Feb. 23, 2021 Select Board Public Forum - General Bylaw Amendments

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Elaine Lazarus

Feb 11, 2021, 3:58:50 PMFeb 11
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The Hopkinton Select Board will hold a public forum on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 6:45 p.m on the following proposed amendments to the Town of Hopkinton General Bylaws, which may be on the warrant for the 2021 Annual Town Meeting:

  1. Dog Licensing - The proposed amendment would increase the penalty for an unlicensed dog from $25 to $50 per household, so as to conform to current State law.

  2. Discharge of Firearms - The draft proposal would increase the required distance from 500 feet to 1,000 feet from buildings and 300 feet from a public way.  Thus, the proposed new bylaw would add greater restrictions than current State law on the discharge of firearms within a certain distance of a building and a street or other public property, and could impose restrictions on the hours during which such discharges could occur.  The bylaw would not apply to law enforcement and armed forces, the use of firearms in the lawful defense of a person, family or property, or permitted target, trap or skeet ranges.  

  3. Obstruction of Streets & Sidewalks - Proposed amendments to a series of bylaws would address materials deposited into a street or sidewalk, and make housekeeping language changes.  Changes to the “Depositing Snow” bylaw include renaming it to “Obstruction of Streets and Sidewalks”, and expanding the current prohibition on depositing snow to include other materials, including leaves, sand or other debris, in a manner that impairs the use and function of the public way.  The changes would not apply to the Town or those authorized by the Town.  Changes to the “Driveways” and “Temporary Road Closures” bylaws include language changes for clarity and consistency among the three bylaws.

  4. Street Opening Permits - A new Street Opening Permits bylaw is proposed that would codify the current practice of the Department of Public Works when issuing Street Opening Permits for public ways, and include an enforcement mechanism.

  5. Trench Safety Officer - A new Trench Safety Officer bylaw is proposed that would designate the Town Manager as the Permitting Authority for issuing trench permits pursuant to MGL c.82A and 520 CMR 14.00, known as “Jackie’s Law”.  The Town Manager would be able to delegate the responsibility to another Town Department or official.

Comments may be provided to the Select Board at the public forum or in advance via email to  selec...@hopkintonma.gov.  The public forum will be held remotely via Zoom teleconference, pursuant to the “Order Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. 30A § 20”, issued by Governor Baker on 3/12/2020.  Instructions for joining the Zoom meeting are below, and will also be on the meeting agenda posted at www.hopkintonma.gov (Events Calendar), or may be obtained by emailing Elaine Lazarus at ela...@hopkintonma.gov or calling the Town Manager’s office at 508-497-9701.  The text of the proposed amendments is available on the Town Manager/Select Board page of the Town website: https://www.hopkintonma.gov/departments/town_manager_and_selectmen.php

Zoom Meeting Connection: 

Please click the link below to join the Feb. 23, 2021 Select Board meeting:


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Elaine C. Lazarus
Assistant Town Manager
Town of Hopkinton
18 Main St.
Hopkinton, MA  01748

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2021-02-23 Public Forum Notice - General Bylaw Amendments.pdf
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