Housing density restriction shot down at Marion Town meeting
MARION – A bylaw change that would limit the density of housing allowed to be built in town was shot during the May 10 municipal assembly.
The change, which failed to secure the necessary two-thirds majority of voters at the meeting, would have reduced the allowable number of housing units in lands zoned for high-density housing from 12 units per acre to six.
Voters skipped all other matters at the meeting, including one to spend an additional $ 2.7 million on the sewage lagoon lining project and another to change the name of the Selectmen board of directors. into a genre nickname, Select Board.
The change in housing density regulation was abolished after Sharon Matzek and Sherman Briggs spoke out against it.
Matzek said the measure would hamper the city’s ability to provide affordable housing, “affecting the ability of people who don’t own $ 1 million in homes or $ 800,000 in homes, and their ability to live in the community. .
Briggs noted that developers might not be willing to work with the city to create housing if the permitted density is too low. Instead, he believed the developers would find it easier to bypass the city and develop under 40B.
Selectman and Planning Council Member Norm Hills and Planning Council Chairman Will Saltonstall both noted that six units per acre is roughly the same density as on Main Street.
But Matzek said not all parts of the city looked like Man Street, and there were areas outside of the city center where denser housing might be viable.
Matzek said that “there should be a way for people to rent or own smaller houses in a condensed area.”
In a vote, the rule change did not obtain the two-thirds majority needed to pass.
Funding for the wastewater lagoon, on the other hand, was passed without much discussion.
The additional $ 2.7 million is needed to bring the sewage ponds up to current standards to prevent sewage from seeping into nearby Aucoot Cove and from there to Buzzards Bay.
The project, which has already cost the city around $ 9.5 million, involves draining the lagoon, removing biosolid waste from the bottom, and relining with a waterproof coating. City administrator Jay McGrail said the $ 2.47 million will help complete both biosolids waste removal and paving.
Originally, consulting engineers Camp, Dresser and McKee, Inc. estimated that there was about 350 tonnes of sludge at the bottom. This number has since increased twice and is currently estimated at over 1,000 tonnes.
At the meeting, voters also approved:
$ 81,000 for a new garage at the Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center, which will be used for the storage of items that are change in trailers in the parking lot of the community center.
$ 36,000 for the resurfacing of access roads to the playground equipment at Sippican School, making the playground accessible to people with disabilities.
$ 90,000 to complete the ongoing renovation of the townhouse facade.
And, without public comment, a name change of the Board of Directors from Selectmen to Select Board of Directors.