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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Ashland Town Meeting Holds Mbta Communities Bylaw Until Fall Town Meeting

By Theresa Knapp 
 At this year’s Annual Town Meeting, Ashland residents had expected to discuss a proposed MBTA Communities zoning bylaw, slated as Article 14, however the article was not taken up at the meeting. 
 Mid-way through the warrant, Town Moderator Adam Shuster explained, “At its meeting on April 25, the Planning Board voted to keep their public hearing open to provide more time to actively work on the bylaw changes, and at this time has no recommendation to give Town Meeting.” 
 Planning Board Chair Tricia Kendall addressed the meeting. She said that, in September, the board and other town officials “began work to create a bylaw that satisfied the state’s MBTA Communities regulation in a way that respected the Town of Ashland. Six weeks ago, we had a plan that we felt good about…Four weeks ago, the town received notice that a 40B application was submitted to the state for 10-60 Main Street in downtown Ashland. A second 40B application has now been submitted for a site near the high school. We had not wanted to use, and did not use, these sites in our proposed bylaw. However, because of the change in circumstances, we are no longer confident that we are providing an MBTA Communities Bylaw that is best for Ashland.”
 Kendall continued, “Though we worked hard to offer this bylaw at spring Town Meeting, the working group strongly feels it should wait until fall so that we can see how the 40B process, and other factors that induce risk into our plan, will play out over the next six months. Our working group remains determined to offer Ashland residents the best possible plan on which to vote. Thus, the bylaw will be presented at fall Town Meeting.”
 Kendall said the planning board will hold additional forums and strongly encouraged people to attend. “We need to hear your voices.” She also invited residents to forward questions and comments to the working group, through the Planning Department. Contact information can be found at