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UPDATED March 16: For the first time in years, the draft warrant for the annual Town Meeting is available to the public in advance of article hearings. The town published the warrant, or agenda, on Friday, Feb. 24. It published the final warrant March 16. Read it here >>

Select Board hearings about articles began Monday, Feb. 27.

This spring's annual Town Meeting includes 19 citizen articles, whose topics include housing, zoning measures, MBTA service and public participation.

These issues are raised by residents, often Town Meeting members, who gather at least 10 signatures of residents who support the matter to be debated.

Here is a list in no particular order, as the official warrant has yet to be made public, of articles and proponents. The Select Board begins article hearings Feb. 27. Town Meeting begins at 8 p.m. Monday, April 24. 

  • Subsidized compost collection, a service for town businesses along Mass. Ave. brought by 14 civics students at Ottoson Middle School. No person is named as the proponent, but the address provided is Ottoson and the email is that of Mary Kate Mezzetti, a teacher.
  • Resolution to change the state flag and seal. Requested by Chadi Shalomoun, it cites the historical record involving the Pilgrims' treatment of the Massachusett tribe and how that treatment is displayed on the flag and seal.
  • Three-year moratorium on installing artificial turf on town land. Requested by Beth Melofchik, the measure would restrict the covering from May this year to May 2026, to provide time to study for environmental impact and safety.
  • Vote/civic participation study group. Requested by Elizabeth Dray, it seeks to establish a group to develop strategies aimed at removing barriers to voting and public participation.
  • Affordable-housing overlay resolution. Requested by Guillermo S. Hamlin, the text of the resolution was not included in information provided by the Select Board's office.
  • In-state tuition resolution. Requested by Hamlin, it calls for extending in-state tuition and state financial aid to all high school graduates.
  • Downtown business parking minimum, a zoning bylaw amendment. Requested by James Fleming, it calls for complete removal of parking minimums for all nonresidential uses in a B5 district.
  • One- and two-family usable open space, a zoning bylaw amendment. Requested by Fleming, it calls for complete removal of usable open-space requirements for one- and two-family uses.
  • Police officer age waiver. Requested by James M. Looney, it calls for waiving the age restriction of 32 years old so that he can become an Arlington police officer.
  • Animal day-care use in industrial district. Requested by Kristin Anderson, it seeks to amend the zoning bylaw to allow the use.
  • Strategic plan for new growth. Requested by Len Diggins as a citizen, it seeks to create a study group to develop a plan for new growth in town.
  • Digital legal notices. Requested by Larry Slotnick, it asks the Select Board to petition the Massachusetts General Court to allow the town to satisfy requirements for legal notices on the town's website and/or in a digital newspaper along with newspapers of general circulation.
  • Medical antidiscrimination. Requested by Mark Kaepplein, it creates a bylaw stating that "people shall not be denied access to facilities of services based on medical status."
  • My body, my choice resolution. Requested by Kaepplein, it resolves that people have an innate authority over their own bodies.
  • Repeal MBTA prohibition. Requested by Paul Schlichtman as a citizen, it proposes Home Rule legislation to support repealing Chapter 439 (1976), which prohibits the MBTA from locating mass transit a certain distance from Arlington Catholic High School.
  • MBTA service. Requested by Schlichtman, it seeks a resolution supporting improvement to MBTA service.
  • Parking-disclosure requirement. Requested by Steve Berczuk, it seeks a bylaw requiring property owners to disclose parking information on adjacent streets to potential buyers before a lease or sale.
  • Self-service station regulations. Requested by Susan Stamps, it calls for updating rules to allow self-service.
  • Build affordable housing anywhere. Requested by Thomas J. Perkins, it seeks to amend zoning bylaws so that affordable housing may be built by right in all zones, with lower requirements. 

NOTE: If the chief proponent or a main representative of any article would like to describe it further, that person may send up to 150 words to Bob Sprague at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

The warrant was open for articles (agenda items) for the 2023 annual Town Meeting from 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 9, to noon Friday, Jan. 27.

Notes of explanation from proponents

Repeal MBTA prohibition, Paul Schlichtman

Eight years after he led the fight to block the Red Line from being constructed in Arlington, state Rep. John Cusack issued a press release in support of his campaign for reelection. It was published in The Arlington Advocate on Sept. 13, 1984.

The campaign wrote: Cusack, in response to what he considered the most important issue that he has faced as Arlington’s representative, said, “without a doubt, the stopping of the Red Line from terminating in Arlington Center. One only has to look at the chaotic conditions surrounding the Alewife terminus, to realize that a termination directly behind St. Agnes Church, would have destroyed our town. House Bill No. 5278, which I sponsored, prohibited the MBTA from locating a mass transportation facility in Arlington Center, achieving this goal.”

House Bill 5278 (1976) was enacted, becoming Chapter 439 of the Acts of 1976:

Be it enacted, etc., as follows:
Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (g) and (k) of section three of chapter 161 A of the General Laws, or any other general or special law to the contrary, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority shall not construct any mass transportation facility, including but not limited to a rapid transit station and parking garage, on any land located within seventy-five yards of Arlington Catholic High School.

This law is still in effect.

After the 1976-77 fight in Arlington, it's clear the MBTA is in no hurry to reconsider the Red Line extension. Almost 50 years later, transit advocates continue to point to how Arlington killed the Red Line extension. 

That was then. This is now.

It's time for Arlington to change the narrative. This is why I submitted a warrant article to seek home-rule legislation to repeal this law. It won't magically make the Red Line appear in town, but it will send a symbolic message by removing Cusack's poison pill from state law.

Parking disclosure, Steve Berczuk

The goal of this article is to help people find housing that meets their parking needs. Not everyone needs parking, or parking for more than one car, but people finding out that the on-street parking situation isn’t what they assumed, after they have committed to moving, not only affects new residents; it can create tension between neighbors and add to town parking-complaint-related administrative costs. Town Meeting can’t place requirements on lease or sales agreements, or set parking rules, but it can set rules about behaviors that affect the community. A bylaw will set an expectation that real estate transactions be transparent about street parking. This article would require landlords and sellers to disclose information about street-parking rules in the immediate vicinity of the property to potential renters or buyers. This level of transparency will help people join the community knowing that they will have access to the parking that they need.

This news announcement was published Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, based on information from the town of Arlington website. It was updated Feb. 7, 2023, and then Feb. 8, to correct high school connected to 1976 law. It was updated thereafter, to add notes from proponents. It was updated March 5.