EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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May 8, 2013

Youth Center wins funding


Meanwhile, a proposal to rezone roughly 24 acres of land around the Town Yard on Lewis Street for mixed-use development failed to get the necessary two-thirds approval by just 29 votes, going down to defeat by a vote of 295 in favor, 191 opposed. The second article on the Andover Transit Oriented Development District article was withdrawn after the first article failed.

Discussion on the article continually shifted toward how it would affect the town’s efforts to rebuild or relocate the Town Yard, which officials have historically indicated are linked.

During the discussion, Moderator Sheila Doherty frequently stepped in and stopped comments, telling residents to focus on the zoning article, not plans for a Town Yard relocation.

“There is noise coming out of my mouth, right? This is a zoning article, not a Town Yard article,” she said. “I understand the ramifications of it. We all in this room understand the ramifications .... I will call out of order anyone who is moving in any other direction.”

Alden Road resident Joe Ponti referred to the article as a “house of cards” in stating his opposition.

“Everything is based off of an assumption on an assumption,” he said. “If you vote it, you put a chain of events in motion that, I think, is going to be irreparable. They’ll come after you Town Meeting after Town Meeting (saying), ‘We rezoned it, let’s vote for $20 million (for it).’”

:A26: Senior Residential Community Overlay, regulations. PASSED A27: Senior Residential Community Overlay, zoning map.PASSED A28: Town building and facility maintenance. PASSED A29: Greater Lawrence Tech HVAC renovation. PASSED A30: Andover Transit Oriented Development District, regulations. FAILED A31: Andover Transit Oriented Development District, zoning map. WITHDRAWN A32: High school tennis courts. PASSED A33: Chandler Road land acquisition.PASSED A34: Town playground replacements. WITHDRAWN A35: School facility space needs study. PASSED A36: School building maintenance. PASSED A37: Computer and laptop replacement program. PASSED A38: West Middle School heating system. PASSED Articles 39-61 to be taken up tonight, 7 p.m., Andover High School field house SPECIAL TOWN MEETING RESULTS A1: Elder Services stabilization fund. PASSED A2: Youth Center appropriation. PASSED

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