Special Town Meeting March 14: Article 1, Memory Care Zoning Amendment Passes

Special Town Meeting
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Special Town Meeting March 14: Article 1, Memory Care Zoning Amendment Passes

Article 1: Amend Zoning Bylaws (Memory Care Residence Development) was addressed in an over two hour debate at the first night of Special Town Meeting.

For reference, The Northbridge Communities, has proposed building the 70 unit, 78 bed facility, which would operate under the Avita Health System brand. The center would provide services and housing for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other related illnesses.

Many of those who voiced their support for this article urged that this type of a proposal is very much needed in the town with a large senior population.

Webster Collins mentioned that the proposal is not a high density design, would be perfect for the neighborhood and be just what the town needs.

Karen Friedman-Hanna, a healthcare provider, urged Town Meeting members to vote yes, stating that “Avita is a lovely facility, on the higher end of memory care, and is supportive of the neighborhood.”

Those residing in surrounding neighborhoods voiced their concerns and disapproval for the article.

Bard Hajrizaj provided a presentation, citing top concerns such as increased traffic to surrounding neighborhoods, changes to residential land and no plans for infrastructure. Basement flooding is a main concern as the proposed 10 acres is considered wetlands.

Diane Agostino also cited concerns for families in the area and raised questions that required some research by Director of Planning and Community Development, Tim Czerwienski, and Town Counsel, Kevin Freytag.

Select Board Chair, Katie Conlon, urged Town Meeting members to keep in mind that this article presents strictly the zoning issue at this time, and to focus on “what is before us, and what is not before us.”

Planning Board Chair, Denny Swenson, acknowledged the various concerns surrounding this proposal, but reiterated that they can be addressed during the review process by the board and the conservation commission before any building takes place.

Article 1 was approved with 73% of voters in favor.

Article 3: Home Rule Petition-Liquor License-1 Eliot Street was approved with 94% of the voters in favor of.

To view this Special Town Meeting Warrant, please click here: special_town_meeting_warrant_march142022.pdf (townofmilton.org)

Special Town Meeting is scheduled to resume on March 16.

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