By George, I think they’re LISTENING!

Well, I confess that ‘real life’ got in the way of my best intentions, today. I had hoped to put together a detailed overview of the Draft Conditions (available here) that were distributed at the (not quite) Public Hearing last night, but ran out of time.

That said, I don’t want to keep you all in suspense, so I’ve prepared a ‘quick and dirty’ list of the things that caught my eye.

I encourage you to read through the whole document yourselves; you may be surprised to find the substance of your own comments reflected in what is being considered. From my point of view, I see a LOT of what I’ve heard brought up at Public Hearings to date – by the Public.

In other words, the Planning Board really have been hearing us, and this document shows that our letters, comments, petitions, and requests MATTER.

Nice feeling, isn’t it? 🙂

So, to sum up:

These Draft Conditions were prepared by consultants at the request of the Planning Board, and were informed / guided by input from the Board as well as the Town Planner.

They were provided – for the first time – to the PB, the Town Planner, the Applicants, and the Public at the Planning Board meeting last night (11/20). The Public Hearing component of that meeting (with respect to the Town Center development) was granted a continuance (at the request of the applicants) because the Applicants had not had any time to review the document in advance, and because Town Counsel was not available to attend the Hearing to provide their comments on the Draft Conditions.

The postponed Public Hearing was rescheduled to Monday, 11/27 at Sargent Memorial Library, and has been given an estimated time of 8:20 (actual start time of the meeting is 7:30).

At that meeting, this list of Draft Conditions will be discussed – presumably one by one – by the Planning Board, the Applicants, the Town’s Counsel team – and YOU.

It is unclear how the Public comment component will be organized for this discussion, but if we find out more in advance, please sign up for our various newsletters so we can keep you posted.

(Important note – these are NOT final Conditions, but drafts – and will require both legal and public feedback before being revised and deliberated by the Planning Board at the close of the Public Hearing. Your input may well influence the final outcome. Please don’t miss that opportunity to play an active role!) 

Finally – we continue to see a building of momentum in terms of local interest  / traffic to the website and Facebook groups. As someone pointed out to me, we’ve had more page views in the last 2 days than there were residents present for the most recent Town Meeting’s best day. Not too shabby!

I will have more updates as the week progresses – particularly regarding the question on many minds: Can the Planning Board still DENY to issue a Site Plan Approval?

But in the meantime, we wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. No matter what happens with respect to this development, I think it is very safe to say that we ALL have much to be thankful for, and being a part of this community is certainly one of the top items on my list this year.

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