How to Stay Informed & Engaged with Town Government

How to Stay Informed & Engaged with Town Government

Who shapes land use and development

Who Shapes Land Use and Development

  • Mass General Laws:
    • Wetlands Protection Act
    • Subdivision Control
    • Community Preservation Act
    • Open Space Preservation Fund
  • Annual Town Election – Vote on:
    • Selectmen
    • Planning Board
    • School Committee
  • Annual Town Meeting – Vote on:
    • General Bylaw changes
    • Zoning Bylaw changes
    • Usage of Community Preservation Committee funds
    • Land purchases
  • Appointed Committees
    • Conservation Commission
    • Community Preservation Committee
    • Open Space Preservation Commission
    • Zoning Advisory Committee
    • Design Review Board

What residents can and cannot control

What Residents Can and Cannot Control

  • Town Meeting Votes:
    • Hopkinton Zoning Bylaws
    • Hopkinton Wetland Protection Bylaws
    • Sewer and water infrastructure
    • Land Acquisitions
  • Other Factors Beyond Our Control:
    • Massachusetts General Law
    • Market demand
    • Land cost due to location
    • Landscape topography (ledge and steep slopes)
    • Deed restrictions and perpetual Conservation Restrictions

Examples of recent land use and development related votes at Town Meeting

Examples of Land Use and Development Related Votes at Town Meeting

  • Open Space Mixed Use Development (OSMUD – Legacy Farms) (2008)
    Added 1,120 housing units total.
    500 acres of land preserves as open space.
  • Open Space Landscape Preservation Development (OSLPD) (1988 & 2000)
    Created nearly 955 acres of common open space in private developments.
  • Purchased Pratt Farm (Debt Exclusion) (2015)
    32 acres on Fruit Street purchased to protect from development and save for possible wells, recreation, open space.

When and how can residents plug into related conversations:

When and how can residents plug into related conversations

  • September – Community Preservation Committee puts out call for proposals
  • October – Zoning Advisory Public Hearing
  • January – School Budget Public Hearing
  • February – Zoning Proposed Changes Public Hearing
  • March-April – Appropriation Committee Budget Public Hearing(s)
  • May – Town Meeting (Begins 1st Monday in May)

Follow Hopkinton and Stay Connected

Watch Board and Committee Meetings

Watch Board and Committee Meetings via HCAM-TV

  • Selectman, School Committee & Planning Board are aired live on Comcast 8 / Verizon 30
  • Watch on YouTube the next day
    • Watch on a phone, tablet or laptop
    • Agenda items are bookmarked
    • Jump ahead to the section of the meeting you are interested in

Read Agendas & Meeting Packet Materials

Read Agendas & Meeting Packet Materials

  • Selectmen, Planning Board and other town committees:
    • From the calendar at the bottom of the home page 
    • Click on any meeting and select “More details>>
    • A popup window will appear with the link to the PDF meeting agenda and packet materials (48 hours in advance of the meeting)
  • School Committee 

Join boards/committees and vote!

Join boards/committees and vote!

  • Most appointed seats run from July 1 – June 30, although this varies by committee. Terms vary from 1-5 years.
  • Apply for most committees in June. Apply online.
  • Town Election is held the 3rd Monday in May – terms are 3-5 years depending on the office.
  • Campaign for elected seats in January-May.
  • Watch the HopNotices emails for mid-year vacancies

For information on Town boards and committees

For Information on Town Boards and Committees

See eHop’s Did You Know series on Land Use Boards

  • What they do
  • When they meet
  • Are they elected or appointed
  • When to apply
  • Contact information

Next Steps 2018

Next Steps

  • Vote at Annual Town Meeting on Monday, May 7, 2018, starting at 7:00 PM (typically last two nights, no later than 11 PM) – Middle School Auditorium
  • Vote at Annual Town Election on Monday, May 21, 2018, polls open 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Hopkinton Middle School Brown Gym