WEEK AHEAD: Zoning changes; 40B discussions; half day Tuesday; HS course signups; playoff game Tuesday; planning, conservation, zoning, affordable housing, charter review, golf course committees to meet

It’s a big week for zoning, planning, and land use. If you’re into that sort of stuff…

PLANNING BOARD HEARING MONDAY ON ZONING CHANGES

The Planning Board on Monday night will seek public comment on a number of proposed changes to the town’s zoning bylaws.

Here’s a very general explanation of what they do. A more in-depth explanation on each will be available at the meeting.   

ARTICLE 13: This article makes a technical change to the existing medical marijuana bylaw, by clarifying that the bylaw is referencing “medical marijuana treatment centers” and not state-licensed retail marijuana shops.

ARTICLE 14: This article would change the town’s zoning map to include a new Marijuana Production and Cultivation Overlay District that runs most the length of Chestnut Street. Retail sales would not be allowed in this district.

ARTICLE 15: The town’s existing bylaws require commercial businesses located next to homes to maintain a vegetated buffer strip to help cut down on noise and other impacts. This bylaw clarifies that when a commercial property owner acquires an adjoining piece of land that also abuts a home or multiple homes, it still needs to meet the requirements of that buffer strip rule.  

ARTICLE 16: This article spells out the details of the expanded marijuana production and cultivation overlay district, such as building setbacks, permitting process, and restrictions against odors outside the facility. 

ARTICLE 17: This article would allow the construction of battery energy storage systems, which are essentially metal structures that house large batteries that store excess electricity and discharges it back into the power grid as needed.  

ARTICLE 18: This bylaw change would make it harder for developers to build small-to-medium size multi-family housing projects along most of Route 18, the town’s main commercially zoned district. Instead of just needing a special permit from the Planning Board, projects under 12 units would instead need to seek out a variance from the Zoning Board, which requires a higher burden of proof.

ARTICLE 19: This article would increase the number of trees developers have to replant on residential properties after construction. It says the developer has to replant a tree for every four mature trees removed during construction, or show a non-financial reason why doing so is not possible. 

PLYMOUTH STREET 40B BACK BEFORE ZONING BOARD

Back in 2019, the zoning board approved a 144-unit, age-restricted affordable housing project off Plymouth Street. The project, which backs up to the Senior Center, has yet to break ground. And now it’s back before the Zoning Board looking to change things up a bit. Project officials want to combine the two buildings into one, removing the need for a pedestrian bridge spanning the two structures, and increase the total number of bedrooms from 176 to 216 (the number of units wouldn’t change). The meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. 

HALF DAY ON TUESDAY

Tuesday is a half day for Abington students as teachers take part in some professional training. 

Dismissal times are:

High School – 10:45 a.m. 

Middle School – 11:10 a.m. 

Woodsdale – 11:40 a.m.

Beaver Brook – Noon.

AHS COURSE SELECTION UNDERWAY

Guidance will be meeting with AHS students during bridge block during the month of March to discuss the course selection process.

Juniors will be meeting the week of March 7, sophomores the week of March 14, freshmen the week of March 21. Week of March 7th. Mrs. McDermod will be visiting 8th grade classes to review the Abington High School course selection process.

The student portal will be opened until April 1, 2022 to make elective changes. The deadline for all changes is April 14, 2022.  Parents with questions can contact the Guidance Office at 781-982-2165.

The full 2022-23 Course of Studies is available here. 

TOWN MEETING WARRANT AVAILABLE

We don’t know why it’s still called a warrant. It’s basically a meeting agenda. The etymology probably is rooted in Colonial law. 

But anyway, the warrants for the Special and Annual Town Meetings are now available for your perusal. 

The Special Town Meeting handles issues that need to be resolved this fiscal year, which ends June 30, such as unpaid bills and budget transfers. The Annual Town Meeting handles issues, generally, for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

For those interested in the proposed zoning changes, the Planning Board is holding a public hearing Monday night at 6 p.m.

The Finance Committee is also finishing its review of the budget and will be making recommendations for the articles.

EARLY EDUCATION PROGRAM SIGNUPS UNDERWAY

Registration for the Abington Early Education Program (AEEP) is currently open for children born between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2019. Children turning 3 attend the morning session, children turning 4 attend the afternoon session. Forms and additional information are available here.

GREEN WAVE BASKETBALL/HOCKEY PLAYOFF GAMES FRIDAY, SATURDAY

The #9 Green Wave boys basketball team plays at #8 Dover-Sherborn Tuesday at 7 p.m. Abington advanced by defeating Fairhaven 54-49 Friday night in the…do we have a cool nickname for the HS gym yet? The Tidal Pool? The Splash Zone? The Swamp? The Beaver Lodge? Someone needs to get on this. 

MEETINGS

MONDAY

Planning Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a review of proposed zoning bylaw changes, and discussions about Century Estates, 678 Adams Street, and Rosyln Street. 

TUESDAY

Strawberry Valley Golf Course Committee, 5 p.m., Clubhouse. Agenda includes upcoming course improvements, rates, and course readiness.

Conservation Commission, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom. Agenda includes 154 Brockton Avenue, 44-54 Linwood Street, 75 Dale Street. 

Affordable Housing Trust, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes discussing the 40B project ar 1015 Plymouth Street, Abington’s affordable housing inventory count, the Center School project, and CPA funding. 

THURSDAY

Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes 1015 Plymouth Street (40B), 75 Dale Street, 154 Brockton Avenue, 35 Rice Street, 207 Bedford Street

Charter Review Commission, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a discussion about upcoming public outreach activities, a review of Abington’s town charter, and public comment. 

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