ESSEX — A series of articles targeting the future of Conomo Point head up the warrant for Essex' May town meeting.
The Conomo Point articles cover almost a quarter of the near 40 article warrant, which contains proposals for dog licensing laws, an extension to the sewer main moratorium, the town budget, school assessment — to be determined, in addition to the Point.
The first four warrant articles concern the subdivision and zoning of the southern part of Conomo point. The articles stem from motions passed at a special town meeting last November.
The Annual Town Meeting is set for Monday, May 2, at 7:30 at Essex Elementary School, with plans to carry it over to Tuesday, May 3, if necessary.
Article 1 lays out a zoning plan for the southern half of the point, which operates under zoning slightly different from Essex' generally loose regulations; the town has one zoning district.
The regulations were composed by the Horsely Witten group, consultants brought in to design subdivision for the area.
Currently, the area is zoned through lease lines that mark the amount of land leased to the occupants.
But they lack the legal legitimacy that property lines have, officials have said, hence the need for property demarcation.
Article 2, meanwhile, formally lays out a procedure for selling and leasing those plots, provided the state Legislature allows the town the exemption it is seeking from Chapter 30b bidding laws.
The article also lays out a period of long-term leases — deemed "bridge Leases" in the warrant - that would not exceed five years. The leases would give the town time to organize point zoning with the approaching end of the lease in December.
Article 3 does for the leasing what state legislation does for the selling, exempt from 30b legislation.
The article, if approved, would give the Selectmen power to use the bridge leases.
"It would be difficult to go from the existing lease to whatever happens next," said Town Administrator Brendhan Zubricki.
Articles 7 and 8 request funds for appraisal and legal fees the town expects to incur as the Conomo Point plan moves forward.
The town will also ask residents to elect someone to the vacant seat on the Point planning committee,
Town budgeting concerns fill most of the warrant following point articles.
Articles 11, 13, and 15 deal with the town operating budget, sewer and water budgets respectively. Zubricki said the warrant doesn't dictate the amount of any fund that would be contingent on Essex's override, and leaves the matter up to voter decision as the Finance Committee has not completed their recommendations.
The town will also vote whether or not to close the Youth Enterprise fund and balance the fund's current budget. The town, said Zubricki, wants to close that fund because the summer program that it funds is now pegged, as the Times previously reported, to be run by the Cape Ann YMCA.
The warrant's Article 26 aims to change fees in the system for dog licensing .
For individual dogs, the article proposes an $8 license for male and female dogs, with a $5 license if they're neutered or spayed.
A year's extension to the current moratorium on sewer reserve capacity also sits on the warrant. Article 20 would revise the moratorium to allow three-bedroom homes to upgrade to four bedrooms in terms of sewer capacity.
The Planning Board submitted an article proposing an Open Space Residential Development Bylaw, that according to the board's release would allow developers to construct more clustered housing that allowed by Subdivision Control Regulations.
The change would apply only to parcels of 5 or more acres, with 50 percent of the parcel to be maintained as open space under a conservation easement.
"The Essex Planning Board feels that the bylaw would provide a valuable option for the maintenance of the open space and rural character of the town," the Planning Board's Andrew St. John said in a prepared statement.
Steven Fletcher can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3447, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ESSEX TOWN MEETING WARRANT
Monday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.
Essex Elementary School
1: To amend the Zoning bylaws concerning Southern Conomo Point.
2: To add a section to the bylaw for sale and lease of Conomo Point property.
3: To let the Selectmen make the sales or leases.
4: To vote and appoint a resident to the Conomo Point Planning Committee.
5: Town will determine the manner of electing Town Officers usually elected on the meeting floor.
6: To receive reports for the Annual Report.
7: To raise funds for an appraiser for subdivided property at Conomo Point.
8: To raise funds for Conomo Point plan legal services.
9: To revise the Wage and Salary Scale for Town employees.
10: To fix the salary of elected officials.
11: To raise the town operating budget.
12: To close possible deficits for the Sewer enterprise fund.
13: To raise a sum of money to fund the FY 12 Sewer enterprise fund 12: To close possible deficits for the Sewer enterprise fund.
14: To raise a sum of money to fund the FY 12 Water enterprise fund 12: To close possible deficits for the Sewer enterprise fund.
15: To raise a sum of money to fund the FY 12 Water enterprise fund.
16: To close possible deficits for the Youth enterprise fund.
17: To revoke acceptance of the Youth Enterprise Fund for FY 12
18: To fund the Manchester Essex Regional School District assessment.
19: To fund the town's North Shore Vocational School assessment.
20: To extend the Sewer Reserve Capacity Moratorium for one year depending on capacity.
21: To include an Open Space Residential Development bylaw.
22: To transfer available funds for Snow and Ice Overtime from FY 11.
23: To appropriate or reserve CPA funds.
24: To add a demolition delay and review bylaw.
25: To amend the building fee schedule.
26: To amend the dog licensing fee section of the animal control bylaw.
27: To establish election nomination procedures.
28: To provide funds for a new police cruiser
29: To provide funds for a portable module building or additional space for the police department.
30: To purchase a dump truck with a snowplow.
31: To purchase a copying machine for town hall.
32: To enter into lease for a parking lot on 109 Main Street to provide alternative parking during the RT 133 construction.
33: To transfer funds to pay unpaid bills from past fiscal years.
34: To transfer from Town Septic Betterment Fund to pay the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust.
35: To transfer funds from Stabilization.
36: To reauthorize a fund for the Dog Officer's care of impounded dogs.
37: To purchase supplies for the Board of Health for the Youth Triathlon.
38. To purchase emergency supplies for the Board of Health.