Finance Committee Endorses Just 2 of The 13 Petitioned Town Meeting Warrant Articles

WILMINGTON, MA – The Wilmington Finance Committee met for 2.5 hours at Town Hall last night to review and vote on each of the 56 articles that will appear on the warrant for the 2015 Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, May 2.

Of the 13 articles petitioned by residents (Articles #44-56), only TWO earned the backing of the Finance Committee.

The Committee unanimously voted in favor of Articles #48 (sale of town-owned land on Adler Street, behind the 99 Restaurant, zoned residential) and #50 (amending the zoning bylaw to provide certain flexibility to new residential construction in the Central Business district).

Articles #44-#46 (sale of town-owned land in the area of Poplar Street) were passed over, as the town did not deem the land to be surplus.

Article #47 (amending the town bylaws to add new regulations around fencing) was unanimously disapproved.  “[The petitioner] is trying to drag the town into a neighborly dispute.  It’s not our role to mediate or figure it out…  Town Hall has enough other things to deal with than two neighbors fighting over a fence,” noted member Jonathan Eaton during the discussion.

Article #49 (rezoning from R60 to R20 land in the Foster Pond area, off of Andover Street) was unanimously disapproved. <Look for an article on this issue on Wilmington Apple over the next few days.>

Article #51 (rezoning a parcel of land on Middlesex Ave from R20 to Neighborhood District) was unanimously disapproved.  Member William Wallace felt the request constituted spot zoning.  Despite the intentions of the current owner, member Bernie Nally was concerned that a future owner may try to building something undesirable, like a gas station, on the land.

Article #52 (naming the future recreational project on 9 Cross Street as “Yentiles Farm”) was unanimously disapproved.  Assistant Town Manager Kendra Amaral noted that the committee working on the project believes the article is premature and would like to present the residents with additional options before Town Meeting ultimately votes on a name.  Amaral noted that “Wilmington Woods,” “Maple Meadow Brooks Park,” and “Sean Collier Memorial Park” were all names that had more support than “Yentile Farm,” based on public input thus far.  Amaral noted “Yentile Farm” may wind up being the name, and the committee has nothing against it, but the committee just wants more time to vet additional options and present them to the public.

“We do all refer to it as Yentile Farm,” said Vice Chair Theresa Manganelli, comparing it how longtime Wilmington residents still call it “Demoulas,” not “Market Basket.”  “I have faith in the committee, however, that they will come up with a good name and the community will help get them there.”

All of Kevin MacDonald’s articles (Articles #53-#56) were unanimously disapproved.  In response to a question from Manganelli, Assistant Town Manager Kendra Amaral said that negotiations with the Town and Ristuccia cannot begin until June 1, but noted informal discussions have taken place.  Amaral said any potential purchase likely wouldn’t be completed until the fall.

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