Article 43: Banking & Real Estate Service

Meeting called to order
Sound checking the new sound system
Attendance tonight (now): 140/198
Town Moderator (TMod) calls a brief recess so that Town Meeting Members' Association (TMMA) can make a few announcements
Three TMMs are acknowledged for
their service to the Town as elected representatives for 30 yrs or more: Janet Perry, Shirley Stoltz, and Ed Grant. Each receives a certificate and Seal of Lexington pin.
Meeting is back in session
Meeting is open on Article 2: Reports of Boards and Committees
Richard Canale for the Planning Board: Moves amended Article 43; TM approves
Meeting is now open on Article 43: Banking & Real Estate Service. This article would delete the sections of the bylaw related to the banking moratorium established by the 2015 Annual Town Meeting while proposing a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to establish, move, or expand banking and real estate service business in center storefronts in the Center Business (CB) District.
Seven criteria for the ZBA to look at to make findings before issuing a permit for [another] bank in the CB. Criteria have to do with where they're located [proposed] - - several banks are clustered together right now, by right. A special permit with very specific and stringent criteria.
Planning Board: unanimously supports this article
Board of Selectmen: unanimously supports
Lexington Center Committee: wholeheartedly supports
TMM Q: Concerned by criteria c - "undue concentration"
A: The ZBA would need to take a look at the proposed use of the streetscape and see what effect it will have on the CB vibrancy
TMM: on g: "adjacent to the storefront"
A: Gives us the best chance to "strengthen"
TMM: I find this confusing and will offer an amendment
TMM Q: One of the criteria the use will not be used for office or conference space - not typical for banks...
A: Please clarify
TMM: Do you really mean that it will not contain those things?
A: The bank will have all of those things inside, ZBA needs to look to make sure that storage (e.g.) will not be in the front windows
TMM Q: Does the ZBA feel these are sufficient guidelines?
A: [Chair of ZBA, Jeanne Kreiger] ZBA has not taken a position on this article; Chair feels the criteria is sufficient
Amendment is offered by TMM to change "the area adjacent to the storefront" to "the interior area of the property adjacent to the storefront"
Planning Board already looked at this language and didn't feel that it helped. We do not support changing the language at this time.
Board of Selectmen: agrees with Planning Board that this is not a necessary amendment
TMod looking for statements, questions to amend:
TMM Q: Is that amendment specific enough?
A: add a subsection - - 2g, gg (e.g.)
Appropriation Committee (AC) asks Town Counsel if the amendment clarifies
Town Counsel thinks this amendment clarifies
TMod calls for a Vote to AMEND
Yes-89
No-64
Abstain-8
APPROVED
Back to debate on the MOTION as AMENDED
TMM Q: Office Space or meeting with a customer?
A: That would be determined by the ZBA as to a specific proposal
TMM calls Question [to end debate]
The Ayes have it
Vote on the MOTION as AMENDED (requires 2/3 majority)
Yes=154
No=13
Abstain=2
APPROVED