WILMINGTON, MA — At its meeting on Monday night, the Wilmington Board of Selectmen finalized the warrant for the Special Town Meeting, which will be held on Saturday, December 16 at 10:30am in the WHS Auditorium.
As expected, the warrant includes five articles, all — coincidentally — involving drugs.
Three town-sponsored articles will (1) amend the zoning bylaw to prohibit marijuana establishments in town, (2) amend the inhabitant bylaw to prohibit marijuana establishments in town, and – as a fail safe — (3) amend the zoning bylaw to extend the current moratorium on marijuana establishments in town to December 31, 2018.
The two other articles were petitioned, led by Selectman Mike McCoy, to (1) amend the zoning bylaws to allow for detox facilities only in industrial zoned areas with a special permit and (2) amend the zoning bylaws to allow for nursing homes and hospitals — including detox centers — only in industrial zoned areas with a special permit. (Existing facilities currently outside those zones would be grandfathered.) McCoy intimated that the second article is his preferred article and that there may not necessarily be a need to vote on the first article if the second article is approved.
Articles will be on via a random draw, so the order in which they appear on the warrant likely will not be the in order in which they are actually voted upon.
Prior to signing the warrant, Selectman Mike McCoy expressed concern that the Wilmington High School Auditorium would not be large enough for the numbers of voters he anticipated would show up. McCoy suggested the school’s gymnasium, but Hull countered that there would be additional labor costs and seat rental expenses, plus potential damage done to the gym floor. Hull noted that the cafeteria would serve a secondary voting area, if needed. A screen with the live WCTV broadcast would allow any voters in the overflow area to still follow along with the meeting. The school’s Large Instruction Room, where the School Committee routinely meets, would serve as a third voter overflow area.