Cremated remains won’t be entombed in stone walls at Cooke’s Hollow – at least not for another year.
After more than an hour-and-a-half of debate Wednesday night, Town Meeting members voted down a zoning bylaw amendment, Article 9, that could have led to such a scenario at the conservation area.
“Arlington should be for the living, not the dead,” said Precinct 6’s Bill Kaplan, who opposed the motion.
The amendment, put forth by the Redevelopment Board, needed a two-thirds majority to pass and came up 39 votes short, with 75 members voting for it, 95 against.
If passed, the amendment would have allowed cremated remains to be buried or immured on parcels of land in the town’s Open Space districts that are under the control of the Conservation Commission, such as Cooke’s Hollow, assuming the approval of the Redevelopment Board, Conservation and Cemetery commissions and, when applicable, Historical Commission.
The amendment was intended to secure alternative final resting places to , which is nearing capacity, according to Redevelopment Board member Mike Cayer. Cooke’s Hollow has been looked at in particular because of its need to be restored and its proximity to Mount Pleasant, he said.
Members, such as Kaplan, said they thought that the Cooke’s Hollow plan was a “Band-Aid” to the capacity problem at Mount Pleasant, not a solution.
According to the feasibility study, 50 to 150 remains would go in at Cooke’s Hollow in low, unobtrusive walls.
A similar amendment to Article 9 was defeated at last year’s Town Meeting. About 15 members spoke on the amendment Wednesday.
After Article 9 was defeated, Town Meeting took up Article 8, a zoning bylaw amendment that would allow “accessory apartments,” or small, contained apartments, in single-family homes by special permit.
However, after about an hour of debate, with most speakers opposing the article, Town Meeting adjourned shortly after 11 p.m. prior to taking a vote. Town Meeting will return to the article when it reconvenes at 8 p.m. Monday, April 30, back in .
Town Meeting Fun Fact
With two three-hour sessions of this year’s Town Meeting now in the books and only 8 of 72 articles acted upon, Town Meeting 2012 will go until Wednesday, June 20, if it continues at this pace.
Past Coverage of Town Meeting 2012