Annual Town Meeting Night Two Wrap-Up

Jason Graziadei •


There were a number of headline-grabbing stories - including making island beaches topless and the bans on fertilizer, nips, and hot tubs and spas - during night two of Nantucket’s Annual Town Meeting. But there were numerous other hotly debated and consequential warrant articles decided Tuesday evening. Below are some of the highlights:

Article 50: A proposal to expand the maximum size of tertiary dwellings (the third dwelling on a single lot) from 650 to 900 square feet was approved. The vote was 400-108.

Article 76: The island’s support for the so-called Housing Bank Bill - which would establish a tax on real estate transactions to support affordable housing projects - was reaffirmed with the overwhelming approval of this article. It renews Nantucket’s pending home rule petition for the transfer tax.

Article 80: A home rule petition to encourage the HDC to allow greater adoption of solar panel installations on Nantucket was tabled and sent to a new work group that will form to study the issue. The article was sponsored by Jeff Booms.

Article 81: After significant pushback, Hillary Hedges Rayport’s citizen petition to alter the Nantucket Planning & Economic Development Committee (NE&EDC) was sent back to that group for further study. Rayport’s proposal would change the makeup of the NP&EDC by making its appointed members face the music at the polls, reducing the number of members appointed from the Nantucket Planning Board. The vote to send it back to the NP&EDC was 188-172.

Article 82: Theresa Williams’ home rule petition to create an “ombudsman” position to mediate conflicts and other disputes between island residents and the town was approved . Citing her own disputes with the town, Williams’ said it was imperative to establish a place where citizens can go to safely resolve their issues.

Article 91: Voters rejected a proposal for the town to acquire the former Schooner’s Restaurant property at 31 Easy Street by eminent domain or via a real estate acquisition with the appropriation of $3 million toward the purchase. The vote was 229-106 against the venture. The town had been in discussions with the Steamship Authority and the Land Bank regarding plans to acquire the property to improve traffic congestion during the summer.

Article 101: After a wide-ranging debate, voters strongly endorsed authorizing the town to execute a long-term lease with the Nantucket Hunting Association for approximately 27 acres of land off Shadbush Road east of Nantucket Memorial Airport for a new shooting range. The vote was 307-32.

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