Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Select Board, September 27, 2023

The Arlington Select Board held a hybrid meeting on September 27, chaired by Eric Helmuth. The meeting began with a tribute to the late Charlie Lyons, a former member of the Select Board.

Open Meeting Law Complaint

The board addressed a complaint alleging that a specific item was not included on the meeting’s agenda. The board agreed with the Town counsel’s assessment that the complaint was not relevant to the open meeting law and approved a motion to allow the Town counsel’s office to create and file a response on its behalf.

Town Business Items

The board discussed various town business items, including public comments during the public hearing, the approval of safety at Mass Ave and Appleton, and the warrant article hearing. Instructions were provided for those wishing to participate in the meeting, either in person or via Zoom.

Consent Agenda and Appointments

The board discussed the consent agenda, which included meeting minutes, special one-day beer and wine license requests, and a vote to authorize police detail and in-person early voting for the special town election. The board also supported the appointment of Jim DiTullio, an environmental protection advocate, to the Artificial Turf Study Committee.

Oldham Road Repair Proposal

A proposal to repair Oldham Road was discussed, with some residents supporting the proposal due to safety concerns and others opposing it due to potential disruption. The board decided to postpone the decision until more information could be gathered and more residents could be heard.

Bylaw Amendment for Fossil-Fuel Free Construction

The board discussed and unanimously supported a proposed bylaw amendment to restrict and prohibit new building construction and major renovation projects that are not fossil-fuel free. This amendment is part of the town’s Net Zero Action Plan, which aims to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Appleton Safety and Accessibility Project

The board discussed and approved the conceptual design for the Appleton Safety and Accessibility Project, which aims to improve safety and accessibility in the area following the death of cyclist Charlie Proctor in 2020. The project team will advance the design to a more granular level to apply for a MassWorks grant for future construction funding.

Mass Ave-Appleton Corridor Safety Improvements

The board held a discussion on proposed safety improvements at the Mass Ave-Appleton intersection. The board members and residents expressed strong support for the proposed plan, emphasizing the importance of safety improvements and the need to provide attractive alternatives to driving. No final decisions or motions were made during this meeting.

Tree Removal and Transplantation

The board discussed and approved a tree removal request as part of the Mass Ave and Appleton Street Safety and Accessibility Corridor Project. The board also discussed the transplantation of trees in the town and approved a motion for the tree plan.

Attorney Doug Heim’s Departure

The board expressed deep appreciation and gratitude for Attorney Doug Heim’s decade-long service to the town as he prepared to leave his position as town council representative. The board members shared their personal experiences working with Heim and wished him well in his future endeavors.

Overnight Parking Pilot Program

The board provided a preliminary update on the ongoing overnight parking pilot program, encouraging residents to sign up and provide feedback. The board plans to receive an update from the Arlington Parking Benefit District about any complaints or issues that have arisen from the pilot program in the next meeting.



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