Fall Town Meeting Anticipated

After another continuance of Matt Zuker’s 78 Wareham Road, LLC, public hearing (to July 15) sent some Marion residents home frustrated, the Marion Planning Board had little to conduct in the way of business at Monday night’s public meeting.

            But following routine approval of an invoice submitted by the SITEC engineering firm for its peer review of the since-approved expansion of the Fieldstone Farms grocery store on Route 6, Chairman Andrew Daniel sought to outline goals for the Planning Board in FY25.

            Alluding to the Select Board’s interest in a Fall Town Meeting that would presumably address Marion’s membership in Green Communities and its accompanying participation in the state’s changing Stretch Building Code, Daniel identified a potential opportunity to piggyback with some of the Planning Board’s interests.

            One of those is a long-discussed, Short-Term Rental bylaw, and another is a Battery Storage bylaw like the one recently adopted by the Town of Rochester to address its many solar farms.

            “We need to put something on the books,” said Daniel.

            Member Eileen Marum asked if Daniel’s intended timeline is for the Fall Town Meeting. Daniel confirmed that timeline and, while qualifying his remarks by noting he has been told a Fall Town Meeting while not definite is “more than likely,” he would like to promptly get to work on these items “but not on a night with three applications.”

            “We should track our progress,” said Marum, suggesting the board document its correspondence and efforts to get these subjects into Town Meeting articles.

            One of Daniel’s stated interests as the board’s new chairman is avoiding lengthy meetings, most of which this spring have lasted well over two hours.

            Upon paging through information from the last couple of years, Vice-Chair Alanna Nelson added to Daniel’s list. “I know it was a Select Board goal to review the site-plan-review process,” said Nelson, also noting Department of Public Works engineer Meghan Davis’ recent attempt to get the Planning Board to engage the state’s interests in a stormwater bylaw.

            Daniel said a contract with a consultant has been established and that “she’s aware of our concerns,” a reference to some members’ resistance against stormwater regulations any stricter than what is required at the federal and state levels.

            His case originally opened in August 2023, Zuker has since requested several continuances but was expected to keep Monday’s appointment with the Planning Board until approximately two hours prior to the meeting, according to Daniel.

            The long-awaited vetting of a Special Permit and Major Site Plan Review for Zuker’s proposed, townhouse-style, residential complex off Route 6 near the Wareham town line (Map 7, Lots 24, 25, 27, 28C and 29) was made possible after a second attempt by the town to gain a two-thirds vote at Town Meeting for a zoning change to Residence E was successful.

            The next meeting of the Marion Planning Board is scheduled for Monday, June 17, at 7:00 pm at the Police Station.

Marion Planning Board

By Mick Colageo

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