Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Storey Avenue Rezoning Update

Last night, the rezoning ordinance was removed from the Planning and Development Committee and brought before the whole Council.

Per City ordinances, the Council must act on a zoning ordinance within 90 days of the public hearing on that ordinance.  Because a zoning change requires two votes of the City Council and because this particular zoning ordinance was running up against a deadline of June 5, Councillor Connell made a motion to waive the rules so that this ordinance could be voted on in one reading.

The motion to waive the rules requires a 2/3rds vote or 8 votes of the 11 Councillors.

7 voting in favor of the motion to waive the rules were: Councillors Connell, Derrivan, Earls, Heartquist, Herzog, Ives, and Jones.
4 voting against the motion were: Council President O'Brien, Councillors Cameron, Cronin, and Sullivan.

The motion failed.

I voted against the motion to waive the rules for two primary reasons:

  • this matter could have been voted starting in either of the last two Council meetings
  • the ordinance should have been included in the Council packet for the May 29th meeting (per Council rules) and it was not.  Because this item was not on the agenda, the public and the press could not have known this matter was going to be addressed in the full Council.
Once this motion failed, there was no attempt to bring up the ordinance for a vote.

Had the ordinance been brought to a vote I would have voted against.

Although there are aspects that provide general benefits to the community, I remain opposed to the ordinance because public safety would be at risk with a very intense use (a drug store with a drive through) in a location that currently can be entered/exited only on Storey Ave.  The amount of in-and-out traffic that would be generated would be dangerous particularly during busy morning and evening commuter traffic and weekend tourist traffic and especially for westbound drivers attempting to take a left across traffic into the location and drivers attempting to exit the location by taking a left onto Storey Ave.

I have written about this issue before:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rezoning 81 and 83 Storey Avenue 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rezoning: CVS Storey Continued

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 2012: Updates from City Councillor Ed Cameron, City of Newburyport

Ed Cameron

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