Bylaw changes headed to Town Meeting

Oct 31, 2018 by

Published in the October 31, 2018 edition

By MARK SARDELLA

WAKEFIELD — A number of changes to the town’s General Bylaws will go before the Regular Town Meeting that is set to open Monday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Auditorium at the Galvin Middle School.

Bylaw Review Committee chairman Daniel Lieber reviewed the proposed changes with the Town Council Monday night. He reminded the board that the Bylaw Committee has been working since November of 2016 and has solicited and received input from many sources, including town departments heads, boards and committees and individual citizens. He said that the goal of most of the changes was to simplify, apply consistency and remove unnecessary language.

Lieber said the articles to be presented at Town Meeting address 10 different topics.

Articles 14 codifies how cuts in the town roads are handled and paid for whether the work is being done by private contractors, the WMGLD or the Water and Sewer Divisions. The bylaw changes were requested by the DPW. Lieber said that Articles 15 and 16 are related to Article 14.

Article 17 on the Town Meeting warrant is an omnibus article that changes references to the “Board of Selectmen” to “Town Council” throughout the General Bylaws.

Article 18 aims to continue preservation of historic buildings and strengthen penalties for unlawful demolition of  historic structures. The Historical Commission and the Building Inspector would each be specifically authorized to institute any actions and proceedings as necessary or appropriate to obtain compliance and prevent violations. The changes also make the petitioner responsible for the cost hearings when seeking a waiver of the demolition delay. 

Article 19 relates to hunting and trapping. Lieber said that the changes proposed are to clean up language and remove gender references.

Lieber said that the motion at Town Meeting on Article 20 will be for indefinite postponement. The article was intended to clarify the procedure for fingerprint-based criminal record background checks. But at the request of Police Chief Rick Smith, the article will be deferred pending further review and changes.

Article 21 clarifies terms and removes conflicting language from the bylaw that applies to sidewalk cafes.

Artlcle 22 relates to news racks (the metal boxes for selling newspapers) and sets out size and location requirements.

Article 23 clarifies definitions and makes language changes to the town bylaw related to sewers.

Article 24 makes the local bylaw related to storm drains consistent with federal and state law (as requested by DPW) and clarifies homeowner rights and responsibilities.

Article 25 is another DPW-requested article makes language more consistent in Chapter 185, the bylaw dealing with the town’s water supply.

Lieber said that any remaining recommendations from the Bylaw Committee will be presented at the spring Annual Town Meeting.

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