Social consumption moratorium, window sign rules: Fall Town Meeting articles set

Sep 27, 2022

Wareham’s Select Board has voted to approve all articles that will appear at the Fall Town Meeting, where the public will have the final say.

Notably, the town will vote on whether to extend a moratorium that places a ban on marijuana “social consumption establishments.”

Select Board member Alan Slavin said that “social consumption” could still mean any number of things, and that it was unclear whether it would encompass bars, restaurants, cafes or something else.

“We had a moratorium previously adopted back in 2019, which ended 2020. We are talking about doing it again, because the state still hasn’t created their regulations [for social consumption],” said Director of Planning and Community Development Ken Buckland.

“The state still does not have fixed information on how social consumption will work,” Slavin said. “There’s so many different questions with zoning and everything else.”

Slavin recommended continuing the moratorium, so that when the state does have clearer guidelines, the town can “issue licenses in a proper manner.”

The board also discussed a proposed zoning bylaw for businesses that have signs in their window.

Under the bylaw, businesses would not be allowed to have a sign that takes up more than “25% of their total glass area.” Slavin said that he suggested this article after bearing witness to a robbery, where police had trouble intervening due to their inability to see in the business’s window.

Also included on the warrant are upgrades to local schools, which includes a boiler replacement for Wareham High School and the appropriation of $1,500,000 in funds to repair the roof of Wareham Middle School.

These two articles were proposed by Superintendent of Wareham Public Schools, Matthew D'Andrea.

The first six articles on the warrant are standard procedure, regarding union contracts, prior bills, the transfer of cash, and the capital plan for the 2023 fiscal year. Select Board chair Judith Whiteside described articles seven through ten, which have to do with the transfers of funds, as “standard articles that come up annually.”

Fall town meeting will take place on Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. at Wareham Elementary School. The warrant can be found on the town’s website at