Kingston: Town Meeting addresses zoning and the CPA

Kingston’s Special Town Meeting Tuesday night needed four hours to get through five articles. A turnout of more than 300 took its time with several zoning articles.

The meeting was prompted by the Wrightington family’s request to change the zoning of their place of business off Route 106 from residential to commercial. They’ve operated a propane delivery business there for 24 years. The warrant contained four other articles, but that question alone consumed nearly two hours.

“I want to emphasize the fact that this is a residential zone,” zoning board Chairman John Haas said. “What we are talking about here is a four-plus acre site in the middle of a residential, R-40, zone where someone is trying to run a commercial business. If this is allowed on this particular lot, I guess it could be allowed anywhere.”

Property owner Kevin Wrightington packed the auditorium with supporters.

“After 24 years at this location, I have received a final decision from the Zoning Board of Appeals which marks 50 percent of my property as useless,” Wrightington said. “However, I still have to pay 100 percent of property tax.”

The Meeting sent a proposal to decrease the Community Preservation Act surtax from 3 to 1 percent to the ballot of the fall election, allowed sewer commissioners to buy back sewer betterments from owners of vacant lots and removed a requirement for dog day care businesses to obtain a kennel license.

In the other main zoning debate, voters rejected a proposal to move the Dunkin’ Donuts shop on Route 3A down the street to the corner of Spring Street to allow a drive-through operation. Neighbors had concerns over traffic.

“Zoning should be for the benefit of many, not the profit of the few,” Dennis Randall said. “If we pass this, we’re going to be paying for every cup of coffee with traffic time.”

Plymouth attorney Ed Angley represented the proponents.

“It won’t increase the traffic,” Angley said. “You’ve already got a Dunkin’ Donuts sitting on Route 3A. It would not be there any longer. It would just be down the street. It would be designed specifically to get in and out of the property promptly.”

This is the site on Route 3A in Kingston of a proposed relocation of Dunkin' Donuts rejected by Town Meeting Tuesday.

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.