For the last couple of years, town meetings have gone relatively smoothly and usually quickly. That may not be the case tonight as they face a 33 Article Warrant with some controversial questions.
After reports are heard and the budget is approved for FY’19, the housekeeping articles will get their approvals. Department specific articles follow, and none are particularly problematic. Then, the fun begins.
Article 29 has drawn significant opposition on social media. This article is a direct result of the May 16, 2017 Town Election ballot question that passed, prohibiting recreational marijuana establishments in Auburn. Specifically, by a vote of 63.5% to 36.5%, Auburn voters prohibited operations of all types of marijuana establishments as defined in G.L. c94G, §1, including marijuana cultivators, marijuana testing facilities, marijuana product manufactures, marijuana retailers or any other type of licensed marijuana-related businesses within the Town of Auburn. This does not affect individuals’ rights under Massachusetts law (from Nov. 2016) pertainng to personal marijuana posession or use.
In order to effect the ban that the voters of Auburn approved, a warrant article must go before Town Meeting and receive a 2/3 vote of approval. Then, if it does receive the 2/3 vote required, it must be approved by the Attorney General’s Office. It will be interesting to see how many people speak about this.
Article 30 ultimately seeks to eliminate the circuitous route of Faith Ave. and transfer the land to Massad Family LCC, the owners of Diamond Chevrolet, who will build a new straight road between Rte. 20 and the rest of Faith Ave.
Articles 31 to 33 propose changes to the Zoning Bylaws with respect to Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. Changes require a 2/3 vote from Town Meeting.
Town meeting convenes at 7pm at the Auburn High School auditorium. We’ll report back on the results.