UPDATE: 5/11/17 Petition organizers didn’t collect quite enough votes by the deadline (see Townsman story), so the bylaw and bylaw amendment are set to go into effect this summer.
Don’t be surprised if you get hit up outside Roche Bros., at the Wellesley RDF or elsewhere over the weekend to sign petitions that could put real estate-related rules recently approved at Town Meeting up for public vote.
Opponents of the Historic Preservation Demolition Delay bylaw, which seeks to stem the tide of teardowns in Wellesley, and the TLAG amendment to the Large House Review bylaw, which aims to limit mansionization, argue that the new rules are too subjective and take control out of homeowners’ hands. Some realtors and builders also see lost opportunities, or at least delayed ones, for themselves.
During the recently concluded Town Meeting, the TLAG discussion was much more prolonged and heated than the one on the demolition delay bylaw, but now those who have opposed either or both of the new rules all along or have only recently become aware of them are looking to get a wider public opinion on the pending changes.
It sounds as though the demo delay bylaw petition might be further along, and Town Clerk Kathy Nagle says that a special election could take place in June if nearly 900 signatures are collected by Tuesday. At least 20% of registered voters would need to go to the polls and a majority of those voting would need to go against the bylaw in order to halt it.