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Special Town Meeting Will Focus On Rezoning Property For Genesis Project

Jun 14, 2017 10:22AM ● Published by Andrew Sylvia

Alison Hughes, chairman of the Dracut Board of Selectmen

The Board of Selectmen approved the warrant for a one-article Special Town Meeting scheduled for June 28.

That one article, a request to re-zone a portion of 55 Loon Hill Road from residential to commercial use, aims to provide parking space for a new facility proposed by Genesis Healthcare.

Genesis Healthcare spokesperson Ray Meade told the board that the portion of the 55 Loon Hill Road currently zoned commercially are just enough to house the proposed building on the facility, with no room leftover for parking.

The portion of 55 Loon Hill Road discussed as part of the re-zoning article represents 1.72 acres of the approximately 3.7 overall acres that make up the property.

This Special Town Meeting originally had second scheduled warrant article, but that petitioner Gordon Scott announced that he is withdrawing it from consideration.

The article was as a second attempt to look at Article 29 discussed during Annual Town Meeting on June 5, which did not pass amidst some controversy.

If passed, the article would have reduced the community preservation surcharge on residential tax bills down to 1 percent.

Scott claimed that informational flyers distributed at Town Meeting urging the defeat of the article were inappropriate, violating state and federal laws regarding impartiality expected among town employees.

Although Scott indicated that he had the support of 50 residents a second attempt to pass the article, he decided to withdraw it the believing he would not obtain the supermajority needed to pass the article.

“Unfortunately, democracy did not prevail this time,” said Scott, in a prepared statement. “But in the end, it always will.”

Although Town Counsel Jim Hall indicated that the procedure regarding the article wasn’t perfect on June 5, particularly regarding confusion over an amendment provided by Scott, the procedure occurred properly overall.

There is a requirement of 250 residents to attend the June 28 for the Special Town Meeting for it to convene. If that quorum occurs, the meeting begins at 6 p.m. inside the Lester G. Richardson Center for Performing Arts at Dracut High School.

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