Government

Board of Appeals Wraps Up Hopkinton Mews Hearings

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On Wednesday, January 28th, the Board of Appeals met to exclusively discuss the Lumber St/Hopkinton Mews development. By the end of the meeting, the Board closed the public hearing on the project, and approved the requested comprehensive permit.

ESBC To Review Forum Results at Feb 2nd Meeting

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Following the success of their January 24th forum, the Elementary School Building Committee is set to meet on Monday, February 2nd, with the objective of distilling all of the questions and comments from the forum.

ESBC Reveals Site Matrix Ahead of Saturday Forum

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On Tuesday, January 22nd, the Elementary School Building Committee met to discuss and compare possible sites for the Center School project.

The bulk of the meeting was spent evaluating the site matrix, comparing all 11 site possiblities on a wide range of criteria including program accomodation, district operations, and after construction effects on traffic.

ESBC Prepares for Second Forum at January's Meeting

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Tonight, January 20th, at 6:30 p.m., the Elementary School Building Committee meets at HCAM studios for their monthly meeting. Their main topic of the night will be the evaluation of the site plan matrix, aimed at comparing each of the proposed sites. They will also discuss the enrollment and education plan task force's progress, and make final preparations for their second forum on the 24th.

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Video Segment: Town Manager recaps big topics from Board of Selectmen Meeting

HCAM News recently caught up with Town Manager Norman Khumalo, I asked him about the public hearing held by the Selectmen on whether or not the town should purchase and preserve 40+ acres of land at 203 Pond Street. Mr Khumalo explained the next step in the process: "The Board directed the Town Manager and Town Counsel to review options to exercise it's right of first refusal on the property. Based on the options the Board discussed it is likely that if they choose to exercise the towns right of first refusal the manner will be brought to town meeting in May."

Mr Khumalo explained the approved Verterans Services District Agreement will provide a number of services to veterans including income support and referral services. The town manager explained that Medway, Holliston, Ashland and Hopkinton are all participating in the program that was set up about 4 years ago to provide benefits to veterans.

The town manager also let us know about a couple big tasks coming up: "The 2 big issues that the board will be dealing with in the coming months include the FY16 Budget as well as the annual Town Meeting."

To see the calender of Town Events coming up, you can go to the towns website www.hopkintonma.gov

Board of Appeals Hears Peppercorn Village, Briarcliff Drive

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On Wednesday, January 14th, the Board of Appeals met to discuss Peppercorn Village, 5 Briarcliff Road, and Hopkinton Mews.

ESBC Talks About 11 Proposed Sites for New School in Public Presentation

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The Elementary School Building Committee held their first of two public info sessions in January, Wednesday January 14th to talk about the 11 proposed site alternatives for Center School. The ESBC will hold a public forum Saturday January 24th 9:00am at the Middle School Library to compare the different site options. Public Participation is encouraged!

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Video Segment: Selectmen hold Public Hearing for Land at 203 Pond Street

A public hearing was held at the Board of Selectmen meeting for a parcel of land about 43 acres located at 203 Pond Street or as some refer to as the Coolidge property. For months debate has existed weather the town should purchase the land and preserve the parcel as open space. A number of groups were represented at the selectmen meeting to express their feelings in preserving the land including the Sudbury Valley Trustees, Hopkinton Area Land Trust, Friends of Whitehall, Friends of Upton State Forest, Baystate Trail Riders and the New England Mountain Bike Association. Much of the argument to preserve the land was centered around the link between Whitehall State Park and Upton State Forest and the fact that their is alot of wildlife living on the land.

Mary McManus of the "Baystate Trail Riders" pleaded her case to the Selectmen on why the town should preserve the land. "We have to save the open space we have left because it's decreasing quickly, it's our civic duty." "Any development of this parcel would fragment a very sensitive habitat corridor for wildlife, it's a natural conduit between the 2 beautiful state parks, Upton and Whitehall, it presents a continuity of natural landscape unprecedented in the state."

Ken Weismantel of the Planning Board did not agree with the plan for the town to buy all the land but had an alternative idea that he felt would be a better value for the town. "If the town is interested then the CPC should consider purchasing either lot 1 or lot 1 and 2, those are the 2 southern ones on Pond Street." "if you purchase lot 1 you affectively add to the corridor." "Lot 2 also preserves the street scape and adds to the corridor."

After the public hearing, the Selectmen gave their opinions, Selectmen John Mosher stated that the land is worth preserving, Michelle Gates supported allowing the proposal to have a vote at Town Meeting, John Coutinho supported the vote going to town meeting but questioned weather the town had enough money to preserve the land and if their was something better that money should be spent on. Ben Palleiko supported purchasing the land if the house came down and it was purely open space.

In the end the Board autorized the Town Manager and Town Counsel to begin negotiations over 203 Pond Street with the landowner, exploring the towns options for excercising it's right of first refusal on the notice of intent to sell and town meeting consideration.

ESBC Set to Present at Library, Monthly Meeting, Middle School

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The Elementary School Building Committee has a busy January ahead of them. As the timeline to choose site alternatives gets shorter, the committee has many opportunities this month for townspeople to get involved before a final decision is made.

On Wednesday, January 14th, at 7:00 p.m., the ESBC will host a public presentation at the public library. This informational presentation will be aided by the library's recent installation of site alternative test fit illustrations, now displayed around the library.

Ko Restaurant's Variance Approved by Board of Health

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On Wednesday, January 7th, the Board of Health met for the first time in 2015. On their agenda were a number of new issues, as well as some wrapping up the previous year.

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