Belmont Town Meeting, Night 3: Shelving Shoveling Petition Being Considered

Three is the magic number as the 155th annual Belmont Town Meeting will likely finish the non-budgetary section of the annual gathering of the town’s legislative body with a trio of articles representing the diverse subjects of medical marijuana, shoveling snow off of sidewalks and just how many yard sales a resident can hold a year.

And the members could be debating and voting on just two of the articles as the resident who is petitioning to have the four month-old bylaw requiring homeowners to shovel adjacent sidewalks shelved is asking that his article be “tabled” until the anticipated special Town Meeting in the fall.

The 2014 edition of the yearly meeting will resume tonight, Monday, May 12, at  at 7 p.m., at Belmont High School’s auditorium.

Members are asked to be in the auditorium before 7 p.m. so the meeting can start on time.

A copy of the warrant which contains the articles can be found here on the Town Clerk’s web page.

Tonight’s meeting will be broadcasted live by the Belmont Media Center.

First up on the agenda will be the petition by Pleasant Street resident Eric Anderson who is seeking to strike from the town’s bylaws the recently-enacted Residential Snow Removal bylaw approved by the November 2013 special Town Meeting and OK’d by the state’s Attorney General in February.

But according to Anderson and Precinct 4’s Joe White who will present the article tonight – Anderson is not a Town Meeting member – after the petition is set before Town Meeting, a motion will be made by White to “table” the measure until a special Town Meeting that is expected this fall.

White told The Belmontonian this past Wednesday, May 7, he and others have spoken to Anderson to delay the article so that Town Counsel George Hall can address a series of questions on liability issues and other concerns of residents being required to shovel what is essentially town-owned property, the sidewalks.

“We can wait [until a special Town Meeting] so we can get a reading on the law,” said White, adding that “it probably won’t snow until [the meeting].”

Also up for debate will be a citizen’s petition from Stephen Ganak of Hurley Street who would like to restrict the number of yard sales to three a year with a requirement to obtain a free permit from the Town Clerk. At last November’s special Town Meeting, it was initially thought that Ganak’s initial sales petition had been passed by the members only to discover that a calculation mistake saw the measure fail by a handful of votes. This time around, Ganak has simplified the wording with a hope that this effort will pass member muster.

Finally, members will vote on the creation of a medical marijuana overlay district. By using restrictions that the state has allowed – such as buffers  that force facilities to keep a distance from schools, residential areas – a Belmont marijuana dispensary will be restricted to far off locations. The members will also discuss

If the members do conclude their business tonight, the meeting will be adjourn to meet again for budget items including the town and school budget as well as capital budget expenditures on Monday, June 2 at 7 p.m. at the Chenery Middle School Auditorium.

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