The Yarmouth Town Meeting article calls for the name of the selectmen to be changed

YARMOUTH — Voters at the Nov. 7 special town meeting will deal with a number of routine housekeeping measures, but are expected to focus sharply on an article loosening restrictions on accessory apartments.

The management of the attached apartments is set out in Article 19 of the Order. According to a summary printed with the memo, the change aims to “expand housing options for residents by increasing the number of smaller housing units” for year-round rental, while simultaneously protecting character, appearance and property. Single-family neighborhood values.

The easing of restrictions aims to provide housing to “support a strong, stable and diverse community,” maintain a sustainable local workforce and prevent the displacement of local residents, according to the summary.

The new regulation will also provide an opportunity for family members who choose to live in close proximity, but separate from other family members, to remain within a family environment.

Why does Yarmouth need zoning amendments for attached apartments?

Accessory apartments are smaller, self-contained housing units on the same lot as a single-family townhome, according to the American Planning Association. It can take many forms, including a detached addition, an attached addition, or part of an existing home.

According to City Manager Robert Woritenour, the issue of accessory apartments is a highly debated topic in Yarmouth.

“There is a regulation that allows attached apartments currently, but it’s a little more restrictive,” Woritenauer said. “The new regulations will remove some restrictions and make approval for affordable housing units a little easier.”

Some cities, such as Brewster and Chatham, limit the number of accessory dwelling units that can be built each year.

The Planning Board has held more than 27 public meetings over the past 12 months to develop amendments to the bylaw and hopes to address all residents’ concerns.

The current zoning bylaw defines apartments that are attached to family-attached units, or affordable units, which includes specific provisions regarding title restrictions, maximum rental rates, and tenant eligibility requirements. The new regulation would eliminate restrictions, allowing the property owner to choose tenants and rents. Article 19 requires a two-thirds vote to become effective.

Articles 15 and 16 deal with changing the name of the Council from the Board of Selectmen to the Gender Neutral Selection Board.

Establishment of Riverwalk Park on the site of the old drive-in theater

Article 12 calls for establishing Riverwalk Park at 669 Route 28, a former automobile site, constructing playground equipment, planting trees and installing lights and other improvements. The article will pave the way for the city to secure a $487,080 grant through a state reimbursement program to the city, according to the memo. Community Preservation Ordinance funding approved at the 2023 Annual Town Meeting provided the funds for this reimbursement grant.

The sister measure, Section 11, would give Eversource an easement to place utility lines in the park.

Selectmen and Finance Committee members approved Article 2, which requests $200,000 to pay for maintenance of the former Mattachise Middle School building and gives the town permission to seek any grant money.

In August, the Dennis-Yarmouth School Committee turned over the former Mattachise School to the city. The Department of Public Works is seeking funds to maintain the building, which will include providing electricity, gas and maintenance of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

The city plans to reuse the Mattacheese building.

What is a town meeting?

A town meeting is both an event and an entity, according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website. As an event, it is a gathering of eligible voters in a city, and is referred to as a “town meeting.” As an entity, it is the legislative body for cities in Massachusetts, and is referred to simply as “Town Meeting.” Thirteen of Cape Cod’s 15 towns, including Yarmouth, have “open town meetings,” meaning all voters living in that town can vote on all matters. However, Falmouth has a “Representative Town Meeting”, where all voters elect Town Meeting members who then vote on all Town Meeting matters. The City of Barnstable is governed by an elected City Council and not a City Meeting.

When and where is the Yarmouth Town Meeting?

Yarmouth Town Meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on November 7 at the new middle school in South Yarmouth. The address is 286 Al Mahatta Street.

Where can I find the memo?

For memorandum information, go to https://www.yarmouth.ma.us/1880/Yarmouth-Town-Meeting

Rashik Tabassum Mujib writes about healthcare and education. Accessed at rmujib@capecodonline.com.

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