SPECIAL TOWN MEETING
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
October 30, 2017
ESSEX, ss. To the Constables of the Town of Georgetown, in the County of Essex, Greetings.
In the Name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you are hereby directed to notify and warn the inhabitants of said Town, qualified to vote in the elections and in Town affairs, to meet at the Georgetown Middle/High School, 11 Winter Street, Georgetown, Massachusetts, on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 7 o’clock in the evening then and there to act on the following articles:
Article 1: Adjustments to the Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Budget (STM17-01)
To see if the Town will vote to amend the vote taken under Article 2 of the 2017 Annual Town Meeting warrant for the purpose of reducing the amount to be raised and appropriated from $28,820,336 to $28,796,436 and increasing the amount to be transferred from the Community Preservation Reserve for Debt Service from $175,575 to $199,475, and further to adjust line items in the FY 2018 budget, and other departmental transfers if needed, and to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money for this purpose, or take any other action in relation thereto.
Article 2: Capital Fund (STM17-02)
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money to be added to the Capital Fund, a special purpose stabilization fund created by vote of the May 4, 2009 Annual Town Meeting pursuant to the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40, Section 5B, said funds to be further appropriated by Town Meeting for improvements and/or repairs to municipal buildings and infrastructure, or take any other action in relation thereto.
ARTICLE 3: Tax Stabilization Fund (STM17-03)
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money to be added to the Tax Stabilization Fund, or take any other action in relation thereto.
ARTICLE 4: Temporary Moratorium on Recreational Marijuana Establishments (STM17-04)
To see if the Town will vote to amend the Town’s Zoning Bylaw by adding a new Section 165-69.2. TEMPORARARY MORATORIUM ON RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA ESTABLISHMENTS, that would provide as follows, and further to amend the Table of Contents to add Section 165-69.2. Temporary Moratorium on Recreational Marijuana Establishments:
Add new Section 165.69.2. Purpose, and for this section to read in its entirety, as follows:
§ 165.69.2. Purpose.
On November 8, 2016, the voters of the Commonwealth approved a law regulating the cultivation, processing, distribution, possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes (new G.L. c. 94G, Regulation of the Use and Distribution of Marijuana Not Medically Prescribed). The law, which allows certain personal use and possession of marijuana, took effect on December 15, 2016
and (as amended on December 30, 2016; Chapter 351 of the Acts of 2016 and thereafter, on July 28, 2017 by Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017) requires a Cannabis Control Commission to issue regulations regarding the licensing of commercial activities by March 15, 2018 and to begin accepting applications for licenses on April 1, 2018. Currently under the Zoning Bylaw, a non-medical Marijuana Establishment (hereinafter, a "Recreational Marijuana Establishment"), as defined in G.L. c. 94G, Section 1, is not specifically addressed in the Zoning Bylaw, Regulations to be promulgated by the Cannabis Control Commission may provide guidance on certain aspects of local regulation of Recreational Marijuana establishments. The regulation of recreational marijuana raises novel legal, planning, and public safety issues, and the Town needs to study and consider the regulation of Recreational Marijuana Establishments and address such issues, as well as to address the potential impact of the State regulations on local zoning and to undertake a planning process to consider amending the Zoning Bylaw regarding regulation of Recreational Marijuana Establishments. The Town intends to adopt a temporary moratorium on the use of land and structures in the Town for Recreational Marijuana Establishments so as to allow sufficient time to address the effects of such structures and uses in the Town and to enact bylaws in a consistent manner.
Amend Section 165-7. Definitions and word usage. Sub-section B, to include the following definition for RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA ESTABLISHMENT:
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA ESTABLISHMENT - a marijuana cultivator, independent testing facility, marijuana product manufacturer, marijuana retailer or any other type of licensed marijuana-related business.
Add new Section 165.69.3. Temporary Moratorium, and for this section to read in its entirety, as follows:
§ 165.69.3. Temporary Moratorium.
For the reasons set forth above and notwithstanding any other provisions of the Zoning Bylaw to the contrary, the Town hereby adopts a temporary moratorium on the use of land or structures for a Recreational Marijuana Establishment and other uses related to recreational marijuana. The moratorium shall be in effect through June 30, 2018 or until such time as the Town adopts Zoning Bylaw amendments that regulate Recreational Marijuana Establishments. During the moratorium period, the Town shall undertake a planning process to address the potential impacts of recreational marijuana in the Town, and to consider the Cannabis Control Commission regulations regarding Recreational Marijuana Establishments, and shall consider adopting new Zoning Bylaws in response to those new issues. Or, take any action relative thereto.