to fund various capital improvements, capital projects and/or capital equipment for the various departments, boards, commissions, and agencies of the Town, or to take any other action relative thereto.

 

SELECT BOARD

 

INFORMATIONAL SUMMARY: This Article proposes funding for the following projects:

 

Amount

Purpose

Department

Source

$30,706

Replacement of Defibrillators

Police, Fire, DPW

Capital Stabilization

$150,000

Elm Street Water Main Replacement

Water

Water Retained Earnings

 

 

 

Select Board: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 5-0. Advisory Committee: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 7-0. Capital Budget Committee: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 4-0. Water Commission: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 3-0.


Article 6:     Changes to the Residential Zoning Definitions

To see if the Town will vote to amend its Zoning Bylaws, Chapter 300, Section 300-2.1: Definitions, by deleting the current definitions of “Lot”, “Frontage”, “Street/Way”, and “Common Driveway” and replacing said definitions with the following new definitions (deleted language is crossed out, new language is underlined) and by inserting new definitions of “Parcel”, “Lot, Buildable, “Way, Qualified”, “Way, Non- Qualified”, “Frontage, Qualified”, and “Access, Adequate” to Section 300-2.1 as follows (new language is underlined), or take any other action relative thereto:

 

LOT

An area or parcel of land in one ownership defined by metes and bounds or boundary lines in a recorded deed or recorded plan. A Parcel shall not be defined a lot unless it, as defined herein, which conforms to the Table of Area Regulations (Section 300-5.3). Only a Lot is eligible to receive a building permit provided that it fully complies with all relevant regulations.

 

FRONTAGE

The length of the line dividing a Lot or Parcel from the right-of-way of the Street/Way on which it bounds. This is to be measured at the right-of-way boundary and not at the center line of the Street/Way.

 

STREET/WAY

A public or private way for vehicular use which is commonly used by the public or dedicated to public use as shown on a plan of record, the dimensions and construction of which may be defined by regulations of the Town. A Street/Way includes not only paved surfaces but other contiguous areas assisting in travel such as a footpath, a sidewalk, and a bicycle path. A Street, a Roadway, and a Way are synonymous terms as used in this Bylaw.

 

COMMON, DRIVEWAY

A driveway having access over legal frontage provided that each lot served is located in a residential district and is in residential use and serving more than one lot. All lots served must have separate Legal Frontage; no lot using a common driveway for access may use any portion of the driveway for frontage, nor use an abutting lot’s legal frontage as its own. Common Driveways, where allowed, shall be governed by the Planning Board’s regulations then in effect.

 

PARCEL

An area of land defined by metes and bounds or boundary lines in a deed or plan recorded in a Registry of

Deeds, or registered in the Registry District of Land Court.

 

WAY, QUALIFIED

A Street/Way as defined by four types of ways under MGL 41, Section 81L: (1) a public way which has been accepted by a Town Meeting vote; (2) a way which the Town Clerk has certified is currently maintained and used as a public way; (3) a way shown on a plan approved and endorsed in accordance with the Subdivision Control Law; and (4) a way in existence before the Subdivision Control Law took effect in Cohasset (February 25, 1954)  certified by the Planning Board as having, sufficient width, suitable grades, and construction to provide for the needs of vehicular traffic in relation to the present and proposed use of abutting lots. A Buildable Lot must abut one of four types of Qualified Ways to be eligible for a building permit. Certification of the adequacy of the way by the Planning Board under (4)

herein shall be required prior to issuance of a building permit for a new dwelling along said way. The Planning Board may adopt rules & regulations pertaining to the adequacy of pre-Subdivision Control Law ways, after a public hearing to be advertised at least fourteen days prior to the date of the hearing.

 

WAY, NON-QUALIFIED

A way not meeting standards under MGL 41, Section 81L. Undeveloped lots on a Non-Qualified Way are ineligible for building permits, unless a Non-Qualified Way is brought up to standards as determined by the Planning Board. Exemptions from current dimensional and construction standards for any non-qualified pre-existing way (“Ancient Ways”) or for a way shown on a plan of record but never constructed (“Paper Ways”) are not afforded protected status.

 

LOT, BUILDABLE

A Lot which conforms with the Table of Area Regulations (Section 300-5.3), has Legal Frontage on a

Qualified Way, and has Adequate Access from the Qualified Way to the buildable portion of any such lot.

 

FRONTAGE, LEGAL

Frontage on a Qualified Way shall provide legal frontage. Frontage is a linear metric and having conforming frontage does not exempt a Lot from other requirements to be considered buildable.

 

ACCESS, ADEQUATE

A means of entering a Lot suitable for emergency and commercial vehicles, as well as for vehicular traffic as defined in MGL 41, 81L and further defined by regulations of the Town. Access metrics need not be

the same for every circumstance, but standards cannot exceed those commonly applied to public ways in similarly zoned districts. Also known as “Vital Access”. Adequate Access must also meet the following tests as it relates to entering the Lot:

 

ACCESS, PRINCIPAL - The primary means of entering a Lot must be from the Qualified Way which provides Legal Frontage.

 

ACCESS, ILLUSORY - The means of entering a Lot must be capable of providing access that is physically practical. If it is not, then access is considered “illusory”, such as access over tidal flats or a rock cliff.

 

ACCESS, PAPER WAYS - The means of entering a Lot must exist in reality “on the ground”, not just on paper. A planned way that has never been constructed, except for definitive Subdivision plans, even if laid out in compliance with Town regulations, does not provide legal frontage until it is actually constructed.

 

.

Select Board for PLANNING BOARD

 

INFORMATIONAL SUMMARY: This Article amends the definitional section in the Zoning Bylaw. A

support memo from the Zoning Bylaw Working Group can be found in Appendix A.


Article 7:    Ledge Protection

To see if the Town will vote to amend its Zoning Bylaws, Chapter 300, Article 300-11, Land Alteration, as follows:

 

By amending Section 300-11.4A – Application, Review & Decision by inserting the following underlined text as follows:

 

“11.4A. No land alteration activities described herein shall begin prior to the issuance of a Building Permit by the Town, written approval by the Planning Board or Conservation Commission, or the issuance of a Clearing Activities Special Permit per §300-11.2 above, Other Land Alteration Activities Special Permit per §300-11.3, and/or a Stormwater Bylaw Permit per General Bylaws, Part II, Chapter 223 from those respective boards if required.”

 

By amending Section 300-11.3, Other Land Alteration Activities, by deleting existing language and inserting new language (new language is underlined)  as follows:

 

“Earth removal means the extraction of materials, including soil, loam, sand, gravel, or stone.

It also includes the alteration or removal of Exposed Ledge Face. Exposed Ledge Face means any portion of rock formation lying above pre-construction grade at any given point.

 

These materials shall not be removed from any lot within the Town unless such removal will constitute an exempt operation as hereinafter provided or is subject to a valid Building Permit, Special Permit or Stormwater Bylaw Permit.

 

A. The following activities are exempt:

(1) The transfer of material from one part of the Lot to another part of the same Lot.

(2) The removal of material from land in use by the Town or other governmental agency.

(3) Where earth removal was necessarily excavated in connection with the lawful construction of a building, sewer system, other utilities, or a driveway, provided that the quantity of material removed does not exceed that actually displaced by the portion of the principal building, garage, sewer system, utility or driveway below finished grade.

 

B. All other land alteration activities that involve Exposed Ledge Face removal as it pertains to a Structure must obtain an Other Land Alteration Activities Special Permit from the Planning Board. For illustrative purposes, this includes the excavation and construction of a Structure or an Accessory Building to the principal use of the lot such as, but not limited to, fences, sheds, barns, patios, athletic courts, and pools.”

 
 

Or to take any other action related thereto.
 

 

Select Board for PLANNING BOARD


INFORMATIONAL SUMMARY: This Article amends the Land Alteration section of the Zoning Bylaw. A

support memo from the Zoning Bylaw Working Group can be found in Appendix B.


Article 8:     Community Preservation Committee

To see if the Town will vote to hear and act on recommendations by the Community Preservation Committee for Fiscal Year 2022 pursuant to Chapter 44B of the General Laws, also known as the Community Preservation Act: to implement such recommendations by appropriating and/or reserving a sum or sums of money from the Community Preservation Fund established pursuant to the Community Preservation Act for: the acquisition, creation and preservation of open space; the acquisition, preservation, rehabilitation of land for recreational use; the acquisition, creation, preservation and support of community housing; and the rehabilitation or restoration of open space and community housing acquired or created as provided by Section 5 of the Community Preservation Act; the administrative expenses and all other necessary and proper expenses of the Community Preservation Committee; to amend any votes previously adopted by Town Meeting on prior recommendations of the Community Preservation Committee; to authorize the Select Board with the approval of the Community Preservation Committee, to acquire by purchase, gift or eminent domain such real property interests in the name of or enforceable by the Town, or to authorize the conveyance of such real property interests, enforceable by third parties, as may be required by the Community Preservation Act, acting by and through the Select Board or such other Town board as the Select Board may designate, including real property interests in the form of permanent affordable housing restrictions, historical preservation restrictions and conservation restrictions that will meet the requirements of Chapter 184 of the General Laws, as may be necessary or proper to carry out the foregoing; or to take any other action relative thereto.

 

Select Board for COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE

 

INFORMATIONAL SUMMARY:  This Article provides funding for the following projects:

 

Source of Funds

Recipient/Project

Amount

Open Space and Recreation

Milliken Field Improvements

$18,0000

Open Space and Recreation

Sandy Beach Association – Water Wheelchair

$3,250

Extension of Funds

June 30, 2022

Use of Funds

Amount

Sandy Beach Association

Bathhouse

$3479.67

 

 

 

Select Board: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 5-0.

Advisory Committee: Recommendation at STM

Community Preservation Committee: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 7-0.


Article 9:     Field Lease Authorization

To see if the Town will vote to transfer the care, custody, management, and control of Town-owned land known as the  field complex located at 165-189 North Main Street, as shown on Assessors Map D5-15, Parcel 13, from the Select Board or other board or commission currently having custody thereof and from the purpose for which said parcel is currently held to the Select Board for the purpose for which the complex is currently held and for the purpose of entering into a long-term lease, which may be for a term of 10 years, and, further, to authorize the Select Board to enter into one or more agreements to lease all or a portion of said parcel for a term not to exceed 10 years, upon such terms and conditions as the Select Board deems to be in the best interest of the Town, or take any action relative thereto.

 

SELECT BOARD

 

INFORMATIONAL SUMMARY: This Article allows the Select Board to enter into a lease of the field complex on North Main Street.  There is currently no formal use agreement in place for this property.

 

Select Board: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 5-0.

Advisory Committee: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 7-0

 

 

Article 10:  Exchange of Easements for the Parker Avenue Boat Ramp

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Select Board to acquire, by purchase, gift, and/or eminent domain, a permanent easement in, on and under that portion of land, located at 37 Parker Avenue and identified by the Assessor’s Map as Parcel G6-37-022, which portion is identified as “Easement A” substantially as shown on a draft plan entitled, “Easement Plan of Land, 37 & 40 Parker Avenue in Cohasset Massachusetts (Norfolk County)”, dated November 10, 2021, prepared by BSC Group, a copy of which is on file with the Town Clerk, for the purpose of constructing, maintaining, repairing and replacing a boat ramp and structures and/or facilities related thereto, and, as consideration therefor, to authorize the Select Board to grant and convey to the owner of said Parcel G6-37-022 permanent access and other easements in, on and under the portion of the Town-owned property identified on said Plan as “Easement B,” or to take any other action relative thereto.

 

 

 

SELECT BOARD

 

INFORMATIONAL SUMMARY: This Article authorizes reciprocal easements which are necessary for the reconstruction and operation of the Parker Avenue Boat Ramp. A copy of the map can be found in Appendix C.

 

 

 

Select Board: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 5-0.

Advisory Committee: Recommend Approval by a Vote of 7-0


Article 11:  Citizen’s Petition

To resolve that the Town of Cohasset should accept CYBSA’s donation of funding for ballfield lighting and install that lighting on Chase and Freedom fields. Whereas the Town of Cohasset is the property owner of the baseball and softball fields located at the Barnes complex on North Main Street,

And whereas the Cohasset Youth Baseball and Softball Association, or CYBSA, as run Cohasset’s Youth

Baseball and Softball programs there since 1952,

And whereas CYBSA has seen increasing participation of girls and boys in its programs and recognizes there is an immediate need for increased play and practice capacity,

And whereas CYBSA believes that installing field lights will benefit families of Cohasset in enabling additional field time to address this growth,

And whereas CYBSA has proposed to donate to the Town funding to purchase and install lighting for Chase and Freedom fields, within Cohasset’s Zoning requirements,

Now, therefore, be it hereby Resolved that the Town of Cohasset accepts the donation for field lighting from Cohasset Youth Baseball and Softball and installs this ballfield lighting on Chase and Freedom fields.

 

 

 

Name

Address

Name

Address

Robert Carlson

20 Ledgewood Farm Dr.

Meredith Carlson

20 Ledgewood Farm Dr.

Ryan Delaney

41 Ledgewood Dr.

Susie Stockwell

41 Ledgewood Dr.

Rob Byrnes

52 Ledgewood Dr.

Bill Younker

45 Ledgewood Dr.

Jessie Younker

45 Ledgewood Dr.

Meredith Byrnes

52 Ledgewood Dr.

Steve Reissfelder

10 Ledgewood Dr.

Lauren Donohue

4 Ledgewood Dr.

 

 

 

Select Board: No Recommendation (Neither oppose nor support)

Advisory Committee:   No Recommendation (Neither oppose nor support)