Update: The Town Council voted unanimously Wednesday, May 29, for a rollback to the pre-2016 dimensional standards in the Residential A districts. This was the option preferred by the majority of speakers at a recent public hearing on how best to address growth and density issues in town.

FALMOUTH — The Town Council is considering changes to two municipal committees, intended to improve their functionality and be more inclusive.

Councilors on Wednesday were set to discuss creating a new Community Wellness Committee and expanding membership on the Economic Improvement Committee.

Also this week, the council was scheduled to hold a final vote on how to slow growth and reduce density in the town’s Residential A districts.

At a recent public hearing, a majority of councilors seemed to favor rolling back the dimensional standards in RA to what they were before a July 2016 zoning update.

In addition, the council will decide whether to make the rollback retroactive to May 3 and whether to make two- and multifamily units a conditional use.

The new Wellness Committee would replace the Human Services Committee, which consists of three appointed members.

The change to the Economic Improvement Committee would expand its membership from seven to nine, to allow more residents to participate, according to a memo provided to the council in advance of the May 29 meeting.

The charge of that committee has been to review funding requests from social service agencies and to evaluate “extraordinary crisis situations” to determine whether financial assistance from the town to individual residents is warranted, according to the town website.

The Wellness Committee, however, would have a broader focus that would include the promotion of “spiritual, mental and physical wellness for … all ages,” according to a memo provided to the council prior to this week’s meeting.

The proposal to create the wellness panel came from the Town Council’s Appointments Committee, which has been trying to better define what “wellness means in Falmouth.”

The Appointments Committee members are Councilors Ted Asherman, Amy Kuhn and Andrea Ferrante. Their recommendation is that Falmouth form the new committee to determine services already available and what might be lacking.

The new committee would consist of 11 members, three of whom would be appointed for one-year terms, and four of whom would be appointed to two- or three-year terms. The committee would also have a Town Council liaison.

In addition, at least some of the representatives would be from the Falmouth schools, the Parks and Community Programs Department, the Public Safety Department and the Falmouth Memorial Library, the draft ordinance said, along with local business owners who provide wellness services.

The new committee would be required to meet with the council as a whole at least once annually and to submit an annual proposed work plan “for review, input and approval from the Town Council,” according to the draft ordinance.

Its charge would be varied and range from determining the “best strategies and practices to inform and promote wellness for individuals, families, and the community of Falmouth,” to responding to “relevant and current challenges and opportunities that impact our well-being as a community.”

The council is required to hold at least one public hearing on the committee proposal.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 780-9097 or [email protected]. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: