By Carol Britton Meyer
A finalized draft of a 291-page Open Space and Recreation Plan presented to the Board of Selectmen this week sets forth a seven-year action plan intended to serve as a guide for the protection and preservation of the town’s unique open space system, its complex needs, and the goals of the community.
The document lays the groundwork for future planning while at the same time allowing the town flexibility in deciding which of the outlined objectives to pursue. Having an OSRP in place is also seen as improving access to possible grant funding for open space and recreation.
OSRPs are normally updated every seven years, but that was not the case this time around. “It’s exciting to see the plan,” board Chairwoman Jennifer Constable noted. “Our current one is about two decades old.”
Letters of approval must be provided by the Planning Board and the selectmen before the OSRP is submitted to the state Division of Conservation Services for approval.
Both boards are expected to further review the document and submit any proposed edits to Hull’s director of community development and planning, Chris DiIorio, before the selectmen vote on the plan at their next meeting.
The OSRP’s six proposed acOpen space plan, delay in review of pot dispensary top BoS agenda tions involve: beautifying Hull’s entry points and main roadways; preserving, enhancing, and protecting the town’s critical atural areas from future development; pursuing opportunities that enhance Hull’s regional, environmental, historic, cultural, scenic, and waterfront resources; ensuring adequate space is available to meet residents’ recreational needs; improving the accessibility of Hull’s passive and recreational sites for all residents; and maintaining, enhancing, and expanding Hull’s recreation facilities and related programming. (The plan is posted on
the town website under the community development and planning link.)
Selectman Greg Grey, a member of the Open Space and Recreation Committee, said he enjoyed participating in this “long, fun, and much-needed process. I look forward to seeing it implemented.”
Other members of the committee include Paul Paquin, Conservation Commission; Nate Peyton, Planning Board; harbormaster Kurt Bornheim; Stephanie Peters, School Committee; Barbara Lawlor, representing the Council on Aging; and Chris Gardner, Department of Public Works, working with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which conducted the project. Town Manager Philip Lemnios is also involved in the process.
The plan was funded by the town and with grants, with technical assistance from the MAPC.
The MAPC’s regional land use planner, Courtney Lewis, presented the finalized draft, outlining the various steps in the process. “This plan will serve as a road map [to achieve] the town’s open space and recreation priorities,” he said.
In other business:
- The selectmen voted to extend by 30 days the original Jan. 14 deadline for completion of the initial review of the required information in the submission of Latitude 42’s Host Community Agreement. Latitude 42 did not object to the request for an extension prior to the vote. Latitude 42 is seeking approval to repurpose the former aquarium building at 120 Nantasket Ave. into a full-service “boutique” medical marijuana dispensary, including cultivation and research. “The board needs more time to review the application,” Constable said. Town Counsel James Lampke explained that the purpose of the initial review of the application
is to “ensure that all the required information has been submitted.” There was no discussion about the merits of the project this week, but Lampke gave assurances that completion of the initial review will
trigger subsequent steps. “We’ll be notifying the applicant of consultants we might want to bring into the process,” he said. “There will also be an opportunity for input from other town boards and the public.” In the meantime, he said, the 276-page application and Latitude 42 Rules and Regulations adopted by the selectmen are posted on the town website.
- Richard Hearn was appointed as a permanent intermittent police officer, with the goal of becoming a regular officer when there is an opening, following successful completion of certain requirements.
- Constable read a letter from The Dumpster Depot announcing that the company, located at 283 Nantasket Ave., has entered into an operating agreement with Graham Waste to provide trash and recycling services to Dumpster Depot’s residential and commercial customers. The letter set forth several goals, including: removing trucks from town roadways; stabilizing solid waste disposal to ensure adequate capacity for customers; and maintaining a Dumpster Depot customer service office in Hull. Dumpster Depot will continue to offer dumpster rentals.
- There was a brief preliminary discussion about potential warrant articles for this year’s town meeting, including revisiting the earlier-approved article aimed at changing the name “selectmen” to a more gender-neutral one – which ultimately did not move forward.
- Constable said, in light of Wednesday’s events at the U.S. Capitol building, she would like to reinstate the recitation of the “Pledge of Allegiance” at the beginning of remote board meetings.