Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


January 3, 2013

Deadlines loom for busy Town Meeting

Voters expected to tackle zoning, project proposals


“There’s a remote possibility there could be a warrant article for the acquisition of a site,” he said. “Remote as it is, we are in the process.”


The Town Yard zoning article isn’t the only zoning-related topic that could face Town Meeting voters. Residents may also hear from the Franciscan Housing Overlay District Task Force about a proposal to rezone the Franciscan Center on River Road to allow elderly housing there, according to Charles Kendrick, task force co-chairman.

A hearing for that project is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 8, on the third floor of Town Offices at 36 Bartlet St.

“What the overlay task force is doing is trying to get to the public an updated presentation on what the task force and the Planning Board are proposing to put up as a warrant article, to get the public feedback before we do it,” Kendrick said.

The proposal could lead to the 130-acre Franciscan Center property becoming elderly housing in the future.

“We’re quite far down the road. What we’re doing now is testing it,” Kendrick said. “There’s a whole lot of stakeholders in this effort, and we want to make sure that all the stakeholders see what we’re doing and have input in the process so that all the bases are covered.”


Petitions are circulating for two private Annual Town Meeting articles, according to Town Clerk Larry Murphy.

The first is a $635,000 request by some residents to build a 4,050-foot sidewalk along Highland Road. If approved, the sidewalk would run from the Highland Road intersection at Woodland Road to the North Andover town line at Downing Street.

The second effort asks for $60,000 to maintain a stream water level gauge for the Shawsheen River at Balmoral Street, near Shawsheen Square. The gauge, currently in place, helps provide early warning to nearby residents and businesses when the river reaches dangerously high water levels.

Murphy said that people with ideas for other issues that should be voted on at Town Meeting should speak to him soon. Anybody with an idea can start gathering signatures immediately.

“We encourage them to come in and talk about the process, but the papers are available on the town website,” Murphy said.

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