it use to be Monday holidays did not affect the trash pickup schedule. Has this changed? Did not see anything on the town website about shift in trash pickup except the recycling pdf has Saturday colored in for this week which it normally doesn't.
One approach is to ask around for a neighbor with infrequent use of car late at night and arrange ongoing off-street parking, but commit to moving on-street by 7:00 AM or so. Landlord may offer ideas. Meet occasional short-term needs by arranging pull-in to a driveway of co-operative neighbor from 11:00 PM - 7:00 AM on selected nights to enable plowing overnight. In any case, w/need to move by 11:00 PM but restrictions stop at 7:00 AM. Final authority is town website http://www.montague-.../MontagueMA_DPW/snow, or Public Works phone 863-2054, but I believe default is parking be off-street. DPW is reasonable, but Police and Public Works have final say.
BTW, welcome to Montague and you have chosen a good town to live in. The Crossroads of the World is Ave A and Third St., but close behind are Bridge & Rte 63 in Millers Falls and Main & North St in Montague Center.
I am a new resident of Turners Falls and I only have street parking available in my rental agreement. I want to know how to handle parking in the winter months -- and I am also looking for off-street parking Nov-April. Can someone advise? Thank you!
Today June 10, 2015 Transportation Justice meets at the BrickHouse community Resource center on Third Street. Meeting is 3:30 to 4:30 and is actively recruiting new members .
Transportation Justice was formed by local riders and concerned citizens for the general discussion and the bettering of Public Transportation in Franklin County Ma. Discussion to be of the nature to influence the improvement and expansion of Public Transportation in Franklin County.
Agenda will include a search for new members and leadership.
Thanks for the links. We should do lunch some time.
You say, "Only liberty can bring prosperity to our children in a sustainable way." Whereas the Planning Guide foreword asserts, "The transition to sustainable development is not a soft option, but an imperative for our survival and well-being."
Help me evaluate these statements, please. I like my liberty as much as the next guy. Survival and well-being also appeal to me. In general, I see Agenda 21 (and things like the master plan that favors dense village centers over corridor sprawl) as promoting changes that you resist or seek to roll back. Fair enough?
Let us set aside the question to what extent UN influence actually filters down to Montague politics. Whether through coercion, corruption, propaganda, or careful consideration of evidence, some of us in Montague seem to agree with this "sustainable development" argument. Could one factor be the perceived global threat from human-caused environmental change and resource depletion?
That is the connection to climate change and Peak Oil. If these threats are real (which I understand you doubt) do the policy proposals not make sense, in a way? I admit that the UN (and Federal and state governments) tend towards corruption like any concentration of power, and the elite will try to turn every disaster to their advantage by scaring us out of our freedoms. But can't we resist elite predation while at the same time reacting ethically (and locally) to these global crises?
Personally, I doubt the feasibility of "sustainable development" as promoted by UN types. I also doubt that your status quo can yield "prosperity" for more than another generation at best. Rather, I expect a phase of history that 99% of people will consider a catastrophe. Commerce will seize up. Hunger, violence, and disease will spread. Perhaps, like the collapsing Anasazi, we will bite the heads off of field mice and swallow them whole. (http://www.english.i...e_of_the_anasazi.htm)
Perhaps, as you fear, we will endure the UN boot for a while until the UN itself collapses. Besides the UN and Oathkeepers, we may see drug lords contend for power. Maybe the best option for liberty is to get the Oathkeepers talking with the drug lords and hope they combine to resist the UN.
Keep a copy of the playbook being used to run this town and now almost the whole country. You will become familiarized with how authoritarian world government policies get implemented here. Any other issue is just a distraction if your voice has no power without unalienable rights like we have it now. Support minorities, support the individual. http://www.democrats...1.planning.guide.pdf
Here are your rights under Agenda 21
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
JohnToby. The School project debate is not directly about peak oil and have no idea why you went there, The real debate is about an assigned foreign power setting regulations that are about authoritarian social control and not about the rights or democratic process of the surrounding land owners and those paying federal taxes that get funneled to certain developers. The UN is a body of unelected foreign nationals, the state has mandated UN policies by executive fiat, the town planners implemented the system by the town meeting attended by a fraction of residents. Now the implementation of a documented plan is moving forward against the will of the people and you all wonder why? Don't worry, you folks have shot yourselves in the foot with the new UN stretch codes and planning agenda.. This town is in serious denial and deserves the UN boot on its face. Only liberty can bring prosperity to our children in a sustainable way. Voluntary interactions are the only ethical way in the future. Remember, "free money" is mine, my sons and your kids money to PROTECT, not to spend on social control!! The US Inc empire is bankrupt, and when it fails completely, remember that the power vacuum will be fill by either the UN or Oathkeepers. Decide now on who you support as it is coming weather or not you "believe". http://www.mass.gov/envir/smart_growth_toolkit/
I know the DPW worked most of last year installing a new water main to the school based on how many plumbing fixtures / load. My guess is it was for the lower number of potential plumbing demand load. Is this new buried water line big enough to handle the potential of more factor values
Good points about the progressive reasons to change the 700 foot minimum. I feel like the critics of this project have tended to ignore its positive aspects in this and other key areas. Although I think the number of units is too many, this project is in many ways a model for progressive development.
As far as the zoning board (ZBA) is concerned, I do not think they are in bed with the developer at all and I do not think they are bad people (I know several of them). For one thing they simply were not convinced by many of the arguments put forward by the critics, particularly the key one that this project would dramatically change the character of the community. To be honest, neither am I.
But the ZBA is in the business of making zoning decisions about things like variances and IMHO they did not do that properly at all. To me, it is a classic example of the abuse of the variance concept, something both the courts and the state have been warning against since the 1920s. I have a problem with going before town meeting and changing the zoning law to make up for that. It is not only wrong but it tends to pit Montague Center against the rest of the town. I also have a big problem with spending hours "listening" to the neighborhood and then going ahead and doing what you were going to do in the first place. Ditto the whole RFP process, which also may have violated state law.
So sorry, Mark 1, if I sound like a reporter on National Public Radio but honestly I do see two sides to this and am not sure how to vote on town meeting. I basically like the project but think the process was a disaster. That matters to me.
You bet your sweet bippy there's a need for a zoning change to allow smaller living spaces. Who knew there even was a minimum size for a legal dwelling in our town? Is this really the case? What if I had a piece of buildable land and wanted to put up one of these to live in: http://www.designboo...ary/tiny_houses.html ? Would that really be a problem for our town? Or a benefit? I'm thinking benefit. I'm thinking we're all going to be living (or our kids/grandkids are) in smaller dwellings to save resources, save space, and save our sanity.
This being said, 22 apartments in the (foolishly abandoned) ex-school building, is a really poor zoning decision, making any thoughtful person wonder at the neutrality of the zoning board in this matter. I mean what were they actually considering other than the town's fear of losing the only interested developer for the site? This decision reminds me of the kinds of decisions the Nuclear Regulatory Agency routinely makes to protect the industry they supposedly are regulating.
I'm with those who are suggesting the two issues absolutely ought not to be being considered at the same time. Hopefully the lawsuit will end with the developer being forced back into negotiations with the abutters to find a mutually agreeable development plan. And then hopefully the town will have another look at zoning regulations that will actually encourage rather than discourage smaller dwellings - appropriately sited - and less development on arable farmland and further preservation of our beautiful open spaces.
Mike, thank you for your thoughtful reply, but at this time I really don't think the zoning change and the school project can be regarded separately. And, I am all in favor of protecting farmland, but I also suspect that the person wanting a private home on an acre of land with a garage and all that, would not chose an apartment in the village. Additional zoning changes are necessary to prevent subdivisions from eating up farmland and open space, and all this should be deliberated at the same time, along with some conversation about housing needs in the entire town. I believe Walter said the population had actually decreased, so where's the pressure coming from for this infill development? The largest pressure I see is in affordable housing for working people who can't get by on paltry wages, and senior housing for aging Montague residents who are going to have a hard time maintaining big old houses and paying the taxes. I wish the proposed MCS project had that in mind. I wonder if a developer with such priorities might have come forward had he or she known the water service would be improved and the zoning changed.
"I think it would be great if we, as a town, could consider the zoning change apart from the proposed MC school development."
Why not amend the proposal to make it effective in 2016? Too soon? Then 2018. If MCS is still unresolved then, I don't see much hope for our buns. If a resolution comes before then, nothing stops us from making the size change immediate.
A wee question. Which village doesn't have a dense center population? I don't think there is one. The ZBA should be run out of town on a rail for going along with the idiotic changes they approved. Took a ride and looked REAL close at the Center School. No way in He dbl toothpicks is that a fit for the area. Any of your town meeting members that go along with the change should also be run out of town as well..Like I said , my old dude in the village is adamantly apposed to the whole debaucle. Go get em Montague Center.. Again just MY thoughts... Ed
I do indeed acknowledge the history, and I've said before (and I'll say again now) that from what I've heard I think the ZBA may have erred in its decision to grant a variance for the MC school project, and other errors may have been made as well. I don't blame MC folks for feeling frustrated with the process, and I wish that things had been handled differently.
I think ddz summed up my views pretty nicely, both about the MC school project and the proposed zoning change. I think that the timing of the proposed zoning change is unfortunate, in that it inevitably creates the impression that it is aimed at accommodating this developer; I also think that it may be an appropriate and perhaps even overdue response to the shifting realities of the world we live in.
I think it would be great if we, as a town, could consider the zoning change apart from the proposed MC school development. (As ddz asked, "what is it you are really against- the MCS proposal or reasonably sized dwelling unit standards for the community?") But I'm also becoming convinced that we, as a town, may be incapable of doing that, which I think is too bad.
Having said all that, my original post on this thread was a response to someone who warned that making this zoning change could lead to icnreased density anywhere in Montague; my response was that increased density in some parts of Montague is exactly what people who have been thinking about the future of our town have been recommending for some time. Although I tried to make it clear that I wasn't expressing an opinion on the MC school project, I was immediately accused of "going buns-up for a developer who wants to maximize cash flow". When I tried to point out that that was a gross distortion of my views, I was met with more of the same. Hence my comment about listening being a two-way operation.
I think this is the first post in this thread where I have discussed my views on the MC school project. Why anyone would think that they know what I do or don't think about that project based on my previous posts is a mystery to me.
I appreciate your well thought out comments and questions. No, unfortunately I no longer have a copy of the Comprehensive Plan and I’m sure Walt Ramsey(Town Planner) could provide it for you. I agree with all of what you wrote and think that reducing the minimum dwelling size standard could all be presented as congruent with the 2004 Housing Plan as well as the CDBG of 2013. Of course, the reduction in dwelling size is only one part of the larger picture that the entirety of our zoning regulations look to address(hence my suggestion that the Planning board do more effective community outreach on the subject).
Unfortunately, the ZBA is the controlling body in the review of proposals such as the MCS and the Planning Board has no statutory review authority. I agree that the ZBA, in my estimation, didn’t use their deliberative authority to review all the aspects of the MCS proposal as thoroughly as I would have hoped and the end results is what we have in front of us now. And, I think this is all fixable. I may be wrong, but my guess is that the court will nullify the ZBA’s decision and there will be another chance to have the MCS project be reviewed with greater sensitivity to the valid issues that you and others have raised. I believe the enlightened approach would be for the ZBA and developer to see the handwriting on the wall and take a more pro-active approach, but hey, that’s just me talking. I truly hope at some point the dwelling size issue does receive a fair and impartial hearing as I believe it does have merits. One thing that I think the Planning Board can do in the future is to look more closely at all those places where the ZBA has used variances and ask some tough questions about how the zoning regs could be better crafted so variances truly become a rarity in our community.
And Mark1, I'm not an avid birdwatcher, and I yet I think I can recognize a snark(comment) when i see one. I'd ask you to look at your own postings and see if it's possible to communicate what your frustrations and judgmenst are without dissing the people who are involved in the process, volunteering their time, putting themselves in the hot seat, and doing the best job they can.
Okay, so how many Town Meeting members are reading this board? I have written a letter to Town Meeting members that can be inserted into the materials they receive prior to the meeting. It should be signed by people from all the towns, not just Montague Center. Can someone help with this?
"Unfortunately, I think that the ZBA, rather than looking at the more important site issues such as the wetlands, the parking and traffic issues(where are 50 cars going to park on School Street?), the impact of adding such a concentration of people into a small area in one project and using their authority to find a balance between the needs of the developer and the abutters they mis-applied the law with respect to variances.This set up the dynamic where the only way the people who don’t want the MCS project to move forward, as approved, is to rally against what otherwise would be a reasonable proposal with respect to minimum dwelling size."
The ZBA has shown Montague Center the middle finger. That much is clear after hours and hours and hours of public comment against the project, culminating in a fatally flawed decision for it.
Now the town is trying to squirm out from under this bungled ZBA process (and the legal challenge it now needs to pay to defend) by creating a rule change that would allow this project to go through.
There would be opposition to the square footage change even if the MCS project was not on the table too. Do we really want the slumlords in Turners and Millers carving out even crappier, smaller apartments?
The smart thing for the town to do would be to withdraw the item from Town Meeting. But they're hoping enough town meeting members buy their post hoc rationalizations.
The rest of us are doing what we can to make sure they don't.