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Town meeting set to consider dog poop law, overlay district.

Byline: Bradford L. Miner

NORTH BROOKFIELD - Voters at a special town meeting Friday will consider a "pooper scooper" law, a downtown overlay district, and a do-over from this year's annual town meeting for money to continue with second phase of the inspection of the Horse Pond Dam.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the elementary school auditorium.

The change in the bylaw would require owners to remove dog waste left on sidewalks, streets, parks, cemeteries, schoolyards and any other public or private property other than the dog owner's. Dog walkers also would be required to have the appropriate means to dispose of waste.

Enforcement would be up to the animal control officer or any police officer, a provision that does not please Police Chief Aram Thomasian.

Chief Thomasian said the town's police officers already have enough to do without stopping to make certain dog walkers are in compliance with the bylaw.

The bylaw was put on the warrant by citizen petition, according to Leslie Scott Burton, administrative assistant to the Board of Selectmen.

Voters will be asked to weigh-in on a North Brookfield Downtown Overlay District that would "build upon historic development patterns in the town center to create an attractive neighborhood."

The district would "encourage adaptive reuse of abandoned, vacant or underutilized buildings or structures where appropriate" and "allow for a mix of new land uses appropriate to the needs of the community."

The bylaw would address permitted uses; uses allowed by special permit; prohibited uses, which include retail operations with more than 2,000 square feet on any one floor, drive-through operations, and adult entertainment; parking requirements; design standards; and signs among other things.

If approved, the Planning Board, sponsor of the downtown overlay district proposal, would be authorized to issue special permits for the overlay district.

The do-over from the annual town meeting involves the approval at the June session of $29,899 for the second phase of the inspection of the Horse Pond Dam.

Sheila LeBlanc, administrative assistant to the Water Department, said the borrowing at the annual town meeting was approved by a show of hands and town bylaws require a ballot vote for borrowing more than $10,000. Borrowing also requires a two-thirds majority of the voters present at the meeting.

Voters will also be asked to approve a $30 charge when the tax collector issues a demand notice.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Nov 19, 2008
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