ROCKPORT — Less than 24 hours after dealing split verdicts on a series of proposals to give the town more oversight for reviewing home demolition plans, Rockport voters are being asked to reconvene tonight for the continuation of their Fall Town Meeting, which was suspended after nearly four hours of debate and decision-making last night.
The town meeting will reconvene tonight beginning at 7, again in the Rockport High School auditorium. Among the items up for discussion and vote are some key remaining aspects of the so-called site plan review bylaw, which would give the town more input inbto home demolition projects, and the allocation of money from the town’s Community Preservation Act funds to a number of projects, including proposed upgrades to be carried out by a nonprofit developer to the Broadway High School apartment complex.
The 300 voters who attended Fall Town Meeting last night gave their required two-third approval to Article L, which creates a certification of completion of projects that come under the town’s site plan review guidelines.
But the same voters failed to pass Article J, which would have revised the reasons for undertaking site plan reviews, and voted to postponed all discussion of Article K, the measure that would require houses that are 100 years old or older and cover at least 800 square feet of space to undergo review by the town before the owner can carry out any demolition of the existing building.
Article J received a majority vote in favor of passage, but not the two-thirds required for approval. The postponement vote came as the town’s FInance Committee moved to postpone votes on each of the articles referring to the site plan review issue.
Voters also approved a number of what officials called “housekeeping” articles regarding the town budget and finances. And, just before the session as suspended, they approved an amendment to Article M, which calls for a rebuilding to be submitted by the home or property owner of a site covered by site plan review regulations. Voters did not, however, address Article M itself, with that article also carrying over to tonight’s continued meeting.
Also left to tonight’s agenda is a resolution that would put the town urging Congress to find that corporations are not entitled to the same constitutional rights as individuals through a constitutional amendment. The petition is part of a national movement aimed at repealing a 2010 Supreme Court ruling called Citizens United that lifted limits for political spending by corporations and unions.
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